So you have a call with a career coach coming up — or you’re thinking about scheduling one. It’s important to understand how you prepare for your call with a career coach, and what you can expect to get out of it. Read on for several of our tips for prepping for a call with a career coach.

Prepare to tell your story

Of course, you know your story. But having a conversation with a career coach offers a great opportunity to practice sharing your story clearly and compellingly. Not only will this help the coach get a good picture of your background and expertise, but they may also be able to share tips about how to tweak your story to be even more compelling and clear during job interviews. 

Share your elevator pitch

Having a conversation with a career coach is also a great chance for you to practice your elevator pitch. And, if you’re having trouble crafting yours, this could be the perfect opportunity to have a career coach help walk you through it.

Set your expectations

It’s important to understand that while conversations with career coaches can be extremely helpful and provide actionable tips, they don’t guarantee that you’ll land your next job at your dream company. What they can do is provide inside to industries and various role functions as well as the next steps in the career path that may eventually lead you to your dream job. 

Have your updated resume handy and make sure your coach has a copy

It may go without saying, but having an updated resume is a must before speaking with a career coach – so make sure they have a copy. If there are any errors in your resume or any ways you can improve Its layout, they will be sure to let you know. Career coaches also offer a set of experienced and fresh eyes to read over your resume. They’ll be able to tell you if your career progression is clear, and if not, how to make it that way. It may also offer suggestions for how to frame your work experience as it relates to the jobs you’re applying to as well as previous job titles.

Take some time to consider your values, skills, and interests before your conversation

My career coaches can offer many helpful resources, they can’t tell you what your dreams, values, and aspirations are. Only you can know that. So before talking to a career coach, be sure to take some time to consider these for yourself so you can share them at the time of your conversation. Knowing your values and general career goals can help your career coach create an actionable plan for the next steps.

Thinking about some weaknesses that could come up and ask your career coach how to best frame them during an interview. 

Prepare your questions

Don’t make the mistake of showing up to your career coaching session without a list of questions on hand. This will be the best way to ensure you get exactly what you need from a session with a career coach. These can range anywhere from big-picture, theoretical questions, to practical and specific questions like how to format your resume or connect with someone for an informational interview.

Take notes!

This goes without saying, right? Even if your coach says they’ll follow up with a recap of your conversation, it’s a good idea to record the pieces of advice or thoughts that stuck out to you during your discussion.

Expect to leave the conversation with goals, action items, and homework

It’s important to understand that a career coach’s job is not to find you a job, but rather to give you actionable and productive steps towards furthering your career. So expect to have your work laid out for you. While meeting with a career coach won’t make your dream company offer you a dream job, you will certainly receive strategies for creating a great target list of companies and concrete steps to take to get you closer to the path you envision.

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