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Executive Coaching Helps Power The Job Search

By DeVry University


For most students, earning a master’s degree isn’t about being “in the know ” or gaining knowledge for knowledge’s sake. It’s a key step to pursuing a career with challenging responsibilities. As many find out, a job search can be a job in itself. And it can be pretty intimidating. Wouldn’t it be great to have someone coach you through the process?

Here’s where DeVry’s Executive Coaching program, squarely focused on developing strategies to change or advance your career, comes in. Executive coaches from the University’s Career Services office help job seekers identify the unique talents that can help them stand out in a crowd.

Who’s Eligible to Participate?
The Executive Coaching program is open to:

• Keller students enrolled in their capstone course
• Keller students with six or fewer credits left to complete
  in their degree program

As availability allows, others may also participate, specifically alumni who earned a graduate credential from the university more than six month ago.

Setting a Strategy
What actually happens in one of the hour-long coaching appointments? Coaches ask participants a lot of questions to identify internal and external motivators – what gives them energy or why a particular career is meaningful. Among the topics coaches may cover are:

• Résumé strategy
• Interviewing
• Personal branding development
• Networking best practices
• Negotiation
• Career path exploration

Each topic is designed to help overcome a particular obstacle during the job search. A résumé strategy, for example, may include ways to tailor information to show you meet the requirements of an open position, making you a more marketable candidate.

Participants leave the coaching appointment with an action plan that may include creating a networking letter to be reviewed by the coach or finding five connections in LinkedIn within the industry of choice. Follow-up appointments are scheduled to make sure actions are being implemented and participants are on track.

“Instead of talent matching, coaches have participants work on strategies for overcoming obstacles. They help empower students and alumni to come up with their own answers to problems,” said Eric Hellige, associate dean of Career Services. A typical hurdle job seekers face is feeling uncomfortable trying to “sell” themselves. Using the personal branding exercise, participants in the Executive Coaching program home in on who they are as professionals and how to be specific as to the unique qualities they offer an employer. Many employers know exactly what they need in job candidates; developing and portraying a personal brand can help participants influence how hiring managers may perceive them and focus on the value they bring in an increasingly competitive job market.

In another part of the strategy development process, job seekers identify positions and companies that align with their goals and values, improving the chances of a “good fit” between employer and employee. Or they focus on networking techniques to tap into the hidden job market – positions that are unadvertised or known to an internal audience only. Perhaps most important, coaches focus on participants’ individual needs, whether it’s feedback on cover letters or interview practice, rather than providing a one-size-fits-all plan.

The career coaches not only have several years of experience working with students and alumni but also have – or are pursuing – their career coaching certification. Each has specific passions within the job search spectrum and works with job seekers at no additional cost.

For more information on the Executive Coaching program, contact one of the university’s Career Services offices.