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experts have expertise - warningI’m not going to win any friends with this post – in fact, I am probably going to lose a few. But I just can’t help myself – I’m tired of sitting by watching YOU get scammed.

In the past few weeks, I have been bombarded with “experts.” These are people I know personally, online, or just random peeps sent my way. And the one thing that many of them have in common, is they aren’t QUALIFIED to be experts.

And you’re falling for it. And wondering why you aren’t getting your desired results or moving forward. I just can’t stand seeing you being taken advantage any longer.

Experts, Have Expertise

When you want someone on your team, you want the best – the person best suited for the job, position, role, and so on. For some reason when we look to hire consultants, coaches, or experts online, we forget this concept more often than not.

Instead we look for a close referral, someone we’ve crossed paths with before, someone Google told us was ranked high, or someone who “looks” like they can be a good match. These are all superficial… and will lead you to getting scammed.

So while I will be burning some bridges, here are a few key things to look for when you are hiring an expert.

What to Look for When…

Hiring a Resume Writer

To be honest, it’s extremely easy to put a shingle out providing resume services, since all job seekers need a fabulous resume to use during the job hunt. However, before you pay a resume writer, make sure that person has FIRST-HAND experience in Human Resources, Recruiting and as a hiring manager. Not one of the three options, but ALL THREE touch-points. Each of these experiences adds valuable insight and input to create an awesome resume for you.

They can’t just be someone who is saying they are a resume expert. Or someone who wants to be a graphic designer. Or someone who thinks that they know best because they have hired a team before.

He/she needs to be intimately experienced with the various programs, processes and conventions of how people get hired – particularly through online applications and networking. Stop thinking that someone who has a blog is qualified – that has nothing to do with it. Unqualified resume writers may “pretty up” your resume materials, but it’s going to still be lipstick on a pig.

Hiring a Coach

I am going to get a lot of hate mail for saying this – but holy sh*tballs people, I can’t keep it in anymore. Hire a coach that has DIRECT life or work experience in the area that you are seeking guidance with.

Don’t pick a writing coach that hasn’t been published by a traditional publisher. A career coach who hasn’t worked within the career and/or HR industry. A fitness/health coach who isn’t in tip-top shape. A life coach who hasn’t truly lived (years and experiences) or accomplished things that you aspire to.

A warm body or someone you “get along with” isn’t enough of a qualification to coach you to success. Choose wisely – otherwise you will end up spilling your guts without anything in return.

Networking/Sales Advice

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: the best networkers out there are salespeople, people who have climbed the ladder well, HR (if we’re talking about career networking), and self-made entrepreneurs (variable – but if they are successful, they probably had to do a ton of networking). So why in heavens are you looking to people without any of those qualifications to teach you how to connect with others?

Stop looking for the quick fix here and start looking for people who have successfully networked their way into BIG opportunities. Let them share what worked/what didn’t… don’t take advice from a new grad who just landed his/her first job (although they clearly did something that worked, once does not create a system).

Getting the Drift?

  • Blogging advice from someone who has created a wildly successful blog.
  • Marketing advice from a true marketer – consistently converting and delivering.
  • Entrepreneur advice from someone who has launched a successful (you can define success on your own) business (and even better if they have failed at one beforehand).

You need to surround yourself with experts who have delivered what you are seeking – who are the desired outcome. For me, I would be a horrific health/fitness coach – I’m not awesome with the consistency factor (yet). Could I put a shingle up and call myself a fitness coach… yes I could, and you would probably find my site. But I wouldn’t excel at it because it’s not one of my strengths in my own life.

Bottom Line

Do your own research to determine if that person/blog actually adds qualified value and most importantly, has experience delivering and achieving what you are seeking.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Jocelyn says:

    Good post, Melissa! Another perspective on coaching: in many cases, I think coaches are there to facilitate a process of discovery and action, rather than to provide specific advice on one’s goals or ambitions. So I do think that someone very skilled at those processes could be a good coach regardless of the end goal or the area of life being worked on. Just my two cents! xo

    • melissalywc says:

      @17fb857584c443e1dda2a2e2b676ac30:disqus – Good points for sure. And while coaches are there to ask questions and guide the process, it’s helpful for them to have a point of reference as to where you are going, or how to help get you there (even though it’s YOU getting there). 🙂 Just making the situation as powerful and meaningful as possible.

  • Kathy says:

    My coaching philosophy has always been based upon the assumption that the client has the motivation and resources needed for change, and one of the central tasks of our work together is evocation of these elements. Motivational Interviewing (MI), an evidence-based approach widely used in health psychology
    is something I encourage you to read up on if you are not familiar. Often times a person’s inability to move
    forward has less to do with the availability of “expert” advice and more to do with their own resistance. The work I do in my coaching practice transcends a multitude of scenarios involving career, lifestyle etc. I have worked successfully with many hundreds of clients with nary a stint in HR, Sales, PR, Journalism, Professional Sports etc. Just thought I would share my point of view. Kathy

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