Better Than Outplacement 

For many years I owned the domain “betterthanoutplacement” and it redirected to my career transition coaching landing page. I am not worried when professionals tell me that their former employer gave them outplacement assistance as part of their severance package. 

To be clear, outplacement is fine if you are looking for a similar job in a similar industry. It may be all you need if overall your life is pretty good and you just want to find a new job. In this case, you don’t need to hire us and that is totally fine. This post isn’t for you.

However, professionals who want to make a big change, have a perfect storm of icky stuff going on in their lives, experienced a toxic work environment or bad business breakup, or are at financial risk need the focused, concierge-level attention of our VIP Coaching

I tell prospects or clients to take advantage of the outplacement firm’s information and meet with their coach. Most of the time, people report back that they learned a few things, but it was, in their words, “mostly worthless.”

Why is this? 

Well, the coach may or may not know anything about your industry. They may have a bunch of clients they are working with so you will not be their top priority. They also may be a part-time contractor making a lot less money than you are targeting. 

Yep. That is a secret outplacement firms likely don’t want you to know. You don’t get award-winning, top-level talent in this type of employment situation. 

For a long time, I had a good revenue stream reworking resumes that were created by outplacement firms because they were generic. The professional’s “secret sauce” or unique value proposition didn’t come through. The resumes were bland and boring, and often filled with industry jargon or buzzwords. 

This professional is a project manager. Here is the Professional Summary he gave to me that was written by an outplacement service:

Dedicated IT Project Manager possessing a proven track record of superior performance working with clients in the insurance industry, seeks to utilize expertise in Process Improvement, Program Coordination, Cost Control, Quality Assurance, Solution Implementation, Team Development, Resource Allocation, Client Relations, and Compliance to support strategic goals within a progressive organization.

Honestly? It’s OK…but doesn’t grab you when you read it. You know his title. You know the industry he worked in and his best skills. But is it compelling? Do you understand the value he brings to his projects? How he approaches his work? Not really.

Now let’s consider this revised Professional Summary that I wrote for him:

Dedicated IT project manager with a proven track record of superior performance working with insurance industry clients. Deep expertise in process improvement, program management, cost control, quality assurance, and solution implementation. Demonstrated ability to support strategic goals within a progressive organization utilizing team development, resource allocation, and relationship building. Detail-oriented professional who delivers on-time and on-budget projects by getting buy-in from stakeholders from the beginning, and communicating progress throughout the project life cycle.

Do you see the difference? The first version is factually correct, but whoever wrote it didn’t really understand the job function, or how executives measure their project managers.

A resume is a formal document, but it needs to reflect the candidate and put a spotlight on their best skills and abilities. I know a resume is done when the client says, “That’s me!” or “I can’t wait to send that out!” or “I look like a rock star!” (Learn about our resume service here.)

So, if you are a “round peg, round hole” candidate, outplacement may do a great job for you. 

However, if you want or need more personalized support and would like to work with a team that is fully committed to your success, let’s talk.