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Individual coaching service now available

August 30, 2013

Over the past few years I have worked with many people to help them achieve their goal of a career in international relief and development. While this site is the general advice that I give to people interested in the topic, I also get a lot of questions that are very specific and detailed.

I’m delighted to announce that I am now offering individual coaching services for people who have in-depth questions about their situation, want feedback and support with resumes and cover letters, or want interview coaching and critique. This doesn’t mean that I will not be responding to questions on the site, or updating content, but is an additional service for people who want to work one-on-one on getting their first job in this line of work.

In the university course I teach on this topic I like to split the process into three stages:

1. Setting your goals and creating a job-search strategy. This is the process of formalizing your aims, looking at your previous experience and skills, and creating a realistic and achievable plan for getting from where you are to your dream job. I’ll work with you to do this, and at the end of the process you’ll have a step-by-step plan of the things you need to do to find your first job in relief and development, including how best to present and leverage your existing experience, organizations that you should approach, and job types that you should be applying for.

2. Resume and cover letter review and feedback. This is the next area where a lot of people need some help. Whether it is general feedback on your resume, or specific advice on how to best present your skills and experience in a way that aid recruiters will respond to, I will look at your cover letter and cv (preferably tailored to a specific job) and give you written and verbal feedback and advice on improving it to gain the attention of recruiters and do what you need it to do – get you an interview!

3. Interview coaching. The goal of a resume is to get you an interview for the job you want. Once you get it you’ll need to win over the hiring manager and convince them that you can do the job. I’ll give you pre-interview coaching, we will do a video mock-interview over Skype based on questions and techniques real aid agencies use, and then we will review your video together, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. This can be scary for a lot of people, but the best way to get good at interviewing is to practice interviewing using the types of interview styles and questions that aid agencies use.

For a free consultation, and advice on what you might benefit from most email me on nick(at)nickmacdonald(dot)net and we can work out a plan that fits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. How much do you charge?

A. It depends. Drop me an email and we can discuss it. My rates are in line with industry norms, but it depends a little on where in the world you are and what you need from me. I’m also sympathetic to people with challenging financial situations.

Q. Does this mean you won’t be answering questions on the site any more?

A. No. I’m still happy to answer general questions on the site, but I’m unable to keep up with the volume of requests I get for personal advice. This is the best way I can think of to maintain that service for people who need it while allowing me to pay the bills.

Q. Does this apply if I’m a student in one of your university classes?

A. No. If you’re in one of my classes, or a referral from someone in the department then I’m delighted to talk to you pro-bono.

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