Refocusing Career Counseling Clientele

When I started my company, Hurwitz Strategic Staffing, Ltd., it was with the mission of promoting the hiring of veterans and merchant mariners. I worked with everyone, but our national heroes were my primary concern.

I will still work with everyone when it comes to executive recruiting. If you are qualified for a position I am looking to fill, I will consider you regardless of whether or not you have served. However, when it comes to career counseling, as of January 3, I will only work with veterans, law enforcement personnel, firefighters, healthcare professionals, merchant mariners, and their spouses. The reason is simple: We have new heroes who need our support, not just veterans of the military.

I don’t want to make this political, but the treatment of law enforcement has been disgusting, to put it mildly. Firefighters, to a certain extent, have had to risk their lives because of how law enforcement have been treated. Healthcare professionals are facing burnout. As for our merchant mariners, they have always been the forgotten heroes. And the spouses of all (hopefully) have stood by them. They all need credible career services without the games. Others may be able to afford to go to career counselors, pay thousands of dollars, for services that can last years – that’s not a typo! – but our heroes cannot. The game is simple: The longer the services last, the more the counselor (sometimes called “coach,”) earns. So they have not incentive to work quickly. I work quickly, efficiently and effectively.

All my clients have always paid a flat rate, veterans receiving a 50% deduction, and my services have always continued until the client gets their next job. That will not change. I have no incentive to draw out the process. All I require is an initial 2-hour session and then we will have unlimited interview rehearsals (those are what are important) until the job is secured. (I also make myself available to answer any questions a client has.) No limits. No small print. No strings attached. And the price will stay that which was previously paid by veterans.

Anyone can hire me to help them with their resume and cover letter, as part of my Professional Writing Services, so I am not leaving those who can’t afford my competitors in the lurch. But the important services, the planning of a job search campaign and, most importantly, interview practice, are reserved for my Career Counseling clients.

Let me tell you about some of the veterans, police and medical staff I have helped in the past. In all cases, the key was the response to the offer (it is not a question), “Tell us about yourself.”

One soldier, who had served in the Infantry, told me his response would be to summarize his resume. That’s the mistake most people make. The good response is to tell the interviewer something not in the resume that speaks to their character. In this case, the veteran had guarded a construction site where the Afghans were building a girls’ school. Then he guarded the girls. His response to the interviewers was to tell them about his pride and satisfaction in being a part of girls receiving a formal education for the first time in their lives. Their response was a job offer.

A Marine who came to me was very shy. He did not want to tell me about his military career. It took a couple of hours but he finally relented. A job interview is no place for modesty. He told me that he was the recipient of a Silver Star! When I asked him why he had received it, he smiled and said, “I’d tell you but then I’d have to kill you!” I told him that that was exactly how he should respond in an actual interview. We added “Silver Star recipient” to the top of his resume. His phone starting ringing. He got interviews and he got job offers.

I have a great deal of respect for nurses, having worked at nursing homes for over four years. One nurse’s story was about how she successfully integrated technology (administrative not medical) into her team’s workday, decreasing the time they had to spend away from patients. She, too, got the job offer.

A police officer, who had taken early retirement, told me a story which, when he told it, was very funny. I cannot do it justice, and won’t try. The short version is that while serving on the New York Police Department, in his first year, he delivered two babies. That was it. No more babies. One day he single-handedly captured two armed bank robbers with the loot. He told me he was more afraid delivering the babies than confronting the robbers, face-to-face. When he told the story to the job interviewers, he got the job offer.

One doctor told me a story which I would really like to forget! (I apparently had not made it clear enough to him that I’m a Ph.D. doctor, not an MD doctor! For the record, they are jealous of us because we have one more letter than they do!) In any event, while his story was not appropriate for me, it was certainly appropriate for his job interviewers and he got the offer.

Our heroes have unique stories to tell. They just have to know which ones to tell and how to tell them.

I look forward to serving those who have served – including their spouses.