So. The Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC) is just now offering a certification to help military vets in their quest to get public employment. Is this certificate worth 870 dollars?
Be Among the First
It’s a new certification, targeting an underserved group. As of this writing, a few lesser organizations have followed PARWCC’S lead and are putting out Certified Veteran Career Strategist Certification of their own, with one shamelessly charging 2400 dollars. An underserved niche in the career coaching world, it could be priceless to get in now, before this becomes oversaturated like the general resume writing industry (every writer, including yours truly, has resume writing services advertised). There are something like 3 million vets in the country, on top of their family members who would quickly be referred to you if you did a good job for the vet, totaling out to somewhere around a 7 million count client pool. That’s a healthy number of clients. And you’d be pitching in that crowd mostly alone, few other pesky writers in sight! You may get in early with a name and reputation as the best veteran career strategist!
Vets tend to stick together in groups online. You see vet forums, vet groups, vet meetups. This is priceless: you can target those groups for guerilla advertising, as opposed to relying on Google to find your demographics scatttered all over the place and target them one by one. Honestly, this and the above pro are about equal in potential ROI. The fact that there are two pros this huge is about enough to call this a “yes, it’s worth it” (oops, spoiler warning).
It Might be the Kind of Job You Actually Enjoy
First of all, Certified Veteran Career Strategist requires all the skills and duties of a career coach: making those conference and phone calls, going over paperwork with the client, searching for job matches as posted, rewriting resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and at times, playing a little unofficial therapist. Then on top of that, these are vets: there is a notorious trust barrier between vets and the rest that you’d have to become adept at breaking down. Those unofficial therapy sessions? Well, depending how you look at it, either much more exciting to listen to, or much more traumatic. And, you’d be giving back to your country; serving those who have served you. With all this, you may have yourself a recipe for actually having some fun while earning that title as the best veteran career specialist out there!
There’s a Reason This Certification is Just Now Emerging
It’s often said that there is a wall of mistrust between vets and civilians, and it’s true. I just experienced it myself while talking to the people behind the Career Veteran Strategist program (long story). Vets will often attribute the worst, least charitable intentions to you. You’re going to have to break this barrier down before even getting them to talk to you, which won’t be easy.
Brand New, No Track Record
While it’s a plus that this is brand new territory with little competition, it’s also a minus. Will getting this certification really be worth your money and time? And speaking of which…
You’re Not Just Paying For This Certification
First, you have to become a member of PARWCC, which will set you back 127 dollars. Then, as far as I know right now, you at least have to get either a resume writing certification at 300 dollars, or a career coach certification at over a thousand, before you can plunk down 715 dollars for your veteran career coach cert. That’s, at minimum, 1200 dollars with tax, and two certification courses to complete. Not a small investment
I’m thinking about it. If it weren’t for the required PARWCC membership and the prerequisite course (s), I’d be signed up now. It could be a great opportunity, but it won’t come cheap.