Careers Consultants

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Careers consultants provide advice about training, employment options and career progression to professionals and career changers.

Careers consultants provide guidance to people making choices about their career. They could help a client who wants to further their career, a client who wants to change career direction, or a client who isn’t quite sure what they want.

Careers consultants undertake a wide range of duties including:

  • assessing clients' personal characteristics, skills and interests via one-to-one interviews and/or group sessions

  • providing appropriate help, advice and recommendations based on interviews/test results

  • running workshops

  • offering practical assistance with job seeking, applications/CVs and interviews

  • administering and interpreting psychometric and personality tests

  • helping clients to solve problems and manage their own careers

  • aiding clients in their search for appropriate employment

  • writing action plans, reports and careers literature

  • counselling clients that are suffering from stress or facing redundancy/redeployment

  • undertaking general administration

  • marketing and promoting services.


Qualifications and training required


Although any degree discipline is acceptable for entry into the profession, many careers consultants possess degrees in subjects such as human resources and psychology. Professional qualifications in career guidance, counselling or personnel management are also useful. A list of relevant courses is available on the Career Development Institute’s website.

Several years of relevant work experience is normally necessary prior to entry. This can be gained in public sector/higher education careers advising, personnel management, counselling or occupational psychology.


Key skills for careers consultants


Careers consultants should have:

  • plenty of confidence

  • excellent listening, verbal and written communication skills

  • confidentiality

  • a non-prejudicial manner

  • good interpersonal skills.


Typical employers of careers consultants


Employers of careers consultants include: management consultants, HR departments and private career/occupational psychologist consultancies. Many careers consultants are self-employed, but this is normally only a viable option for individuals with several years' relevant experience.


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