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Career Counsellor Vs. A Career Coach

This may come across as a little controversial, and our intention is not to take away any value from a career counsellor, our goal is to always present the facts and to be honest to you so that you, as an individual, can make the right choice/s for yourself and your career needs.

I remember looking at a friends resume and thinking it was very good, but not fantastic in terms of meeting the selection criteria of the jobs she was applying to. I asked my friend if she wanted me to update her resume. The response was a quick ‘no’, followed by her career counsellor at university did it for her. I understood it had a professional touch, however, that resume was created years earlier.

A resume needs to be updated often and made relevant to the roles you apply to. I was concerned the information she had was starting to get outdated. So it got me thinking, are university students relying too heavily on career counsellors as their only source of information for their future careers?

So what are the differences (if any) between universities or even high school career counsellor vs. an independent career coach? Let us list the facts, as we know them.

A university (uni) Career Counsellor:

  • Looks at the students past experience, strengths, weaknesses, interests and helps them to decide the right direction for them based on that information
  • Helps students to get the motivation to keep going and feel confident in their career/study choices
  • Presents different solutions to meet their career objectives – such as various courses or majors they can take
  • May assist in resume development, however, it will be a generic resume without going into detail about selection criteria
  • Can connect students to potential mentors linked to the university


So as you can see, there is great benefit to a career counsellor. They can truly assist in the early stages of a student’s career, based on University/TAFE studies. But what about after university when the student is out in the “real” world and applying to roles they believe they are suited to based on what they studied at uni?

An independent Career Coach:

  • The number one objective is to get their clients meeting their career goals
  • To help clients plan their career paths with a realistic and effective strategy
  • Career development planning, advice and tools to achieve them
  • Looks at the current situation and derives a plan around that for the future of the individual
  • Gives recommendations for areas to improve, such as skills, to be able to effectively achieve their goals
  • Can provide a detailed resume that attracts very specific job roles
  • Can assist with interview skills
  • Provide clients with new career path options that they may not have thought of


As it is very evident, there is great value in both, a career counsellor and a career coach. Both work hand in hand with each other and are necessary at different points in ones career.

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But my warning lies here

Unfortunately, not every career counsellor is a professional in this field. Let me share a personal story – when I was at university completing my business degree, I approached our uni’s career counsellor and asked her what are the various job opportunities I could expect after completing my course. Her response was “I do not know”.

I decided perhaps to reword my question; I asked “What would be the career options for me? Her response was “I do not know”.

I said ok, well, could you then tell me what have others who have already completed this course are doing? Her response was “I do not know”. She gave me some papers with random information, smiled and sent me on my way.

I left her office with very little confidence. If she has no idea what my business degree will give me, how was I meant to know?!

Is this an extreme one off case? I certainly hope so for the sake of all students today.

Another personal experience is from another one of our MCA coach’s who had an experience with a career counsellor during her university days where the counsellor could not quite guide her in which studies she should do for her career but instead showed her an easy way out with less exams. This was great at the time but the counsellor could not actually tell her what kind of jobs she could apply for after uni and simply provided her with some generic resume templates. This MCA coach, however, did have a good experience with her high school career counsellor who listened and helped her be more confident in her choices of which universities to apply to and what career paths to try to jump on. So as previously mentioned, it is dependent on the level of skill, and passion, of each career counsellor.

How does My Career Angels Career Coaching compare?

Whilst we are more towards your typical career coaching approach – we do also like to take on a holistic view as we consider your past, your skills, strengths, weaknesses, interest and wants/needs when it comes to helping decide which would be the best career path for you. So consider us a hybrid of Career Counsellor and Career Coach. We are indeed proud of that. Why don’t you explore our Coaching Services and find out more for yourself.


My Career Angels,-helping you become who you want to be.


“Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.”

― Anne Lamott

Should You Hire A Career Coach?

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If you’re thinking about whether or not you need a career coach, the reality is – if you’re already asking yourself this question, then most likely that answer is ‘yes’. We have our own reason on why we believe you should say YES to hiring a career coach. Read on to find out what it is.

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