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Hi, I am Soyoung!

Over the last 18 months, I’ve met with 13 different career coaches to help me reach my goals. In that time, I discovered which coaching services were worth it and which were not.

🧪 What did I base my reviews on?

1. I read through all available customer and third-party reviews of the six career coaching services.

2. I signed up with each service, took their initial assessment on their website (if one was offered), and completed my initial appointment with one of their career coaches/counselors over a video call.

3. After the initial appointment, I completed all recommended steps and compared before-and-after results both quantitatively (# of LinkedIn views, interviews scheduled, etc.) and qualitatively.

4. I noted down costs, coach availability, service offerings, and customer service quality. My hope is to provide you with all the information necessary for informed decisions.

✅ The criteria I based my scores on:

📈 Cost
How expensive is it?
🛡️ Tools
What tools do they use?
📅 Flexibility
How easy is it to schedule (and reschedule) my meeting?
🤓 Quality
Are coaches experienced and know their stuff?
📚 Results
Do they actually deliver results? Do I get more interviews?
🧑 Resources
Do they offer more than just a coaching session?

The best coaching service:

Jobtest.org

★  Winner  ★
4.8/5

❤️ What I love about it:

  • My coach was extremely knowledgeable (over 15 years of experience).
  • The onboarding quiz was thorough and my coach already knew everything about me, which made the first session extremely productive.
  • My coach reached out to me in less than 2 hours of booking a meeting.
  • Cheapest cost per session (approximately $150/hour).
  • Didn't force me into a subscription.
  • Offers a 100% money-back guarantee.
  • Resume & LinkedIn optimization, interview prep, personal branding, and networking expansion were included as part of the service, with an option to expedite.  
  • Customer service was quick to respond.

🧐 What could be better:

    • Some coaches have a waitlist due to high demand (depending on the coach, you could wait up to few weeks before their availability reopens).

    Update: Jobtest.org is currently offering a free career assessment report with every first coaching session.

    ⭐  Overall rating 4.8/5

    Hands down, Jobtest.org was the best service I tried for career coaching/counseling. Rather than pushing a one-size-fits-all roadmap, they take the time to learn about who you are, what your specific needs and criteria are when evaluating different opportunities, what your goals are (both professional and personal), and help put together a personalized roadmap to discover, pursue, and succeed in your dream career.

    📈 Cost

    Jobtest.org’s coaching sessions were more affordable than most competitors, with only about $150/hour for highly experienced coaches. It also offers a 100% money-back guarantee and didn't force me into a subscription from the beginning (I wanted to get to know my coach before committing). When I looked at other sites for comparably experienced coaches, I received quotes ranging from $200/hour to a whopping $500/hour from some coaches I found on LinkedIn.

    🛡️ Tools

    Jobtest.org's onboarding process was very thorough. They asked me many questions that made me think a lot about what I actually wanted in my career. These answers were used to match me with the perfect coach who had relevant experiences around my industry and specialties, and the coach used these responses to prepare for the meeting - all of which made my first session with my coach extremely productive and valuable.

    📅 Flexibility

    Jobtest.org works with coaches from all across the US, meaning they had more options for when I could schedule my sessions. This let me fit my session into my schedule—not the other way around. Furthermore, my coach was so hands-on with me that I was able to speak with her just a few minutes after I received my job interview, which allowed me to jump on the last-minute interview preparation.

    🤓 Coach Quality

    Jobtest.org maintains strict standards for all of its coaches, from their professional certifications to coaching style and personality. As someone who has met with over 13 different coaches from 4 different coaching service providers, I was pleasantly surprised by how much of a night-and-day difference Jobtest.org coaching sessions were compared to others I had elsewhere.

    📚 Results

    At the end of the day, what matters is the result - did it deliver what it promised? My coach from Jobtest.org (Linda) went above and beyond to help me achieve my career goal. From the very beginning of our interaction to the very end of our interaction (over the span of six months), I went from feeling stuck and not knowing what to do to landing and succeeding in my dream role at a company whose mission I deeply resonate with. My experience with my Jobtest.org coach was akin to feeling like being reborn, where I now lead a happier and more fulfilling life that my friends and family notice the difference of.

    🧑 Resources

    Being a career test company first, Jobtest.org also offered me a complimentary career test assessment where I could discover and gut-check that the career paths I have chosen align with my personality, values, and strengths/weaknesses. It reaffirmed my decision to pivot from my Finance sector to the Energy sector, and it allowed me to better negotiate my salary with its in-depth income potential calculator.

    4.2/5

    ❤️ What I love about it:

    • Ability to read through each coach's LinkedIn profile
    • Wide range of coaches too choose from (over 10,000 coaches on LinkedIn)
    • Reliable, respected platform

    🧐 What could be better:

      • Too many coaches to choose from, and limited information about their validity
      • Coaching quality varies greatly, and the payment is processed by individual coaches (no money-back guarantee)
      • Some coaches charge outrageous amount of money ($500/session) for very little that they deliver
      • Proposal process is clumsy and very time-consuming

      ⭐  Overall Rating 4.2/5

      As one of the most widely recognized social media platforms for professionals, LinkedIn is a trusted company for many career-related matters. Although their coaching platform was a bit clumsy and seemed outdated, I could find some good coaches to choose from if I invested time and effort in finding one.

      📈 Cost

      LinkedIn works as a marketplace and does not verify or vet coaches they feature. The cost, therefore, reflects this marketplace nature. Every coach has a different price tag - some offer free consultation while some do not, and some charge outrageous amounts (I've seen the north of $500/hour from one of the featured coaches) while some charge as little as $20/hour. There was a weak positive correlation between the cost of a session and the quality of the coach, but there were many misses.

      🛡️ Tools

      LinkedIn didn't offer anything other than what it already offers as a platform. It was just a curated list of people who had "coach" in their title.

      📅 Flexibility

      So long as you’re willing to dig through five career coaching proposals at a time to find the right fit, LinkedIn technically offers some of the most flexibility out of any service I tried. That said, I really wish they did a bit more to make this process less time-consuming and frustrating when you don’t find the right match.

      🤓 Coach Quality

      Because of its reputation as a social hub for professionals, LinkedIn has attracted thousands of career coaches and industry experts—far more than pretty much all of its competitors. That said, this isn’t always a good thing. When you get a good match in your set of five proposals, you may have an excellent experience. When you don’t, you must either accept a less-compatible career coach or go through the proposal process again. When I went through this process, the overwhelming majority of proposals I received were cookie-cutter, automated responses that didn’t seem to consider my information whatsoever.

      📚 Results

      I tried 3 coaches from LinkedIn, and unfortunately, none of these worked out for me.

      🧑 Resources

      As a large platform, LinkedIn offers extensive self-service resources and 24/7 chat, email, and phone support. When trying to get help with career coaching, however, I struggled to get real, valuable answers. Instead, I just ended up combing through one automated email after another from different career coaches until I found one that fit.

      3.7/5

      ❤️ What I love about it:

      • Quick intake quiz to match you to coaches
      • 24/7 customer service

      🧐 What could be better:

        • Pricing information was very poorly advertised (hidden deep in the site)
        • Forces you to expensive subscriptions without any trial
        • Coaching quality varies greatly and is a hit-or-miss

        ⭐ Overall Rating 3.7/5

        Next to Jobtest.org, BetterUp was the company that gave me the most confidence in finding the coach that truly fits me. Their short onboarding quiz asked a few questions that narrowed down to match me with the right coach. Other than the fact that it forced me to choose an annual subscription, it was a good platform to consider.

        📈 Cost

        This was one of my biggest complaints. BetterUp forced me to purchase an annual subscription even before I had a chance to meet with my coach. During my coaching session, too, my coach was extremely salesy and even held back some information in an effort to get me to purchase a subscription, which was a major red flag for me.

        🛡️ Tools

        There was no other tool available other than scheduling and meeting with the coach.

        📅 Flexibility

        There were a lot of available slots to choose from. Scheduling was not an issue.

        🤓 Coach Quality

        Coach quality varied greatly from one another. I worked with two BetterUp coaches, and they were hit-or-miss. One was excellent while another was poor and inexperienced.

        📚 Results

        I ended up canceling my subscription after a couple of sessions because the progress felt artificially slowed down. Maybe they were incentivized to lengthen my subscription duration? I don't know.

        🧑 Resources

        No additional resources were provided to me.

        3.5/5

        ❤️ What I love about it:

        • Thorough biographies of every career coach
        • Flexible scheduling and pricing option

        🧐 What could be better:

          • Required my phone number to create a account an receive texts
          • Pricing was hidden and very unclear
          • Coaching quality was mediocre
          • The site was flagged as a potential scam - I would be cautious about sharing personal information with them

          ⭐ Overall Rating 3.5/5

          Bark's booking system was very simple and intuitive, and their coach bios were useful when choosing my provider. Overall, it’s a solid choice for those looking for online career coaching.

          📈 Cost

          Bark allows their coaches to set their own prices. On average, Bark cites an average price of around $135.00 per session.

          🛡️ Tools

          There was no other tool available other than scheduling and meeting with the coach.

          📅 Flexibility

          Once I received the right proposal from a career coach that matched my goals and preferences, the scheduling itself was very easy and flexible. Bark allows you to pay for each session individually, which meant I didn’t need to worry about meeting a set number of sessions each month.

          🤓 Coach Quality

          The coach I eventually chose from Bark’s platform was competent and professional, but I felt they lacked some of the dedication I’d experienced with other coaching services. I did, however, enjoy the biography pages included for every career coach on the site.

          📚 Results

          l didn't continue with any of Bark's coaches.

          🧑 Resources

          Bark offers surprisingly little outside of its career coaching sessions, but does allow you to find professionals for an enormous range of other tasks, from gardening to resume screening.

          2.9/5

          ❤️ What I love about it:

          • List of questions to ask coaches
          • Offer different services

          🧐 What could be better:

            • Website is poorly designed and ovewhelming
            • Pricing is unclear for all of its services
            • Seems to focus on helping employers more than employees

            ⭐ Overall Rating 2.9/5

            Rather than specializing in career coaching, the Muse offers a broad range of career resources, mostly geared towards employers. It allowed me to see what employers value and how I can advertise myself, but the core focus seemed a bit misaligned with what I was looking for.

            📈 Cost

            Pricing varies wildly depending on what you want to accomplish, but the Muse seems to be overall more expensive than most of its competitors. A simple 30-minute career Q&A, for example, costs $109.00, with packages and prices only rising from there.

            🛡️ Tools

            The Muse offers several different services and programs, from Q&A sessions with industry experts to resume consultations and career coaching sessions. While it’s common for coaching services to work with employers, it seems like this feature made up a larger portion of Muse's business model, so it may be less ideal for individuals.

            📅 Flexibility

            Because of the sheer number of services it provides, the Muse offers impressive flexibility that allows you to get exactly what you need to accomplish your goals. Whether you want a professional to review your LinkedIn page, need a quick conversation with an industry insider, or are looking for a long-term mentor, the Muse can help.

            🤓 Coach Quality

            The coaching quality from the Muse was average.

            📚 Results

            l didn't continue with any of Muse's coaches.

            🧑 Resources

            The Muse boasts an impressive number of services and tools, but almost all of these are paid rather than free in nature. Still, if money isn’t an issue for you, the Muse may have the most resources of any service on this list.

            2.5/5

            ❤️ What I love about it:

            • Some of the coaches were great
            • Pricing was clear and transparent

            🧐 What could be better:

              • Very expensive compared to other competitors
              • Questionable ROI (Return on Investment) due to high cost
              • Difficult to pause/cancel the membership

              ⭐ Overall Rating 2.5/5

              Compared to the other services on this list, Ama La Vida Career Coaching felt weirdly basic and impersonal. The membership was expensive, the cost structure didn't make sense, and the coaching quality was nowhere near what they were charging.

              📈 Cost

              Ama La Vida's coaching services range from $379 to $729 per month, depending on the number of sessions. They offer month-to-month memberships with no long-term commitments, but it was difficult to cancel.

              🛡️ Tools

              The eCoaching programs at Ama La Vida are advertised to have been designed to facilitate learning and development between sessions. These programs are rooted in evidence-based methodologies, including adult learning, positive psychology, and neuroscience, providing a robust framework for clients to achieve their career goals.

              📅 Flexibility

              Ama La Vida offers flexible coaching options, including the ability to switch coaches if needed.

              🤓 Coach Quality

              Ama La Vida coaches were notable for their professionalism, supportiveness, and expertise. They had some good coaches with whom I ended up working.

              📚 Results

              I made some career improvements and personal growth - I had to cancel because the pricing was too expensive.

              🧑 Resources

              Ama La Vida provides a wealth of resources, including group coaching sessions and access to a supportive community via Slack.

              Why I Chose

              Jobtest.org

              When I started my research, I expected my number one choice to be one of the larger, more recognizable companies. Instead, it turned out that the mass-market options usually cost more and did less to make you feel like a unique individual with specific needs.

              Jobtest.org, however, is a game-changer for anyone looking for a career coach/counselor. Rather than pushing medication or a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment, they work with you to develop a genuinely personalized care plan that takes your preferences into consideration. Beyond the excellent coaching sessions that I continue today, their process was one of the most detailed and well-structured ones that I experienced, and I felt like I actually got my money’s worth out of the process.

              If you’re looking for more support up-leveling your career, I’m sure many of the options on this list could be helpful. Still, Jobtest.org is my clear recommendation to anyone looking for the best care available.

              Thanks for reading!