Kip Tips


Help for Job Seekers

Cameron Huddleston

Free advice will be available to help people increase their chances of finding work.



Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas will be providing free job-search advice to callers December 27 and 28. You can call 312-422-5010 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST both days.

This year Challenger, which has offered the call-in for the past 24 years, will have a group of job-search counselors dedicated to taking calls from former and current military members to help them make the transition from military service to the civilian workforce.

Although the unemployment rate rose last month to 9.6% from 9.5%, Challenger Chief Executive John A. Challenger says he is optimistic that the job market will improve steadily in 2011. During the call-in, counselors will offer job seekers strategies to help them increase their odds of getting hired when openings materialize, he says. Here are some tips from Challenger to help you get started. For more advice tailored to your situation, be sure to take advantage of the job-search call-in days.

Advertise your job loss. Start telling everyone you know that you're looking for work. You won't get any leads if you keep quiet about your job loss.

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Meet face-to-face with people in your network as often as possible -- for interviews or just lunch -- to discuss your skills and get advice from your contacts. E-mail may be an easy to stay in touch, but meeting face-to-face is more effective.

Contact the hiring authority, not HR. Call the company that has an opening and get the manager's name, so you can contact that person directly because he or she most likely will be making the hiring decision.

Seek interviews when others are not. Let the interviewer know you're willing to accommodate his or her schedule, even if that means meeting after hours or on a weekend.

Don't take a holiday from your job search because employers are hiring all the time -- even during the week of Christmas.

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