The employment situation is slowly beginning to show signs of recovery. However, even as hiring accelerates in the coming year, the job market will remain competitive and difficult to navigate. To help the nation’s job seekers overcome the obstacles and improve their chances of success, global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas will suspend normal business operations on December 27 and 28 to provide free job search advice to callers from anywhere in the U.S.
The firm’s 25th annual two-day national job search call-in will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST both days. The telephone number is 312-422-5010. Job seekers can get more information about the call-in at http://challengeratworkblog.blogspot.com/.
A new component of this year’s call-in will be a group of job-search counselors dedicated to taking calls from current and former military personnel, including veterans, those approaching the end of their period of service, reservists and any other members of the military conducting a job search.
Those making the transition from military service to the civilian workforce face a unique set of challenges. Most of them possess all these great skills learned through their service, but many struggle to articulate how those skills translate in non-military careers. Additionally, many of these individuals have little experience conducting a traditional job search. The may have entered the service shortly after graduating high school or college and are now making their first foray into the civilian labor pool.
By dedicating a group of counselors to these callers, we will hopefully be able to ensure that military personnel are able to be connected quickly to someone who can help address their unique needs. After all, these men and women put their lives on the line in service of our country; the least we can do is try to get them to the front of the line, when it comes to providing job-search advice.
Despite the significant experience and skills gained through military service, unemployment among veterans remains relatively high. Overall, 8.6 percent of veterans 18 and older were unemployed in November, according to the latest non-seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is up slightly from 8.5 percent a year earlier. The youngest vets – those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan – are faring even worse than those who served in previous wars, with an unemployment rate of 10.0 percent in November. That is up from 9.6 percent in November 2009.
One of the most common complaints we hear from callers year-after-year is that they have sent out hundreds of resumes and responded to dozens of online and newspaper help-wanted ads and never hear back from anyone.
Unfortunately, simply posting resumes on Internet job sites and answering classified ads rarely work, even in a good job market. These activities are even less effective in a weak job market. Under current conditions, it is critical that job seekers expand their job search through networking. Job seekers may also want to consider expanding their parameters to include a wide variety of industries, companies and cities. Do not rule out companies that are struggling, as they are looking for talented individuals who can help turn around the business.