How To Adjust Your Job-Search Strategy

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<strong>Boston &mdash; Feb. 7</strong><br />With higher unemployment, growing concerns about the economy and greater competition for fewer available openings, people need to adjust their job-search strategies, according to ClearRock, an outplacement and executive coaching firm.<br /> <br />&ldquo;To be successful, job seekers need to increase their job-search activity, as well as make other necessary adjustments,&rdquo; said Annie Stevens, managing partner with ClearRock.<br /> <br />Among the changes people need to make in a more competitive job-search climate are:<br /> <br /><ul><li><strong>More face-to-face meetings.</strong> &ldquo;People need to have more face-to-face meetings with networking contacts and recruiters &mdash; rather than only over the phone &mdash; in order to uncover more information and make a better impression,&rdquo; said Stevens.</li><li><strong>Stepped-up job-search activity.</strong> &ldquo;The numbers of letters and phone calls also need to increase,&rdquo; said Greg Gostanian, managing partner with ClearRock. &ldquo;A target should be up to 40 phone calls a week and between 15 and 20 letters to prospective employers, recruiters and others. While it&rsquo;s important to keep quality in mind in developing your contacts, there&rsquo;s no question that part of this process is a numbers game. In a slower economy, job seekers need to better their odds by making more contacts.&rdquo;</li><li><strong>Willingness to be more flexible.</strong> &ldquo;Candidates should be more flexible about such issues as receiving contract or project work, part-time employment and being hired at a less-than-desired starting salary,&rdquo; said Stevens. &ldquo;The objective should be to obtain work from an employer. Get on board, and then show what you can do and how you can help achieve their goals and objectives.&rdquo;</li><li><strong>Readiness to relocate. </strong>&ldquo;Fewer candidates today are willing to move to other locations for jobs, so those who are open to relocating for a new job increase their chances for success,&rdquo; said Gostanian. &ldquo;When you expand the geography where you are willing to live, you have a bigger playing field and a greater number of opportunities.&rdquo;</li><li><strong>Scour the &ldquo;hidden job market.&rdquo;</strong> &ldquo;In a good job market, only about 20 percent of available positions are ever advertised or posted. In a slower economy, fewer jobs than that are advertised or posted because employers don&rsquo;t want to be inundated with resumes from larger numbers of candidates. Job-seekers will have to dig deeper into uncovering unadvertised positions through networking and making more direct contacts with potential employers,&rdquo; said Stevens.</li><li><strong>Less reliance on Internet job boards and help-wanted ads.</strong> &ldquo;Applying for jobs on Internet job boards and posting your resume on career Web sites should still be part of an overall job strategy, but job seekers should spend a lower overall percentage of their time on these methods,&rdquo; said Gostanian. &ldquo;Fewer job openings mean more people are chasing advertised and posted positions.&rdquo;</li><li><strong>Locate and connect with contacts through social networking sites.</strong> Social networking Web sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace and Friendster, among others, &ldquo;are ways to reconnect with and reach out to potential networking contacts,&rdquo; said Stevens. </li></ul>

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