Job-Cut Victims Urged to Update Search Skills

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<p><strong>New York &mdash; May 27</strong><br />Just a few years ago, campus interviews put many people into the very firms that just let them go, observed Robert Graber, the founder of online recruiting firm </p><p>&ldquo;Those college interviews, coupled with the overall economic expansion at the time made it relatively easy to get situated,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Even second-job transitions were often facilitated as the result of an unsolicited contact by a recruiter, so this crop of recently laid off professionals have not had a traditional, across-the-desk, hiring/job hunting experience since they were wearing their first business suit at college.&rdquo;<br /><br />Graber offered some tips on job search re-education in today&rsquo;s tougher employment climate:<br /></p><ul><li><strong>The odds have changed.</strong> In the past, it was not unusual to get several employment inquiries and assume that these were just the tip of the iceberg, so you could be somewhat complacent about making a career decision. Now there are fewer firms looking to hire, so don&rsquo;t think that the first interview you get is just the start of many others. It may be the only one you get for some time.</li><li><strong>Different is better.</strong> You will now almost certainly be competing with many other similarly qualified candidates, perhaps even some from your own firm. Be sure to emphasize what makes you unique in your cover letter. Did you receive commendation for a particular assignment? Were you the lead person in a team? Have you published a paper or spoken as an expert in your field? </li><li><strong>A moving experience.</strong> Firms from out of the area may be the most interested in your background. Commuting costs have steadily escalated over the years, and you may be forced to relocate to minimize these expenses. Be prepared.</li><li><strong>No summertime snooze. </strong>Do not take time off from your job search during the summer. Network constantly. Prepare business cards with your name, e-mail, cell and home phone numbers to hand out when appropriate. Schedule your day to include research on potential employers, calling contacts and updating your profiles at alumni offices and trade associations.</li><li>And finally, &ldquo;If you haven&rsquo;t done so already, <strong>be sure your BlackBerry or iPhone answering message is current and professional</strong>,&rdquo; said Graber. &ldquo;It is easy to forget to update an older announcement, and with interviewing costs rising, you can be almost certain that the first contact you get from a new employer will be via the phone. Be certain your answering announcement reflects a corporate demeanor, and of course, be sure to respond promptly to any inquiry.&rdquo;</li></ul>

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