Free advice for jobseekers just a phone call away

December 27, 2011 (CHICAGO)

It is an annual tradition that helps jobseekers across the country.

The firm has been doing this free call-in for 26 years. It continues through Wednesday. (Call (312) 422-5010 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 28)

In recent years, there has been more need and interest in getting professional job placement advice. The lines were jammed at times Tuesday.

Thousands of people are looking for advice to land a job got help via phone. The outplacement firm is offering free advice in a two-day nationwide call-in event.

Career coaches and consultants -- even the CEO himself -- spent time helping job seekers better hone their skills. Some caller says they find themselves overqualified for open positions.

"You have to then convince them that you want to stay," said John Challenger, Challenger, Gray and Christmas. "That you'll fit in. That you'll get along with the boss and not be threatening to him or her."

Some are reluctant to network, saying they are embarrassed to share their search with others.

John Challenger says looking for a job is the time put aside ego and emotions.

"Let your mind conquer your emotions," said Challenger. "The more people who know, the sooner, the better the job you'll find."

Jobseekers find themselves in a very competitive job market. Getting an interview may mean doing an interview with multiple people, a panel interview.

"Take a deep breath and think about what are they asking when it comes to your skills and expertise and what you can do for each of them," said Sterling Gunn, Challenger, Gray and Christmas.

Career consultant Gunn says look at the interview from the employers perspective: They want to know how you handle stress and how you can help the company, especially when it comes to saving them money.

"If you can show how you saved money, cut costs, been resourceful, that's an edge you'll have on a lot of people," said Gunn.

Coaches will be back taking calls Wednesday. The number for the call-in is (312) 422-5010. It's available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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