To help those struggling to land a job, global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. will suspend normal business operations for two days so its staff of professional job-search coaches can provide free advice to callers from across the country.

The firm’s 32nd annual national job-search call-in will be held on December 27 and 28, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT. The telephone number is 312-422-5010. Job seekers may find more information about the call-in at the firm’s website (

As an outplacement firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas provides job-search training and transition counseling to individuals who have been laid off. The firm’s services are typically available only to those who receive outplacement benefits from their former employer. The two-day call-in is the only time the general public can take advantage of Challenger’s job-search expertise.

According to CEO John Challenger, searching online job boards and sending out ‘hundreds of resumes,’ is not going to cut it in this job market. It is critical to aggressively build and take advantage of one’s professional and social networks in order to uncover the hidden job market and gain entry into the recruiting process through back channels.

“Sometimes, all it takes to jump-start a job search is some insight from a third party. It helps when that third party is a job-search professional. The coaches fielding these calls are experts in how to land a position and advance your career,” said Challenger.

“As much as we would like to, our call-in is not intended to place callers into open jobs. Nor can our coaches review callers’ resumes or point them toward specific opportunities. What they can do is help callers with networking strategies and interviewing techniques; provide advice on how to answer employer’s questions about a long absence from the workplace or a termination; or suggest ways to uncover the hidden job market,” added Challenger.

“In the past, we have fielded calls from recent armed forces veterans about ways to translate their military experience for private-sector employers. We have helped older job seekers overcome doubts about finding employment ‘at their age.’ We have provided advice to stay-at-home parents re-entering the job market after several years of child-rearing. We have helped recent college grads, and advised those who may have something on their permanent records preventing them from getting a job. Our coaches will help in any way they can in the short time they have to interact with the individual,” said Challenger.

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