The Value of Job-Hunting Support

Study shows professional help may increase salary offers

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Although there are a variety of services available to help job seekers, many people don’t seek them out because they’re overwhelmed, embarrassed, or frustrated by how much the job market has changed, says Audra Bohannon, principal at Global Novations in Waltham, Massachusetts. “Emotionally you’re not in the best place, and so you tend to retreat—and that’s the worst thing you can do.”

A recent survey by Right Management, a talent management firm, found that those who enlist professional services in their job search tend to receive salary offers that are equal to or higher than their previous salary, unlike those who go through the process alone. It makes sense, Bohannon explains. “Outplacement services give you a space to strengthen your voice around finding employment. They give you services to help you strengthen your résumé; they give you an opportunity to practice interviewing. They put you in a space of action and provide access to resources. They give you structure [so that] you can assess your progress.”

Data on more than 82,000 job seekers who enlisted outplacement services since 2008 show that 73% were offered a new position and salary that matched or exceeded their previous salary. According to the Labor Department, more than half of those who lost their jobs between 2009 and 2011 took jobs that offered lower pay; one-third accepted pay cuts of 20% or more.

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