December 29, 2009 | last updated March 24, 2012 8:18 pm

Strategies For A Tough Job Market

The economy may be showing signs of improvement, but it could be several years before the job market fully recovers, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

However, the outplacement firm said employment opportunities do exist for the smart, aggressive job seeker.

Since the beginning of the recession in late 2007, Challenger has tracked 2.5 million planned job cuts. The number of layoff announcements has "declined dramatically" in the second half of the year and the job market could see some improvement in 2010.

But it won't be easy for job seekers. "Those who find jobs are not going to do it by simply responding to Internet job ads," Challenger said.

The firm suggested that job seekers set specific objectives with reasonable deadlines, focusing on small steps like joining a professional association, or simply meeting 10 new people in one's field.

For those looking for promotion, the firm suggested focusing on the things that are within one's control. "Resolving to get a promotion requires your employer to take action. Resolving to keep your supervisor regularly updated on your accomplishments will help position you for a promotion."

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