Professionals lacking professional connections could find themselves increasingly overlooked when hiring managers depend upon their colleagues to find candidates they can trust. This is somewhat reflected in the increase of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls "discouraged workers" - the number has jumped by more than 300,000 since October of 2008. The BLS notes that discouraged workers include individuals who think no work is available, lack schooling or training, or feel they were discriminated against. What that number does not include, though, is candidates who are voluntarily attempting to take a different direction in their careers. With the dearth of management positions available, laid-off middle managers attempting to find jobs in the technical fields where they got their start are being told no when all they want is a job - any job. "For those candidates," Dr. Heasley said, "personal networking is even more important. Networking through the web can be a start, but nothing replaces picking up the phone or setting up a face-to-face meeting if you want to make an impression."
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