Relocation Spousal Support − Far Beyond Just a Résumé Service

Today’s post is a guest post by Erica Havenar, Client Relationship Executive with Impact Group, a global provider of career transition and talent development solutions.

Eighty percent of relocating employees today are moving with a spouse or partner, and 79% of married or partnered employees are dual-career couples. Our Pre Decision survey data also uncovers telling demographics on these spouses: 31% have Master’s degrees or higher, and 91% plan to work in the new location following the move.

As long as employers offer career opportunities to their employees across the country, or globe – kitchen tables will continue to host very real family conversations.  There, families discuss, imagine, protest, explore and/or confirm that the move is the right one, worth the likely risk of losing a secondary income stream. [And of course the local comforts of so much more.]

Recognizing the special needs of dual-career families is crucial. However, with the right information, understanding and support, employers can uncover ways to help inspire the relocation offer accept. And  the benefits don’t end there. Once the employee [and family] has accepted and landed in the new location, this spousal/family support will remove the distractions that impede employees from adjusting and remaining productive − saving companies an average of 130 hours/employee in the first six months following a move.

As well, this support helps to protect the overall mobility investment with the price tag of an unsuccessful domestic relocation coming in at more than $200,000,[an unsuccessful international, over $1,000,000]. 

It Should Be Already Clear

But spousal support goes far beyond just a résumé. It is a common misperception that with all the online job board sites like,,, etc., that new jobs are at a trailing spouse’s fingertips. Whereas we see that it can be overwhelming and confusing for job seeking spouses to know where to start, especially when they are unfamiliar with the local market.  Basic support programs that offer résumé assistance are a good place to start, but there are often many other challenges to address to ensure a successful transition… and depending on the job level the spouse is seeking, there are certain job search tactics significantly more successful than the “Apply Online.”

And our consultants don’t help jobseekers get to the “top of the pile” – they help jobseekers get in the door before the pile has formed. Through established networks, connections and a feed of unpublished listings, our job search strategies keep spouses from getting lost in applicant limbo.

Job Search Today

The job search has changed dramatically in the last decade. For spouses who may not have had to look for a job in the past ten years, a dedicated, one-on-one career consultant can help them stay ahead of the curve through a personalized needs analysis and proactive advice and guidance on interview preparation, negotiating and targeted networking. In addition, cutting-edge spousal support programs will offer an online portal to real, relevant job leads, company analysis, market segment research and tools to manage contacts and opportunities.  Those who utilize similar resources through IMPACT Group land their new job nearly 22 weeks faster on average than the national rate (36.6 weeks according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

“My coach was key in preparing me for difficult situations such as being asked your prior salary. Without practicing that, as well as my presentation/transition statements with my coach, I know I would have struggled in my interview process. I was hired in at a significantly higher salary than was originally budgeted for the position. I am certain this is because of my preparation and skills answering their questions. Thank you!”

It’s Not What You Know

It’s who you know. In 2012, 92% of those hiring use social networks or social media to support recruitment efforts, according to the Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey. Of those, 89% have made a hire through LinkedIn.

If used properly, LinkedIn can help identify key decision makers with potential employers and provide online real estate to sell professional skills. Dedicated career consultants can help job seeking spouses learn how to properly navigate LinkedIn in order to best find ways to attract, engage and truly relate to others, as well as build a competitive online brand through profile optimization. However, it’s important to remember that these tools aren’t meant to replace the basic interactions of a job search, including well-written résumés and cover letters. Building connections and maintaining relationships online and offline are keys to job search success.

Fork in the Road

During the job search, it’s important to remind job seekers to stay positive. There are many options while out of state to keep their résumés current, such as volunteer opportunities, advanced schooling or professional organizations. In addition, the move also presents an opportunity for the significant other to re-evaluate his or her career and explore entrepreneurial opportunities. Spousal support programs with a thorough assessment of relevant background, experience, skills and education will identify realistic career goals, measure marketability and accelerate strategic career planning.

“With your help, I am able to move forward and think outside the box in regards to employment. I am applying for additional opportunities feeling confident and positive. I know I would still be upset and frustrated if I didn’t have your support accessible to me.”

Specializations, Certifications & Licenses

With some professions a spouse or partner simply may not be able to obtain a job in the new location right away. Teachers, lawyers and pharmacists typically have a difficult time immediately practicing in other states due to the required certifications or licenses in their fields. Certifications and licenses for these professionals can vary from state to state, but gaining the proper paperwork to practice in a new location can be a time-consuming process and can even require the significant other to take a test for re-certification. Comprehensive spousal support programs will research options in any field for the spouse and help with registration when considering re-testing.

Changing careers is never easy, but getting the resources − résumé support and career consulting, personalized research and social media guidance − necessary to begin a job search in a new community can go a long way in creating a smooth transition. Because companies invest in their top tier talent as the future of their organization, they also know it’s critical to protect that investment. By providing the comprehensive support needed during a relocation transition, a company does more than gain immediate productivity and family morale returns, the organization fosters long-term employee retention.

With courtesy from IMPACT Group |  

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