NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When Brian Ward got laid off from his $105,000 a year job as an analyst at an investment bank, he wasn't too worried about it at first.

"I took nine months off to travel the world with the savings I'd earned on the job," Ward told MainStreet.

But that was three years ago, and the 36-year-old still hasn't secured a new six-figure job.

"Had I known it would be this hard, I wouldn't have spent half my savings globe trotting," Ward said.

According to new data, the more money a worker earns prior to unemployment, the longer it takes to find a comparable job.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the average length of time it takes Americans looking for a six-figure job to land their next career position can be up to 24 months compared with the overall average of ten months.

"High level job seeking takes a different set of strategies than if you're searching for an entry level or mid-level position," said Tammy Kabell, CEO of Career Resume Consulting.

In order to be successful in securing a six-figure position in under 12 weeks, Kabell advises unemployed workers to send out up to 50 resumes a week to potential employers.

"It's a numbers game," Kabell said. "My most successful clients are those that can maintain a high level of activity until they find the right position. They keep their eye on the prize and make job searching their top priority."

Ward now is contemplating entrepreneurship. "It seems much more likely that I will succeed as a business owner than to find six-figure employment again," said Ward, a business school graduate.

Kabell advises not giving up and employing an action plan.

"In this job market, don't be surprised if you end up working for a company you've never heard of," Kabell told MainStreet.

To stand out from the crowd of white collar workers seeking to secure six-figure income, branding can help.

"I've discovered that when you are branded as an expert or have a certain expertise, you get more attention from employers and recruiters than if you are prospecting like any other candidate," Kabell said.

Tips for Creating a Career Brand

  • Using a one-page, skills-based resume instead of the usual chronologically based resume or CV.
  • Establishing a robust LinkedIn profile along with a compelling online resume to maintain consistent personal marketing messages.
  • Revert to old fashion techniques, such as mailing a paper copy of your resume to the person who would be your boss rather than submitting a CV online through a job board. "A hard copy of your resume will sit on someone's desk far longer than it would sit in their email inbox," Kabell said.
  • Write out a short, hand-written note in the margin of your resume. "It is much more personal and takes a fraction of the time to craft a cover letter," said Kabell.