If there’s one lesson the recession has made painfully clear, it’s that no one is immune from layoffs. The worst part? Many workers are blindsided when the ax falls. Coping with sudden job loss isn’t something they teach you in college or in any professional training program. There are, however, some strategies you can employ to stop being lost and take control.
Here are six tips to get over a layoff and back on the job:
1. Take a Few Days to Chillax
While it’s hard to even think about taking a break when worrying about so many other details, feeling overwhelmed will make your job search even more difficult. No one deserves to be laid off, but everyone deserves a break to refresh and refocus.
2. Get What You’ve Paid Taxes for
Apply for unemployment. Contact your COBRA, outplacement services and any other resources that might be available to you.
3. Kick off the Search
Look at job descriptions on job boards to understand the marketplace and where your skills might fit in, which you need to know to develop a breakthrough resume. If you haven’t already done so, create a job board account and save job listings you think are the best fit for you. Identify skills in these job postings, and make sure those skills are listed in your resume. The job posting can also give you insight into salary ranges, corporate values and more, so remember to use the posting itself as a critical tool in your job hunt.
4. Reinvent Your Resume
Anything you need to know about writing a resume — including industry-specific resume advice — industry-specific resume templates as well.
5. Create a Networking Strategy
Get out the contact list. As this article recommends, put each person into a tier of your formal networking plan. Your first tier will include the people you know best — such as current and past colleagues and managers as well recruiters with whom you have an established relationship.
Tier Two is your secondary network — individuals who know what’s happening within a particular business community or have clients who may be interested in your talent. Don’t limit yourself. Think of everyone you know, including family and friends. Sometimes, the most unlikely sources can help you get your foot in the door. Remember the most important concept about networking: Ask your contacts for help — not a job.
6. Hit the Job Market
Once you’ve identified your skills and refreshed your resume, start applying to positions that look like a good fit for your talents.
It takes more than luck to overcome a recent layoff. It takes a plan of action. And remember that while you can’t control a layoff, you can control making that layoff pay off. Even in a challenging economy, people are still finding jobs. Those who have success stories of finding the perfect job or general tips and advice are invited to participate in Monster’s Success Stories community.
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