Experienced a layoff? No matter if you’ve been the victim of a recession, downsizing, or change in strategy, the feeling is the same.
You’re bound to experience a swirl of emotions, then feel like quickly getting back in the game.
However, there’s reasons to let the dust settle on your new situation before taking action. Like any other business challenge, finding a job is a task best mapped out with a strategic, well-founded plan that addresses challenges head-on and ensures success for your search.
Here are some post-layoff steps that can save you valuable time (and stress):
1 – Rely only on TOP sources of career information.
Instead of taking every piece of job search advice online, go straight to reputable sources that supply you with executive search tips that REALLY work.
Recommended sources that possess a strong reputation in the careers industry include:
Job-Hunt.org: Among the most comprehensive sources of career know-how, Job-Hunt covers all areas of the job search, from researching employers, to writing a resume, developing a strong LinkedIn Profile, and making your way through the interview. You’ll find distinct sections addressing any question you could imagine, along with fresh job listings and high-value resources – making this site a must-read, first-stop destination in your job search journey.
Career Sherpa: Hannah Morgan has developed always-fresh, insightful tips on those topics no one else covers, such as how to really get the right traffic to your LinkedIn Profile or what to consider when you’re crafting a personally branded online profile.
Things Career Related: Bob McIntosh’s blog is a rich resource guiding you through the job search maze, while addressing your perceptions, emotions, and potential mistakes. Relying on Bob’s insight as a career counselor, the blog will take you on a lengthy journey through all phases of job search steps (including those you didn’t realize were critical).
2 – Get your resume in top form.
This goes without saying in today’s hotly competitive market, but nothing less than a masterpiece executive resume will truly launch your job search.
If it’s been more than a couple of years since you’ve created a resume, you’ll be surprised at how much has changed.
Where objective statements and Times New Roman font used to be resume standards, adhering to these old “rules” will actually drown out your voice among the crowd of candidates.
Resist the urge to merely update your old college resume, as this can backfire and make you look out of touch. Instead, take the time to craft a personally branded document that says everything you’d like an employer to know – up front.
By viewing current executive resume samples, you can also get an eyeful of the top trends in resume writing for today’s job market.
If you’re not sure how to create a compelling resume, get some expert help by tapping into credible sources for an executive resume writer, such as the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, Career Directors International, or the National Resume Writers’ Association.
3 – Create a plan of action – one that DOESN’T have you on the computer all day.
It’s a fact that plum jobs rarely make it to the Internet, simply because most companies prefer to hire referrals and professionals they know from networking relationships. So how do you become one of “those” people?
First of all, be sure to automate your job search by using a job aggregator website like Google For Jobs, where the data comes from many sources (LinkedIn, Indeed, specialty job boards) for your search. This will free up your search time for more valuable activities.
Next, get out and tap your network – or rebuild one if yours has been eroded over time. Spend time meeting other professionals within industry associations, or create new relationships with insiders using LinkedIn.
Contact recruiters to find out if they’re sourcing candidates with your expertise and credentials. Read up on how to get referred and take these steps to heart.
If not, look carefully at whether you can gain additional skills during your job hunt, perhaps by taking a class or enrolling at college to finish that degree. You can even tap into free training from LinkedIn to boost your marketability.
Most important of all, remember that a very low percentage of job seekers find their next role online and the relationships and networks you build will be the best insurance against a long period of unemployment. Get onto LinkedIn and build a robust Profile, start engaging with others to become memorable, and stay reasonably active to maintain your visibility.
Build a target list of employers likely to need your expertise and then research (using the resources in Step #1) methods of getting in touch with them… BEFORE they post a job. This is what is meant by the “hidden job market.”
In summary, it’s up to you to take crucial steps to ensure your success during the job hunt, while tapping into executive search resources that can save you time, effort, and frustration.