Jump-Start Your Job Search After a Layoff

Bounce back from a layoff with a targeted job-search strategy.

As with any loss in your life, a layoff – especially if it’s unexpected – is bound to bring up a sea of different emotions in its wake. The key is to acknowledge these feelings and then move on. Dwelling on the layoff and what you could have done differently is counterproductive – it won’t change the past and will inevitably make it more difficult to move forward with your search.

Here are five tips to help you bounce back from an unexpected layoff:

Take a deep breath … then dive in!

It’s healthy to give yourself a few days to come to terms with your current situation. Then it’s time to take a deep breath and jump into your job search. The sooner you can begin the process, the sooner you can get your career back on track!

Set your strategy

Begin by taking stock of your career to date. What are you great at and passionate about? Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? By going through this exercise you’ll have a clearer picture of what role you need to pursue now to put you on the path to meeting your longer-term career goals.

Build your brand – off and online

As a job seeker, you need market your skill sets and experience on and offline to support your job goals. Update your resume – or seek out the services of a professional resume writer – to highlight your relevant work experience and accomplishments, and upload it to relevant job board. Build an online professional profile on sites such as LinkedIn to align with your resume, and increase the security settings on personal profiles that you don’t want recruiters or prospective employers to see.

Nurture your network

You are 10 times more likely to land an interview when you have an employee referral with your application. However, to get these coveted referrals, you need to grow your network of contacts. Reconnect with former colleagues, vendors, and clients, and seek out industry-specific events to attend. Don’t discount your personal network, especially the social butterflies who are more likely to introduce you to valuable contacts. Don’t go in asking for a job – seek information and introductions. Look for opportunities to pay it forward to your connections.

Opt for optimism

A successful job search requires a positive state of mind. No one wants to hire someone who appears desperate or negative. Whether you’re attending a networking event or interviewing with a prospective employer, it’s important to exude confidence and optimism. If asked about your former employer, be tactful when discussing the situation, and then bring the conversation back to how you can provide value to your next employer.