In today’s economy even the most diligent employees are faced with the possibility of an unexpected layoff. And while this experience can bring about feelings of futility, the last thing one should do when confronted by unemployment is abandon the hope of acquiring a new—and potentially even better—job. In other words, one’s ability to bounce back from a layoff says a lot about a person, and perhaps especially in the eyes of potential employers.
The first step in the journey to re-employment should involve updating your resume. If, like most newly unemployed individuals, you’ve neglected to keep detailed records of your educational background, work history, acquired skills, and achievements, it’s time to put in some serious time and effort. Your resume should paint a comprehensive yet concise picture of your qualifications, experience, and particular job strengths. And while it can be difficult to organize all of this into a summary format, a staffing agency can help you strike the perfect balance of clarity and description.
Once your resume is up-to-date, start networking. Via social media sites such as LinkedIn.com, you can put yourself out there and establish connections with peers in your field of expertise. Such sites also enable users to search for jobs, as well as allowing employers to search the resumes of individuals seeking employment. This is also an opportune time to review your Facebook, Twitter, and/or other social media accounts. Remember: it is not unprecedented for employers to run a Google search on prospective hires. This being the case, it is crucial that your online presence reflect decorum and professionalism.
You should also take advantage of face-to-face networking opportunities in your field. These can entail anything from informal lunch meet-ups to sponsored seminars, chamber of commerce events to professional conferences (many of which include job interview sessions exclusive to attendees). Activities such as these not only present a multitude of opportunities to network, but also offer attendees the chance to stand out from the crowd by contributing their own voices to ongoing dialogues concerning topics of importance in a given field. To stand out even more, bring some personal business cards—this will ensure that everyone you meet remembers your name.
As you become acquainted (or re-acquainted) with your field, research companies of interest and take advantage of opportunities to network with representatives of these businesses. Again, working closely with a staffing firm can be a great advantage, since many organizations use staffing firms exclusively to acquire new hires. A staffing firm can thus help you locate jobs within companies that do not advertise elsewhere, as well as aiding you in every step of the interview and hiring processes.
Undoubtedly, the experience of losing one’s job can make it difficult to get excited about immediately re-entering the employment market. But as tempting as it may be, don’t sit back and enjoy the severance pay until it’s gone. Instead, use your time to make yourself as marketable as possible.
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and contract employment placement services.