Your Employer has just informed you that they are eliminating your position (whoosh… the sound of the air getting knocked out of you). Your life has changed in an instant. Now what? Where do you begin with the job search process?
Start by taking some time to get over the shock and let the news settle. Even when you have an idea that it might be coming, your mind needs time to process everything.
Once you have sorted through the emotions involved with losing your job, it is time to attack your job search. Here are a few helpful tips that can help make the process more bearable, and will yield better results:
The Resume: In today’s world most people have some type of resume put together. If you do, it is time to find it, dust it off and add any necessary updates. If you do not, writing your resume should be your first step. There are many websites out there that give advice as to how a resume should look, and read, use these sites as a tool to help you set up your resume in a standard format. There are many schools of thought as to how a resume should look, and remember most times a recruiting agency looks at hundreds of resumes per day, so make your skills visible and easy to read. Using key words from a job description is a helpful tool to get your resume noticed. Make sure to proof your final version multiple times, your resume is your first impression when job hunting, you want to avoid any errors.
The Job Boards: Once you have your resume it is time to get it out there! Set some time aside each day to look at the job boards (Monster, CareerBuilder, etc.) and submit your resume to positions that are a match for what you are looking for. Post your resume on these boards as well, as employers and recruiters often search these databases for candidates. Avoid blasting your resume to every open position. Although it may seem like it would yield a better result, no one wants to waste their time looking at candidates that do not meet the requirements. How often does an accountant get hired as a bio-physicist?
Network, Network, Network: I cannot stress enough, the importance of networking as a component of your job search. Reach out to those around you and let them know that you are looking. Many times someone in your network may know of an opportunity that you may not have access to otherwise. Employers are also more likely to consider a candidate if they come recommended from a friend or colleague. Use professional networking websites such as LinkedIn, to help you with this process. On these sites you can create a profile that allows you to connect to other professionals in your field– these connections can often lead to job opportunities. Remember when networking for job search purposes that people cannot help you if they do not know that you are looking. With this said, also be respectful of the persons time and don’t expect more from your connections than they are willing to do. Always be thankful for their help.
Follow up: Once you have submitted a resume, if possible, you should follow up on the status of the resume. A short phone call to confirm that the organization received the resume and the status of the position is all that is needed. Often times this gets the organization to pull up your information to take a look. You do not want to be a pest, as calling every day and asking a lot of questions will hurt, not help you.
Research Your Online Presence: One of the first things that a hiring manager will do is google your name. Have you done that yet? Checking out an applicants presence on the web is an ever increasing method of screening candidates. Services like brand-yourself.com can help you manage your ‘online reputation’. If you are non-existent on the web, they will help you create a presence.
These are the basics for beginning your search, and you will find what works best for you as you go along. Remember, looking for a new job is a job in itself, so having a plan and dedicating time to it each day will certainly raise your chances of success.