Steps to Take Right after a Layoff to Land your Next Job
Our news is filled with reports of layoffs from technology companies, banks, and small businesses closing. No matter what your layoff looks like- whether you’ve worked for a company for ten months or ten years, whether you were notified by an impersonal email or with a compassionate sit-down conversation- it stings. For many of us, work is interwoven in our identities and how we contribute to the world, so when a company lays us off, the questions that fill our heads aren’t just, what will I do next? But how will I get another job? How soon can I get back to work?
There’s a flood of heavy emotions to ponder in the weeks that follow and it’s important to take the time to process them. It is also critical to take a few steps early on – ideally within the first 24 hours – because as time ticks, you’re distanced from the people, projects, and data that are invaluable in landing your next role, or you will create a fuzzy memory. So, you’ll want to do a few things to set yourself up to transition more quickly into an exciting new opportunity.
Collect your docs and data.
Your computer holds loads of information that can help you build a strong professional brand and present yourself as a promising candidate in the job search. It’s best practice to keep an ongoing “brag file” with key achievements somewhere you’ll always be able to access, please not on a work computer or account.
Here are a few things you should grab ASAP while you still have access to your work accounts:
- Your own Reports/data
- Clients, boss, senior leader, peer, and any other accolades
- Performance reviews
- Promotional recognition
- Results from impactful projects
- Network contact information
Think about eye-catching quantifiers that provide clear evidence of your successes. Do you have a report showing a marketing strategy you pitched that increased readership? By what percent?
Did your relationship-building skills increase revenue through sales or partnerships?
How much did you make for your company?
These numbers can strengthen your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile to help a reader see your scope of impact.
Then consider the voices behind your evidence. Why did your manager promote you? Why were you chosen to present a report to leadership? What was your reputation at work? Why did internal and external partners or clients request to work with you? These voices can be injected into your LinkedIn profile, cover letters, and interview responses. Ask your colleagues for reviews and referrals.
Create or join a group with your fellow laid–off coworkers.
Mass layoffs may ignite anxiety, but they offer a silver lining: You’re not leaving alone. A growing number of job hunters are jumping on Slack, Google Chat, Meet up groups and WhatsApp to form cyber huddles where they share job opportunities, connections, and empathy. The Job Forum is a place you can come to meet new people in business and get a new direction and advice for the search for your next role
These networking groups lead to:
- Significant increases in LinkedIn connections, and recommendations.
- Referrals that accelerate the job search process.
- Exposure to potential companies to add to their target lists.
- One-on-one conversations about the culture, work-life balance, and how others landed their job with that company you’re interested in.
Share with your LinkedIn Community
LinkedIn is a gold mine for networking. When the only thing you do on LinkedIn after a layoff is toggle your profile to “Open to work,” you’re not giving your network an opportunity to engage. Take action and add a post about your recent layoff and hopes for your next career step. This will set the stage for your LinkedIn network to like, share and send opportunities.
Those who promptly post about their layoffs have smoother transitions than those who don’t.
Here are a few tips for your LinkedIn profile:
- Tout your accomplishments.
- Clearly state what you want in your next role and the unique impact you’ll bring.
- Attach a reference letter.
- Tag connections at companies you’re interested in working for.
- Hashtag #OpenToWork, job titles of positions(s) you want, and the industry so that recruiters can find you easily.
Visit the Job Forum and reach out to a career coach.
Visiting The Job Forum will put you in the zoom meeting with other job hunters and with the volunteers who are managers from great local companies who come to The Job Forum for the purpose of helping you. The advice and group dynamic will energize you and the information you hear about will help you to do more effective job search
Attending The Job Forum and establishing a relationship with a career coach will help you feel supported and guided in a productive, forward-focused direction to:
- Update your resume.
- Develop a Target company list.
- Update your LinkedIn profile.
- Create a positive cover letter.
- Practice in a Mock Interview
- Build your confidence.
- Hold you accountable.
By Cindy Fassler, Job Forum volunteer and Career Coach