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Recently Laid Off? Here’s What to Do Next!

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

In the fall of 2022, several large tech companies, including Meta, Twitter, Amazon, HP, and Cisco (amongst others), announced they either have or will collectively be laying off thousands of employees between now and 2023. If you happen to be one of those people, here are some tips on how you can keep your skills fresh, make yourself more marketable, and decrease the length of time you are unemployed.

Update Your Resume

Before you can start applying for jobs, you must first make sure you have an updated resume. Typically, it is best practice to always have an up-to-date resume so that in the event you are no longer employed you don’t have to spend too much time working on it. Here are a few things you can do to freshen things up:

Add keywords: Adding keywords to your resume in relation to the jobs you are targeting will increase your chances of getting reviewed for a role. Both ATS (applicant tracking system) and recruiters will filter candidates based on specific keywords. For example, If I am a recruiter and I am looking for an IT Project Manager who has worked on HRIS-based projects, I will search specifically for candidates who have HRIS-related experience listed on their resume. Having the right keywords listed on your resume will help expose you to many more opportunities.

Check your formatting:

  • Make sure your font is professional and easy to read. Arial, Georgia, and Helvetica are all great choices. Section headers should be between 14 and 16pt, while content should be between 10 and 12pt.

  • Double-check your margins. They should be set to 1” on all sides.

  • Make sure your heading is up-to-date (contact info, LinkedIn profile, address, etc.)

  • Read over your resume and check for any spelling and grammatical errors, as well as for any unnecessary spacing.

Update your work history: This should be a given but add your most recent role to the top of your work history. If you are currently unemployed, all bullets/sentences should be written in the past tense.

Update everything else: Be sure to include any new skills you have obtained, achievements/awards, volunteering, hobbies, etc.

Reach Out To Your Network

Update your LinkedIn profile: Go to your settings and mark yourself as “Open to Work.” This will show your network, companies, and recruiters that you are looking for a new position. In addition, you can curate a post to promote that you are looking for a new role. You can either keep it simple or include a few details, but just remember to keep it professional and easy to read. Here is an example of a post from an individual that was recently laid off:

“Hello, LinkedIn! I was recently laid off and am now looking for a new position. I have 8 years of experience working as a Project Manager in the financial services space. If anyone is aware of any opportunities that I may be a good fit for, I would greatly appreciate you reaching out! #opentowork

Make some calls: There’s an old saying, “It’s not about what you know, it’s who you know,” and this is often very true. Call up your friends and past colleagues to catch up, network, and see if they are aware of any opportunities. You never know!

Get those references ready: It’s good to have references prepared and ready to go. Some hiring managers are starting to check references earlier on in the hiring process. While legally hiring managers can only ask certain questions, it always helps to have someone who will speak highly of you!

Start Applying to Positions

Most employers are posting open positions on sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor. A good rule of thumb is to apply for 2-3 positions per day or 15+ per week. Most job boards will also allow you to set up notifications for jobs that meet your criteria so that you know as soon as these opportunities become available, allowing you to be one of the first to apply.

Get Certified

If you have recently been laid off, chances are you now have lots of unexpected free time on your hands. Use this time wisely and earn a certification that can help you stand out to hiring managers, increase your knowledge, and increase your income! Research what certifications may be beneficial to your career.

A few popular examples are:

Take A Breath

Getting laid off is not fun, but it is also not the end of the world. With persistence and time, you will find a new job.

To recap, if you:

  1. Update & proofread your resume

  2. Network

  3. Apply for 2-3 jobs each day, and

  4. Educate yourself

you will find employment! And remember, while finding a job is your top priority, always make time for your family, get outside, and take care of yourself.

If you want some help in your job search, we’re here for you! Check out our open positions and apply today.

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