After all, there is more to this process than most think, even those that have been through this several times.
See if this sounds familiar. It’s Thursday afternoon and your boss approaches, be it your office or the plant floor, and informs you that the company has experienced a slow down and regretfully you’re being laid off. So the first thing you need to deal with is the emotional cycle… stunned, mad and depressed, not necessarily in that order. There is some excess adrenaline for a few days so don’t waste time.
First, get your finances in order. Most of us don’t have enough cash on hand to pay the bills for the next 6 to 12 months. Don’t wait until it is too late to cut the extras. Figure out your current expenditures, prioritize them and dump the ones you don’t need. This is temporary you can live without some of the fluff. Dining out, movies, golf (maybe not golf… yes golf too).
Now get ready to go to work, full time. You may be putting in some overtime as well, because looking for a job may be more time consuming than your job was.
I don’t want to get too deep into the whole skills evaluation thing, but suffice to say, you better know what you are good at and be able to convey that to a potential employer! Enough said about that. What I want to emphasize is the nuts and bolts of the job search and what’s important.
1. Know and make a list of the companies in your region where you are a good “fit”, whether it is because of what they make or how they make it. We’ll get back to this.
2. Make a list of all the people you know that are influential, smart and connected. Be prepared to ask them for help and tell them of your plight.
You will be answering ads as well so get ready to keep some accurate records (Please don’t send your resume to the same person multiple times unless there is a specific reason and if there is, say it.) and write a “perfect” resume…resumes. Probably half of the resumes I see have typos and/or formatting problems. We won’t even talk about the ones that are just plain ugly. Seek help if you need it.
Now get ready to market yourself.
Send your resume and a cover letter to the companies that are your best fit. Research every single company thoroughly and send your resume to the appropriate person, not necessarily the HR manager. The cover letter should be focused on what you have done that is relevant to what they are doing, so you better know what they are doing! Try to find something out about the person that will receive your resume and work it into the cover letter. AND, make sure you send a resume that highlights the skills that fit this particular organization.
Now repeat this process for the relevant ads you can find online and in print. Remember, Refine your resume as needed and send a cover letter that reflects your knowledge of their company, the recipient of the letter and how you can be of value to them. Do not take shortcuts! Do you home work.
In addition, be prepared to call, visit, or write to anyone and everyone you know asking them if they have any advice for your job search or if they know anyone you should talk with. Thank you notes for all of these people are appropriate! And, follow their leads and advice.
So where was I going with this…Oh yes. What is the most important part of the job hunt; the resume, cover letter, research, the way you dress, budgeting, follow through, or persistence.
All of it! No shortcuts, no mistakes, don’t get lazy and do not give up!