What’s the best way to rebound from a layoff?
Dave Sanford, an executive vice president with The Winter, Wyman Companies, one of the largest staffing firms in the northeastern part of the U.S. (www.winterwyman.com), offers these tips:
• Start networking immediately.
Keep current with all the professional contacts you’ve made throughout your career. Get in touch to let them know you are in the market for a new job, and speak with them about possible leads and any introductions they could make.
Also consider social networking sites to reconnect with people you have lost touch with. Networking is still the most effective way to get in front of the people who are hiring so make this activity a priority.
• Prepare an answer.
You will be asked why you left your former company and position. Make sure you have ready a concise statement that puts a positive spin on your circumstances. You must ask yourself the same question -- and be honest. Is your industry struggling? Is hiring cooling in your city or state? Is your vocation becoming obsolete? Do you need more training? The answers to these questions can help you aim your job search in the right direction.
• Take contract work.
Taking temporary work demonstrates to prospective hiring managers that you’re making an effort to stay employed and up-to-date on your skills. Many times, contract positions can lead to permanent ones. And it doesn’t hurt to be putting money in your pocket as you continue your job search.
• Get serious.
Out of work does not mean “on vacation.” Be disciplined about your search and treat it like you would a job. Set aside a structured amount of time each day and designate a quiet place to conduct your job search activities.
• Sell yourself.
You need to set yourself apart from the hundreds of other candidates. Why should an employer hire you? What is your “wow factor?” What makes you special? Make sure you research the company and the job and bring something extra to an interview. It also helps to practice. Have a friend or former colleague critique you so you can tweak your presentation.
• Follow up.
Don’t be afraid to make those follow-up phone calls and emails. Your persistence can pay off because you will be at the forefront of a hiring manager’s mind.
Marvin Walberg is a job-search coach based in Birmingham, Ala. For contact information, see marvin-walberg.com.