Updated: Nov 7, 2019
Layoffs occur in good and bad economies for all sorts of reasons, including mergers, acquisitions, outsourcing, and downsizing. While layoffs are outside of your control, you have enormous influence over how you prepare for a possible layoff. If you believe a layoff is looming in the future, there are several simple steps that you can take to put yourself in the best position to find a new job and to survive unemployment.
Update and Polish Your Resume
A resume is often a recruiter or hiring manager’s first introduction to you—and, as the old adage says, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Now is the time to take a critical look at your resume and ensure that it’s effectively communicating your skills, experience, and background, along with how hiring you will benefit a new employer.
A stand-out resume doesn’t merely contain all of your relevant information; rather, it conveys that information clearly and concisely to potential employers. Any “how to write a resume” article warns against the perils of typos and grammatical errors—a CareerBuilder study found that these were an instant deal breaker for 77% of human resource managers. Formatting also plays a key role in how your resume is perceived; that same CareerBuilder study showed that resumes containing long paragraphs of text would prevent 25% of human resource managers from interviewing an applicant while 17% won’t consider a candidate with a resume longer than two pages.
Proactive job seekers might benefit from hiring a resume writing service. Professional resume writers possess an in-depth knowledge of what it takes to create a resume that grabs the attention of hiring managers and recruiters. A recent study found that candidates working with a resume service such as SoCalResumes found jobs at a 32% higher rate than those going it alone.
Smart job seekers are always updating and polishing
their resume to keep it current.
Network, Network, Network
A recent survey found that 85% of open positions are filled through networking. In other words, if you want to land a position, you need to start engaging with—and growing—your professional network. You simply never know who has a lead on a great new career opportunity. Start small and reach out to your friends and family letting them know that you’re fearful of a layoff and starting to explore other opportunities. Next, expand your search by contacting past co-workers and managers and find out what they’re up to.
In addition to connecting with your existing network, make a commitment to expand your professional network. In today’s digital world, LinkedIn is a natural place to build your network. The LinkedIn Alumni Tool allows you to search the networks of members who went to the same school as you. Similarly, if there is a company you’re dying to work for, make sure you’re following them on LinkedIn. Also, consider connecting with some of that company’s employees on LinkedIn—just make sure to send a professional and personal message when reaching out to new contacts.
The most successful job seekers are the people who are continually building their networks—whenever you meet someone at a conference or professional event, make sure to get their contact information
and follow up with them afterward.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Layoffs can be traumatic and stressful, but panicking isn’t going to help you land a new job. If it looks like a layoff is coming, one of the best things you can do is start developing a job search strategy and keeping a positive attitude. After all, an energetic, enthusiastic, and positive candidate is going to resonate with employers a lot better than someone bitter about a layoff. If you start feeling tense about the future, check out our article Tips for Eliminating Job Search Stress.
You can also reduce the stress of job hunting by turning part of the process over to a professional. For example, hiring a certified resume writer will end the agony of crafting a winning resume and free you up to spend more time networking.
Look at a layoff as an opportunity. Have you ever wanted to explore a different field? Have you dreamed of relocating? Wanted to start your own business? If so, a layoff might be just the push you need to
start pursuing your dreams.
Build a Budget
Money and financial security is a primary stressor of unemployed workers, so use the time leading up to a potential layoff to prepare yourself for a reduction in income. Take simple steps like avoiding large purchases and cutting back on unnecessary expenses. Also, start tucking away money in a rainy day fund, experts advise having enough saved to cover between three and six months of expenses.
If you feel like a layoff is coming, a side hustle is an excellent way to bolster your savings, not to mention your resume and network. A 2017 study found that 44 million Americans have a side hustle, while a survey from the aptly named The Hustle found that the average side-hustler spends 11 hours per week on their secondary job—earning $12,609 per year.
Find out the possibility of working as a consultant or freelancer after a layoff. Often a company is enthused to have a person familiar with its programs and procedures work in a reduced role and it’s a source of income for you while searching for something more permanent.
Start Your Job Search Now
“A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.” –George S. Patton
The most forward-thinking professionals are always planning to take the next career step; consequently, they’re continuously updating their resume and building their networks. The majority of us don’t think about these things unless we need to, like when facing a possible layoff. Because of this, don’t delay—if you believe a layoff is about to occur, start taking the necessary steps toward securing a new job immediately, like with the creation of an attention-grabbing resume crafted by a professional resume writer from SoCalResumes.
One truth great resume writers know is that the best time to find a new job is when you already have a job.