Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Unemployed: Now What?

As your MatchGirl promised in Monday's post, a few helpful hints about what you should do when you're newly laid off and looking for a new position.

Of course, gentle readers, this is not a definitive step by step to finding a new job. Your MatchGirl doesn't have that sussed yet herself. A week and a half of unemployment is still pretty new ... but here are some tips that will certainly set you on the right track.

Make sure your social media profiles are up to date. More and more HR pros are turning to LinkedIn to research candidates, so make sure that your profile is 100% filled in - with tags on your strengths and your most recent accomplishments listed.

Do the same to the resume you'll send as an attachment.

Start connecting. LinkedIn, email, Facebook ... wherever you know people professionally, start reaching out. Don't be embarrassed about losing your job - unless you really really messed up. We've all been in your shoes and people, in your MatchGirl's experience, are almost always willing to lend a hand. You've just got to ask for it. So, whether that means a recommendation from your former boss, asking someone in your industry to keep an ear to the ground for you, or reaching out to a former mentor and seeing if they have some time to talk with you, you need to do it.

Take meetings that have no promise of an open position or a job at all. It doesn't hurt to get out and see what else is out there. If there is a place you'd love to work and someone there has some time to chat with you, jump on that. If a job at that company doesn't come out of it right away, at least you've made a new connection, at that company and in your industry.

Don't mope. Sure, use this extra time to catch up on Mad Men before the series 5 premier, to run errands in the middle of the day, but don't sit around and do nothing. Reach out to former colleagues. Sign up for meetups and networking events. Put yourself out there and keep doing it.

In the economy, especially, it's a town of warm leads. A recommendation from someone who can vouch for you is worth a lot more than the right words on your resume.

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