Rebounding After Being Laid-Off

Being laid off can be devastating, but don’t just wallow in the experience. Bouncing back begins with assessing your job skills and targeting the employers who want your skill set. Here are 10 tips for getting back on your feet:

1. Consider whether yours was a wrongful termination. If you think getting fired was for a reason you can fight in court, consult with a lawyer about your rights.

2. If being laid off was simply because tough times meant your employer needed to downsize, focus instead on moving on. Start by assessing your job skills. If you have a college degree, what is it? What skills did your education give you and what skills did you learn on the job?

3. Study the local market. What kind of employers would benefit from your skills? Consider employers who have jobs just like the one you lost, but also consider employers in different fields who would also benefit from your skills.

4. If necessary, consider the market outside your geographic area. Use the Internet to search for jobs in nearby cities, in telecommuting arrangements or perhaps in farther away regions.

5. Prepare your resume. Add your most recent employment and make sure to list your skills. Then make two versions -- one to print out and mail to employers and the other to convert to a PDF file to attach to electronic job submissions.

6. Write cover letters for the job applications. Make sure to address each to the specific person who makes the hiring decision. If you don’t know who that is, call the employer’s human resources office and ask.

7. Once a couple of weeks have passed, call the human resources office and ask whether the company is interviewing for the position. If not, ask for an approximate date by which you might be notified whether you qualify for an interview.

8. When you get the appointment to interview, do your homework. Find out everything you can about the company and about the person who will be interviewing you. The Internet is a great resource for this. Be prepared to show you know the basics about what the company does and its history, but also bring a question or two to show you are interested in learning more. Also be ready to explain how your skills would make you a valuable employee.

9. When you leave the interview, ask about how long the interviewer will take to make a decision. If that time passes, call to touch base.

10. Stay positive. If you don’t get hired after your first interview, don’t give up. Bring the same energy to each new interview and eventually you’ll find the job meant for you.

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