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  • David Still

Lost Your Job: What Now? The DOs and DON’Ts

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

By David Still - Surprise, you were just notified you were furloughed or downsized due to restructuring. Now what do you do?

Here are six DO's and six DON’T to consider:

Six DO's:

1. What job do you want to do going forward and what geographical locations are you considering?

This is a good time to evaluate if you wish to only pursue opportunities in your given profession or to also explore similar or parallel roles along the same expertise you have acquired. Also, are you only considering the same city or metro area you were employed?

Especially when working with a recruiter, you need to share that you are also interested in other cities or regions of the country.

2. Do you have the qualifications to get this job? (If not, what training is needed?)

If you have identified other roles you wish to pursue, take pause determining if you are currently qualified for the new role. If not, what training or classes will be useful in better equipping you for being hired into this different position?

3. Target employers aligning with your career direction.

Now that you have identified roles you wish to pursue, begin by developing a list of targeted employers. Do not limit yourself to only employers that have posted positions. Especially during these trying times, employers may not be spending their recruiting dollars on job postings, yet employers plan to hire as soon as the lock-down orders have been lifted.

4. Research through LinkedIn / Social Media for department heads and hiring managers.

Job network using social media tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Glassdoor, Yahoo Groups, Associations, Chamber of Commerce and even printed media. Not only will your research be helpful in highlighting employer expansions, but many times list a quoted executive interviewed for the news article. Reach out telling the executive how impressed you were with the article and the direction of their company. Try to make a meaningful connection.

5. Use digital messaging and direct mail achieving a personal introduction to the hiring managers.

Internet platforms, such as LinkedIn, provide the ability to send messages (InMail) to managers, even though you do not have their email address. This is yet another way to get the message out that you have interest in pursuing employment with their company. The norm witnessed today is to use an invitation to connect, then hit the executive with your resume once you connect and obtain their email address.

A better approach would be to view their LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn notifies manager that his profile was viewed by the manager. Wait a day or two, until LinkedIn notifies you that manager viewed your profile, then send an invitation. With your invitation, you will thank the manager for viewing your LinkedIn profile and will would be honored to add the manager to your LinkedIn network.

6. Update your LinkedIn Profile to reflect your recent availability, “Open to Opportunities.”

A common mistake by job seekers is making their LinkedIn profile show they are still employed. At least use the LinkedIn option “Open to Opportunities,” which informs recruiter that you are receptive to discussing a new employment opportunity.

Six Don’ts

1. Do not expect a “1-click” electronic resume submission resulting in a job interview.

Do not limit your resume submission to only a “Click to Apply.” In addition, use research tools such as LinkedIn, Yahoo Finance and Google Search in locating department heads and executives within the targeted employer. Consider using US Postal Service, also referred to as “Snail Mail”, to sent a letter directly to senior level decision maker. The executive will either be the right contact or will forward your resume to the appropriate department head for review.

2. Do not use the same resume for every job posting.

Never use a generic resume for every job application. Each resume submission should be customized to the job description. Corporate recruiters are matching up their job description against your resume to see how many word matches meet the qualifications. The recruiter will give your resume a quick viewing, so you need to make an impression in the first part of the resume.

3. Do not include references on your resume.

Years ago, this was a common practice including professional references at the bottom of the resume. At the time, it is assumed that the quality or level of the candidates reference would impress the resume viewer. Here is the problem with including professional references on the resume.

When including professional references on resume:

1) Agency recruiters may contact your references before their first phone call to the candidate.

2) Recruiters with the intent of pursuing candidate's prior employer as a new client, will complete a brief conversation with candidate, then immediately call the targeted reference regarding to build a new lead relationship. The issue here is a resume supplied professional reference became to focus of the agency recruiter and not the candidate's qualifications.

References should be considered very precious and should only be released after phone or onsite interviews. Reference checking by employers is the last step in considering and presenting an employment offer. That is the time to present reference names.

4. Do not have a LinkedIn profile that does not match or is inconsistent with your resume.

A common mistake by job seekers is not matching their resume to their LinkedIn profile. Dates do not match, prior employer is left out of resume or profile. These mistakes can cause the recruiter or manager to not move forward.

5. Do not leave out city and state on your resume.

Most frustrating to recruiters, is the candidate is not providing their city and state information. Include city and state where you are seeking employment or your primary residence. If you are considering relocation to another city, it may be good to have a family member or friend in the same city to allow you to use their local address. This will help in obtaining the initial interview. However, the employer may or may not cover the cost of flying you in for your onsite interview. And, in some cases, you may be required to pay your own relocation. This is not a bad idea if the employer provides a hire-on bonus to offset some of the relocation costs.

6. Do not ignore employer’s outplacement offerings such as webinars, seminars or other training that can be helpful in a new job search.

Larger employers purchase outplacement services to assist downsized or reduction-in-force (RIF) employees. Take full advantage of these training services. Not only will you receive excellent job seeker advice, you will also receive resume submission tracking forms, resume advice and even mock interview training and exercises.

Make the most of this downtime. Many a brilliant idea and launched product or service derived from an unemployed professional. Stay positive and focused.

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