During stressful economic times, one of the first things companies do to cut costs is reduce their number of employees. If you are one of the 40 million Americans who have recently lost their job, I’m sure you are overwhelmed with a mixture of emotions.
After you take a deep breath, consider taking these 5 steps first to help you get back on your feet.
#1 File for unemployment
This can be an unpleasant and lengthy process, so do this immediately! Luckily, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package signed in March, has expanded unemployment benefits
Be sure to file your claim with the state where you worked. If you live in a different state, or if you worked in multiple states, you can turn to the unemployment insurance agency where you now live for help filing your claim with other states.
To connect with your state’s unemployment website, visit the DOL’s CareerOneStop site.
#2 Focus on yourself and sharpen your skills
This may seem counterintuitive, but take a moment to relax and decompress. “The initial anxiety and panic is natural,” says Brandon Johnson, a certified personal development coach and organizational development consultant a Shakleton Group.
Enjoy this quiet time without work email and phone calls distracting you. Now is a great opportunity to get into an exercise routine to boost endorphins and energy. Also, what hobbies have you been neglecting or house projects have you been postponing?
This could also be the perfect opportunity to take that business class you’ve had your eye on or learn a new professional skill that will help you excel in a future role.
#3 Tell everyone
Letting people know that you’re available for new opportunities is the first step in getting your job search off the ground. It’s like the old saying goes “It’s not what you know, but who you know”.
Network with friends, family, neighbors, even strangers, all while socially distancing! Instead of focusing on what happened, center the conversation around what you want to do next.
#4 Spruce up your resume and LinkedIn
Now that the dust has settled, update your resume. We recommend a clean, professional layout (no pictures or graphics) with performance numbers, awards, and accomplishments. Remember that hiring managers glance at resumes for typically less than a minute, so use bullet points instead of lengthy paragraphs.
Your LinkedIn is your living business card, so your profile should match your resume. Build out content (promotions, awards, job responsibilities, etc.) so recruiters and employers can easily search for you.
#5 Cast a wide (job search) net
Apply for jobs within your current industry and also think of industries that are hiring right now. Even in these uncertain times, not everyone is on a hiring freeze. Some industries we are seeing growth in include diagnostic testing and equipment, infectious disease, clinical trials, medical devices that are medically necessary, and telehealth.
Reach out to a trusted recruiter and utilize LinkedIn to network with hiring managers. Once you apply, follow-up directly with that company to make sure you’re on their radar.
Need more help?
KSG is currently offering our Kick-Starter package at a discounted rate. This one-on-one consulting service will help you “kick-start” your job search, whether you are looking for an entry-level position or a senior leadership role.
Our goal is for you to be as prepared as possible so you can ultimately win your dream job!
Have any other tips? We’d love to hear them!