The first thing they mostly asked was “Can you give me some advice on my CV?” Some of them, who have not changed jobs for ages said, “Where do I even start?”
When you’ve been laid off from your job, it can be incredibly overwhelming to know what to do and how to put your professional life back on track.
During this critical time, providing candidates with actionable tips and ideas to bounce back from a lay off is really helpful. It is normal to get overwhelmed with a lot of information floating around the internet. We cope and manage stress differently. Some of these ideas might be useful for one and not applicable to others. However, it is important to get our heads around the basics.
But before we go into details, it’s important to acknowledge that you have the support from your family (talk to them about your current situation) and that you can make a plan out of it.
So, let’s get started.
Filling the gap in your resume
After a layoff, a lot of things are up in the air. How will you find a new job? Will you have to change careers or industries? And, what if you don’t have enough experience or the right skills? One of the most difficult parts about job searching during a layoff, especially a prolonged one, is not having recent professional accomplishments to talk about in job interviews.
Start by comparing job descriptions to your current skills to find those gaps. Then, consider which style of learning you’re comfortable with, and whether or not you need certificates, degrees, or simple coursework, and once you’ve completed or enrolled in courses, add them to your resume and LinkedIn profile. Taking new classes and learning new things shows employers that you’re a continuous learner, someone who wants to improve their knowledge, and contribute at a higher level, and that’s exactly what employers are looking for.
Searching for jobs
You’ve probably heard many times that your professional network will be instrumental in finding success as a job seeker. That’s right! Some of the job openings are never advertised publicly. There are two tricky pieces to networking when you’ve been laid off. The first is how to actually use your network to your advantage without feeling like you’re abusing your relationships. The second is trying to tell people that you’re searching, getting the word out about yourself. Most job seekers can pretty easily draw the line between their first line of contacts, and the ones that should wait until later. So, to recap, first think about the best ways your network can help you, so you’ll know what you’re going to ask people. Then, craft a plan to contact the people in your network starting with the ones you know really well and can be fairly casual with. This part is all about building confidence to take that next step, reaching out to contacts you don’t know very well with a specific request, and don’t forget to offer your help along the way.
If you were laid off from a full-time job, you’re probably ready to jump right back into a search for another full-time job but there are other options out there, namely contracting, part-time and freelance work. These are great ways to supplement your income while you work to find a new full-time job but they can also become a permanent solution that works really well for you. If you’re considering either contract jobs, freelance projects or part-time jobs, you’ll want to decide if they fit your situation. So ask yourself these questions. Are you comfortable with the uncertainty and the extra responsibilities that come with freelance jobs? And do you have the bandwidth and ability to juggle more than one client project, or part-time job, at a time? If you’ve answered yes to both questions, it sounds like freelance or part-time work may be a great fit for your situation.
Get your CV right
A well-crafted resume shows employers that you are in the right mind-set to get back to work, so let’s get started. Start with a complete resume and then build shorter, relevant resumes from it. Don’t use pre-formatted resume templates. Instead, write it from scratch, or ask someone for help.
Get the basics right
- Summary of qualifications at the top, professional and volunteer experience next, and finally, your education or skills. A summary of qualifications should be your first section.
- Depending on which section is stronger for you, put the strongest one first. If you’re lacking in education, but you have great technology and professional skills, you’ll want the skills section on top.
- You’ll want four to five bullet points to highlight your most relevant skills and experience for the types of jobs that you apply to. You can update this section for each job that you apply to, because it helps employers focus on your best qualifications quickly.
- Then, your experience. This means including both paid and unpaid jobs, part-time, and full-time, employee and freelance, basically everything you’ve done.
- Yes, the extra effort means you’ll apply to fewer jobs, but your applications will be far more effective.
Updating your LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile is not your CV. Recruiters want to see some personality in your profile. Make sure your headshot/photo reflects that, of course make it professional. Your headline should say something about what you can offer and deliver to potential employers. And your summary should be your story – make it relevant to the audience you want to engage with, make it emotive and tell us a back story.