The best tips for rebounding from a layoff? Consider the following, compliments of Dave Sanford, executive vice president of client relations for WinterWyman, one of the largest staffing firms in the Northeast.
Start networking immediately
If you haven't been in touch with your network since your last job search, it is time to dust off the list. Contact previous employers, former co-workers, friends, family, clients and vendors. Also consider using social networking sites to reconnect with people you have lost touch with. Networking is still the most effective way to get in front of the people who are hiring so make this activity a priority.
Prepare an answer
Others will ask why you lost your job, and you need to ask yourself the same question — and be honest. Is your industry struggling? Is hiring cooling in your city or state? Is your vocation becoming obsolete? Do you need more training? The answers to these questions can help you aim your job search in the right direction.
Take contract work
Taking temporary work demonstrates to prospective hiring managers that you're making an effort to stay employed and up-to-date on your skills. Many times, contract positions can lead to permanent ones. And it doesn't hurt to be putting money in your pocket as you continue your job search.
Be disciplined about your search and treat it like you would a job. Set aside a structured amount of time each day and designate a quiet place to conduct your job-search activities. It also helps to set specific goals ("I'll make 10 calls today" or "I'll update my profile on LinkedIn").
You need to set yourself apart from the hundreds of other candidates — some of whom may be currently working. Why should an employer hire you? What is your "wow factor?" What makes you special? Make sure you research the company and the job, and bring something extra to an interview. It also helps to practice. Have a friend or former colleague critique you so you can tweak your presentation.
Don't be a pest, but also don't be afraid to make those follow-up phone calls and emails. Your persistence can pay off because you will be at the forefront of a hiring manager's mind.
And, always, do what others fail to do!