Fired, Laid Off, Unemployed or About To Lose Your Job?

Don't panic or spend too much time feeling sorry for yourself. Getting right back into the job market when losing your job is hard to deal with.

The best thing you can do is (even if you received a severance package) is look at the firing as a chance for a better opportunity. Getting fired is no longer considered a negative on your resume. It's part of today's job arena.

TIP: For every $10 of salary add a month to the job search to find employment.

TIP: Order "How to Find a Packaging Job On The Internet" online with Visa or Master Card.

If using AMEX fax or E-mail the number with expiration date after you have completed the order form.

How do you deal with being fired or downsized in terms of your resume and job-hunting? How do you get you in shape to find an even better job than the one you just lost?

Take our Spring Cleaning Job Quiz. Return the words "Spring Cleaning" via E-mail.

Decide on a career path or make a change if necessary

If you loved your last position and the industry you worked in then move to the next point.

However if you weren't happy now is the time to think about or implement a career change.

What kind of transferable skills did you acquire from your previous employment?

For example if you worked in a customer service capacity and now want to get into sales you have valuable sales and people skills -- transferable skills from one position to another. If you're not sure what you want to do you should do some self-assessment. You can find great career assessment tests on the Web.

TIP: Consider a career coach to determine these skills. Ask for a free assessment if coaching is right for you. Return the words "Career Coach" via E-mail.

Tweak that resume

Ideally you've been keeping your resume current but if you have not now is the time to take a hard look at it. The first thing you need to decide is whether to include the job from which you were terminated on your resume. In most cases you should include it -- unless you only worked there a short period of time (less than three months). Show an end date from your previous job. Focus on your accomplishments and achievements.

Consider adding -- if you don't already have these sections -- key accomplishments and transferable skills sections for your resume. Positioning these sections at the top of your resume also means you can downplay your actual employment history…or at least make it secondary to your accomplishments and skills.

A functional resume rather than a traditional chronological resume will also serve this purpose. Develop both a traditional formatted resume and a scannable (text-only) resume. Since job-hunting has expanded to include traditional methods as well as online methods you need to have both types and several versions of your resume.

Get your resume critiqued. Ask someone in your network -- possibly a former boss or college career office (most work with alumni) to review your new resume(s) and offer constructive criticism.

TIP: Ask for a resume critique. Return the words "resume critique" via return E-mail.

Resolve location issues

Now is the time to evaluate if enough opportunities exist where you currently live or if you need or want to relocate.

TIP: If you have a spouse or significant other be sure and involve them in this discussion.

Network network network

Tell everyone you know that you are in the job market again. You don't need to tell them you were fired if you don't want to but don't be ashamed of it either as labor figures indicate that many people have lost (or will lose) their jobs involuntarily. Your network includes your family friends former coworkers former bosses neighbors and friends of friends -- just about anyone. These people may not be able to offer you a new job but they may know someone who can consequently they play a vital role in your job search. Once you find a new job make sure you keep networking rather than waiting until you don't have a job to do so.

TIP: Order "The Job Survival Package." Return the words "Job Survival."

TIP: PERFECT Your "Elevator Speech." Return the words "Elevator Speech" if you don't know how to write one.

Revisit your references and referrals

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your dismissal you may or may not have a good reference from your former employer. Now is the time -- regardless -- to revisit your reference list. You need to contact these people.

Inform them that you are again on the job market and ask if they will still be a reference for you. If you think your former employer might give you a bad reference it is extremely important that you have other people who will rave about your accomplishments and abilities.

Be prepared to work @ getting a new job. It's a cliché but looking for a new job is now your full-time job. Stay focused and accomplish something every day. Do go brain dead from too much job searching. Set limits on the amount of time you will commit each day

TIP: Be prepared for rejection. You may be a little extra sensitive because of being fired but remember that there is always a degree of rejection in any job search -- so don't let it get you down.

(This is part one of a two-part series)

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