There’s no right or wrong time to start job searching. However, if you’ve been made redundant the option to choose the ideal time to begin has been taken away from you. There is a bright side to this: your new circumstances will mean you have enough time on your hands (and hopefully assistance from an outplacement consultant) to commit to a well-managed, thorough and successful job search.
After losing your job, you will not doubt experience a rollercoaster of emotions, from denial to vengeance. Give yourself time to process the situation. Then start thinking of solutions to the problem.
Redundancy gives you the chance to consider every possible option or look at doing something different. If your former employer has offered you outplacement services, this is the time to take advantage of them.
And with no time like the present, here are some tips to getting your job search after redundancy off to a turbo-charged start.
Update or develop a new resume
Despite how you may be feeling about your redundancy, remember that your previous job description and company does not define your identity. This is your chance to re-assess your skills and interests and, if you want, to revive or reinvent your career.
If you want help with updating your current resume or developing a new one from scratch, talk to your outplacement provider or use a professional resume writer to create a personal marketing tool that will increase your chances of securing a job interview. If finances are tight, buy or borrow (from a library) a resume writing book or look online for a template to use.
Contact recruitment agencies
Get in touch with generalist recruiters and those that specialise in your profession or sector. Don’t limit yourself to just one or two – if they don’t have the right role for you, keep looking. And keep in touch with them. Recruiters’ priorities are not your job search, but finding the best candidate for the company.
Register on a job board
Set up a profile and alerts on job boards like Seek to get job opportunities sent to your inbox. Job boards can also be a good resource for researching target companies and recruitment trends.
Keep your searches focussed though, and don’t spend too long looking for job openings. Most roles aren’t advertised and are found instead via networking.
Keep across the latest news
Whether online or in print format, read the major newspapers and business magazines relating to your profession, location and industry. Collect information on particular companies and sectors that are on the move, both positively and negatively. These trends will help inform your networking and direct approaches to employers.
Inform your network
Networking is a powerful tool when job searching. Whether you want another similar role or a complete career change, tell everyone you know that you’re looking because any one of them could give you valuable leads.
Avoid making value judgements about who can and can’t help you, as leads can come from unlikely places. When you discover that someone may be able to help, phone them for advice or contact them by email or letter.
Network on a daily basis; email people, attend networking events and meet contacts for lunch or coffee. Keep seeking information and advice and eventually details of job vacancies will emerge.
Use social media
Online tools such as LinkedIn can also help you to grow your network (whether by profession, industry or location) and generate new opportunities. As well as being a professional networking site, LinkedIn is increasingly used by employers to seek new team members. Make sure your online profiles only contain professional pictures, and update content so it is complete and slanted towards potential employers.
Talk to a career coach
Outside help can propel your job search forward. If your former employer did not provide career transition or outplacement services, you can hire a career coach independently. Career coaches understand the recruitment process, and can advise you on effective job search tools and strategies, the current job market and employment trends.
Be ready and presentable
As you’ve already left your job, there is every chance you may receive a phone call or email from a potential employer asking you to come and talk to them about potential opportunities. Update or acquire a new interview uniform and optimise your personal presentation to make a winning first impression.
Find a routine
Even though you will have free time after your redundancy, establishing and sticking to a routine will help drive your job search and give it purpose. Mix in some relaxation and rest, and avoid getting stuck in a rut that risks sapping your enthusiasm and motivation and encouraging procrastination.
Be patient with your job search after redundancy
Finding a new job may take a few days, months or years. Prepare yourself for a long search, without an income to support you. It’s important to stay positive and optimistic, but also be realistic to avoid financial and emotional problems.