SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

December 1, 2012

Laid off? Vent, if you must, but get busy quickly

The best tips for rebounding from a layoff?

You can cry, kick the wastebasket, or whatever it takes to relieve the stress. Go apply for unemployment compensation — then get serious.

Take the following advice from Dave Sanford, an executive vice president, client relations, with Winter, Wyman, one of the largest staffing firms in the Northeast. (www.winterwyman.com):

Start networking immediately.

Keep current with all of the professional contacts you’ve made in your career. Get in touch to let them know you are in the market for a new job. Speak with them about possible leads and any introductions they could make. Also consider 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. Make this activity a priority.

— Prepare an answer.

You will be asked why you left your former company and position. Make sure you have crafted a concise statement that puts a positive spin on your circumstances no matter the reason for your departure. If your position was eliminated because of the economy, it is not your fault.

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.

Get serious.

Out of work does not mean “on vacation.” Some people make the mistake of easing into their search, but as the gaps on their resumes get bigger, they panic and take the first job they’re offered. Be disciplined about your search.

— Sell yourself .

You must set yourself apart from 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.

Follow up.

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, of course, do what others fail to do!

Marvin Walberg is a job-search coach based in Birmingham, Ala. For contact information, see marvin-walberg.com.

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