5 steps to take if you have been laid off


By Andrew Fennell

November 18, 2022

Twitter’s job cuts may be dominating news headlines right now, but that’s just part of a massive wave of layoffs from tech firms this year.

The industry has been rocked with redundancies. Such big names as Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, and Google have all recently made cuts.

If you’ve ever been laid off, you know how uncertain and frustrating the experience is. But as painfully difficult as it may be, it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom.

First of all, we are all more than our jobs. Plus, being laid off presents you with the opportunity to take the next step in your career and possibly even head in an entirely new direction if that’s what you want. It can also be an opportunity to take a professional pause

But if you’re ready to get back on your feet and find a new role, here are five things you can do to boost your chances of success:

Reevaluate your needs

Before you begin firing off résumés to any position that loosely matches your criteria, you need to take some time to stop and reevaluate.

Being laid off is not ideal, but it does give you a chance to rethink what you currently want and need from your career.

What do you really want from your career? Perhaps you are looking for purpose and fulfillment. Maybe a total career change would be better.

Alternatively, you might find that you need (and deserve) a higher salary, better benefits package, or greater work-life balance.

Whatever the case, this is your chance to reevaluate your current needs and motivate you to start looking for, and applying to, jobs that are going to tick all the right boxes.

Take some time to upskill

When you no longer have a job, the task of job hunting can quickly take up a lot of your time. However, it can also be smart to consider this time as an opportunity to upskill and continue developing yourself.

Taking online courses from a reputable organization can be a simple and effective way to learn new skills and gain new qualifications. You could also look for local courses if you want to learn in person.

Another way you can use this time is by volunteering or starting up a side business. Taking these important steps will ensure that you’re still developing your skills, both soft and hard. This kind of upskilling can add to your résumé and give you more to talk about in interviews.

5 steps to take if you have been laid off

Revamp your r´esumé

Arguably the most important part of securing a new job is going to be revamping your r´ésumé. This means rethinking everything from your content to your ´´´´´résumé format.

If you lost your job unexpectedly, it’s likely that your r´ésumé will need to be updated with your most recent position and any new skills, training, or achievements you have as a result—including any courses that you are currently undertaking.

You don’t need to mention that you were laid off on your résumé, but you should be prepared to talk about it during an interview.

If it’s been a while since you were last on the job hunt, think about choosing a more modern design and layout for your r´ésumé, too. This will help you stand out in the crowded January job market and can help ensure that you highlight the most important details of your professional experience.

Once you start applying for roles, be sure to tailor every application you submit and try to reflect as many keywords from the job description as possible.

Reach out to your network

Hiring managers are much more likely to hire a person they know and trust. Often this means someone who comes recommended by a colleague. Networking is therefore a great way to sidestep the competition of the popular job websites.

Use your network to your advantage by letting your peers know that you are actively seeking a new role.

Whether you go directly to one or two people, in particular, or you advertise your availability for hire to a wider audience, you never know when a new opportunity might present itself.

Just be sure to show genuine interest in the other person and their company as well. Networking is a two-way street, so let them know you’re available to help them with something in return.

Be persistent

It might take some time and energy to find the right job for you—but do not give up. Remaining persistent and positive will be the key to your success.

In some cases, you might need to go that extra mile. This could mean meeting with recruiters in person and following up on applications or interviews when you haven’t heard back.

Unfortunately, you can’t rush the process; all you can do is be patient and make the most of every connection you make with a recruiter or hiring manager. Remember that the next email you send could be the one that lands you your next big opportunity.

Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading CV builder and careers-advice website. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.

Fast Company