Quick Rebound From a Layoff, Part 2

In Part 1 we discussed the recent article on Inside Tech: Laid Off? Five Tips to Bounce Back. They provide 5 very introspective tips to help deal mentally with being laid off and get yourself back to a positive state of mind to begin your search again. If you are ready to get back out there, and don’t need to take time to grieve your recent job loss, then this post will discuss steps to prepare someone to “hunt down” their new job. Being aggressive and diligent will be the key to landing your next position.

Finding a job these days is no longer about posting your resume and waiting for someone to call. It is also not about sending your resume into a company’s online job post and assuming that your resume will be seen because your background is a perfect match for the requirements. In Part 1 we discussed the job search will take 6 weeks to 6 months. 6 months is a long time for anyone to be out of work, regardless if this is voluntary or not. Being laid off in this market isn’t about hoping and praying that the right job will find you. HR recruiters are being flooded with literally thousands of resumes. How are you going to make sure that your resume is seen? You need a game plan on how to attack the market and go get the job you want.

Being aggressive is not about waiting and praying that the phone will ring. It is taking the job search into your own hands and making something happen. It’s about making sure that HR or the hiring manager know who you are and they view your qualifications. So how does one do this? By being aggressive. Follow up on the resume you sent in 2 days ago. Track down contact information for the recruiter managing that position. Use websites like LinkedIn, Bebo, Plaxo, Wink, Spoke, Jigsaw, Zoominfo and Hooversconnect. Each one of these is a different personal network aggregator, or way to search for “recruiter” or “talent acquisition” within your targeted organization. And when you do get someone on the other line, just inform them who you are and why you are calling. Typically you are catching them off guard, so try to schedule a later time to follow up. This is how you are able to provide movement and give yourself a fighting chance. Now, you may get an email in the meantime with a canned response: “after careful consideration we have decided to pursue other candidates for this position”. But, at least you know where you stand and can spend your time where it counts.

The definition of diligent is characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort. This will be the most difficult part of your job hunt and the part that cannot be planned. Basically, you have to stay excited about being unemployed, traveling all over town to meet with complete strangers who are ultimately deciding your immediate fate, and just to be rejected after waiting earnestly for two weeks. Good luck, right? Well, the best way to counter the lingering depression is to turn job hunting into a process. And by process I mean a game, more specifically a numbers game. For those of you who are not in sales, this means for every 1 Yes, you will get 10 No’s. When it comes to submitting resumes online, the ratio on average is more like 1 interview for every 20 resumes submitted. If you take it a step further to interviews, in this market you will most likely need to interview with 10 different companies before you receive an official (signed on the dotted line, in my hand) offer. Conservatively, this means you will need to send out your resume 200 times. Seriously, 200? I know this seems like a lot, but this is a conservative number unless you have a highly specialized skill set like a neuro-electro-bio-mechanical engineer. Wouldn’t it be much easier to know what to expect in the beginning? Wouldn’t it help to have a plan, understand what it will take at the on-set, than wonder day in, day out when you’ll go back to work? Having a goal in the beginning will force you to develop a system to keep track of all the places you’ve applied. It’s relying on this system that will give you confidence and piece-of-mind to maintain your “earnest” and “energetic” attitude through out the job hunt process.

Realistically, if you were to set a similar goal to the number above and maintain all the steps of properly following up, you will have WAY more than 10 interviews. That number will be between 20-30, and at that point you will have put the ball back into your court by being able to choose your next role instead of taking the next position offered. As I mentioned in Part 1, employers are going to interview 5-10 candidates, why shouldn’t you be evaluating 5-10 jobs? Personally, I think you should interview for as many jobs as possible throughout your hunt. At the very worst, it will be practice for your next perfect job offer. Happy Hunting!