How To Get Hired Quickly After a Layoff
Most of us work because we need the money. That might sound like an obvious point, but if you look at some post-layoff advice, you would be forgiven for thinking that it was primarily a self-esteem issue. Sure, losing your job can affect your emotional well-being. But unless you’re sitting on a sizeable trust fund, your first thought after getting laid off is, “How do I get back to earning a paycheck as soon as possible?”
It can take several months to find a job after a layoff. Duration of unemployment varies by industry, job level, and the economic situation when you lose your job. Needless to say, many of these factors are outside of your control—you can’t affect interest rates, business cycles, or investor sentiment.
However, there are plenty of things you can do after a layoff to shorten your job search. Focus on the factors you can affect, and you’ll be back on the payroll as soon as possible.
Post on LinkedIn
Historically, research has shown that employers have had a bias against hiring laid-off workers. As a result, many layoff victims have been careful about how they present their employment situation. For example, they might choose a resume format that highlights skills over work history or includes jobs by year instead of month and year. You might also see people “forget” to update their LinkedIn profile until they had a new job to add.
However, the tide seems to have turned in recent years. Anecdotally, I can tell you that I’m seeing a lot more people announcing to their LinkedIn network that they’ve been laid off and asking for leads on new jobs. This is great news for all of us, even if we’re currently employed. This kind of transparency can help people leverage their networks much more effectively. It also makes it easier for us to help our friends and colleagues.
Reach Out to Your Network
Don’t leave your post-layoff networking to LinkedIn. Let your contacts know that you’re available, what you’re looking for in your next job, and what you have to offer employers. This might mean posting on other social networks, emailing or messaging former colleagues, attending networking events or other professional gatherings, and letting your friends and family know what’s going on with your job search. You really never know where your leads will come from.
Target Companies That Are Hiring
One of the best ways to find a job quickly is to target employers who are hiring right now. Job search sites like Indeed often make this easier by labeling job listings “easily apply” or “urgently hiring.” Some career sites also keep running lists of employers that are staffing up. For example:
- Monster: “100 Companies Now Hiring”
- Glassdoor: “Companies Actively Hiring”
- FlexJobs: “25 Companies Hiring for Remote, Work-From-Home Jobs Right Now”
It’s also worth keeping a list of employers you’d like to work for, so that you can refer to their corporate sites’ careers pages on a regular basis.
Automate Your Job Search
Monster, Indeed, LinkedIn, and many other job search sites allow you to set up job alerts to be delivered to your inbox or app. Set parameters like job title, industry, location, and more and get alerts for jobs that might interest you.
Look for Stop-Gaps
It may take a while to find the job of your dreams. Consider making your job search less stressful by looking for a financial stop-gap while you pursue a long-term position. Fast ways to earn cash include freelancing, selling unwanted items on eBay or Poshmark, or signing up as a driver at Uber or Lyft.
Broaden Your Horizons
When employers are hiring, they are competing not only with companies in their own industry but often also with those in other industries who hire workers with similar skill sets. So, for example, an insurance carrier that needs to hire a computer network architect isn’t just competing with other insurance companies for those candidates. They’re also competing with telecommunications companies, computer services companies, state and local agencies, and other organizations.
If your industry is suffering through mass layoffs, it’s worth it to consider whether your skills qualify you for a job in another sector. Keep in mind that your transferable skills include soft skills like communication, teamwork, and leadership, as well as hard skills like programming languages, technical writing, and machine learning. Don’t overlook opportunities to take your talents to a new field.