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Twenty ways to survive a layoff

Ron Nutter | Aug. 26, 2008
Nutter offers these 20 tips for surviving a layoff.

13. Prepare for the interview

One thing I have done when preparing for an interview is to research the company, as well as the companies, sectors and industries it serves. If it is a publicly listed company, read some of its press releases from the the past quarter or two to see any changes that have occurred and new directions it is heading in. The responses I received from several companies indicate it makes a good impression that you are interested in finding out about the company before an interview. It may seem like a small thing or something that you should do anyway, but there seem to be quite a few people looking for a job who don't do this.

In addition, have several copies of your résumé with you at an interview. This becomes even more important once you see your résumé as the client or recruiter does after they have downloaded it or printed it out from the job-board application: The formatting is pretty much gone. To make matters worse, the résumé's paragraphs or bullet points will look like a series of poorly written, run-on sentences that may cause distinctive or unique information about you to be overlooked.

14. Deal with recruiters

I encountered a couple of recruiters who would give used-car salesmen a bad name, but as a general rule, I found them pretty decent to work with. Several positions I was approached about were not on the job boards and sometimes were from only a single recruiter. The trick I learned was to identify the same end-job when it came from different recruiters. One situation you want to avoid is having more than one recruiter pitching you to the same client for the same job. Most recruiters usually will tell you early on who the actual end-client is.

15. Accept help from family

Your pride may make it hard for you to accept help, but keep in mind that your unemployment affects them to a degree as well. Depending on their ages, your unemployment may be a new thing to them. There was a time -- unfortunately long-gone now -- when the company you first worked for was the only company you worked for in your entire career. How much help you accept from family is something you will have to decide. Look at it this way: Whatever help they do give you is that much less you will have to spend for food.

16. Keep good records

This suggestion came from a letter from the unemployment department telling me I would need to provide some basic information. I set up a spreadsheet in OpenOffice with three tabs. At the first tab I kept track of the jobs I had applied for by date, source of the job, how the job was applied for, company name if known, job name, contact name and job number if provided. At the second tab I kept track of the recruiters I talked to; HR folks I had contacted for the jobs to which I had applied directly; and anything else, such as job fairs I attended. This information was helpful when I was audited by the unemployment folks to make sure I was looking for another job. At the third tab I recorded when I filed my unemployment claim each week, when I received the check, and the check number and when it was deposited.


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