Unemployed? Now What? 4 Things to Do Right After You Lose Your Job

Posted on March 8, 2011


Being laid off can be devastating. In fact, for many unemployed workers, the loss of their job came as a total shock.

Once you take a few days to digest what has happened, it’s time to get down to business. After all, being laid off doesn’t have to stop you from being productive! But it seems like there’s so much to do. Unemployment checks, job searches, how do you even begin? Start with the following activities to get on the road to recovery:

1. File for unemployment benefits.

Your unemployment checks certainly won’t be as large as your old salary, but they can help cover some of your basic expenses. Don’t hesitate to file though; it takes most states several weeks to get you your first unemployment check. And don’t worry – receiving unemployment checks does not have a negative effect on your credit score.

2. Polish your resume.

If you’re hoping for an effective job search, your resume should always be fresh and updated. Being laid off can be a great opportunity to make your resume shine. Make some changes and updates; then, have a friend look over it. You can even have that friend help you with mock job interviews!

3. Organize your job search efforts.

Being laid off means that you have to think of your job search as your new job. If you want an effective job search, you’ll need to be organized:

– Start by setting up folders on your computer, so that you can bookmark company web sites that interest you.
– Set up a free email account that will only be used for your job search. An effective job search makes you look like a professional right from the beginning. After all, an email address like ‘Princess28′ will not be taken seriously by a prospective employer.
– Create spreadsheets so that you can keep track of every job you’ve applied for.
– Create a folder on your hard drive so that you can save each cover letter. That way, if you get called for an interview, it will be easy to find which points you stressed in your letter.

4. Resist the urge to burn bridges.

Being laid off can make you justifiably angry, but try not to voice negative opinions in public. Remember, an effective job search can be a very small world. You don’t want a potential employer to hear you bad-mouthing your former boss and think poorly of you. Or worse, not hire you because he doesn’t want an employee who may bad-mouth him one day!

If you still have friends at your old company, stay in touch with them. You never know how they might be able to help you. Don’t let your anger over being laid off get the best of you.

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