China Gorman is one of the foremost thought leaders in the field of human resources today. An accomplished executive with significant experience in career transition services, she also is a member of RiseSmart’s Strategic Advisory Council. Here she answers another question in a series of articles for RiseSmart called “Ask An Expert.”

Question: What services do former employees need most during the first days following a layoff?

(Got a question for China Gorman? Ask it in the comments.)

Answer:Those first few days of unemployment are especially hard for the new job seeker, and many will have questions about their various benefits and impending job search. Former employees require two types of support initially: practical tactics to get organized and expert career guidance.

Practical tactics include:

  • Understanding and leveraging their financial realities. These would be COBRA, severance, unemployment benefits and family budgets.
  • Gathering data to create a resume. Many seasoned employees will have an outdated resume that will need updating.
  • Working to determine how to talk about their status in a positive and professional manner. Unemployment can be a demoralizing time, but employees who can market themselves effectively not only boost their spirits but increase their chances of landing a job quickly.

 

Expert career guidance encompasses:

  • Connection with an effective consultant for job search and moral support.
  • Tools that support an assessment of the employee’s career direction and the creation of a marketing plan.
  • Help crafting a winning resume. An effective consultant can assist in writing a resume tailored to an employee’s specific profession or industry.
  • Creation of a plan to help employees market themselves to hiring organizations.
  • Assistance in the effective use of social media for networking as well job searching. As more and more hiring managers begin to use social media to connect with candidates, this tool becomes increasingly valuable.

 

With more than 16 million unemployed workers in the U.S., employees will be in the best shape to compete successfully in this difficult economy if they engage quickly and fully.  Assessing their marketable skills, creating a strong plan with a winning resume and matching social media profiles, together with strengthened interviewing and networking skills will get them started on the right foot quickly.

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