One – Prioritize Your Needs
Most financial pundits will tell you to have a cash reserve that you can survive
on for 6-8 months while riding out the tough times. Unfortunately in this
paycheck to paycheck economy we live in having a “cash reserve” is not an
option for a great many of us.
Being suddenly jobless can be a devastating experience if you let it be.
“Getting up off the mat” so to speak takes discipline and self control of your
emotions. With so much “time off” during your days it is important to develop a
routine that helps you get back in the game. If you exercise by all means
make that one of your first priorities of the day. Exercise not only clears your
head but is also a great stress reliever and helps maintain confidence and
Making a daily short and long term list that prioritizes your needs will help you
focus on the job at hand. If you to tackle the more difficult and pressing
matters first and I find your day will be more rewarding. Checking multiple job
search engines while tweaking your resume should be a top priority on a daily
basis. From there I would go down the list of government assistance you need
and complete the necessary information/forms required while making
appointments when/where necessary.
It is also important to eliminate distractions while getting your work done.
Resist the temptation to turn on the TV while starting your day; it will only slow
you down. Do your best to control any resentment or bitter feelings about
your situation as well as they can sap your confidence and energy. I cannot
stress enough the importance of developing a workable routine and sticking
to it as you tackle your objectives going forward.
In the following sections we will outline your potential needs and offer possible
solutions. Best of luck and stay the course.
Section Two – Unemployment
The first thing you should do is log on to your particular State Government
Website (Employment/Workforce Division ) and gather all information that
relates to you. Most of these sites have a frequently Asked Questions Page
and we would advise you to review this first. Obviously if you have been laid
off and have been working steadily for more than a year you are most likely
eligible to collect Unemployment Benefits. You possibly could be denied
benefits if you have collected within the last 3 years and exhausted your
benefits from a past claim. If you have a balance remaining on a past claim
you might be able to re-open it depending on your circumstances. For first
time filers find out if there is a waiting period from when you were laid off to
when you can file. From there find out the address of your nearest
Unemployment Office and apply in person. Make sure you have your last 2 or
3 pay stubs and proper identification with you. In many cases offices for other
benefits such as Food Stamps, Health Insurance, Utility/ Rent Assistance and
Job Search may be in the same location so if you want to apply for those
services in the same visit make sure to bring Rent Receipts, Utility Bills,
Resumes and Health Insurance information with you as well. Make sure to be
cordial to the employees of these agencies as they are trying to help you.
Unfortunately some of these agencies may be understaffed and you may
have a wait before you get in to see someone, bringing reading material,
preferably of an upbeat nature can be very helpful.
Section Three – Job Seeking Solutions
Resumes and Job Search Sites:
First off you should review and update your resume and really take a good
look at it as if you were the prospective Employer. Double check your writing,
especially in the description of your job duties. “Insures the highest quality of
Customers Service” is much more impressive than “waiting on customers” or
“services account needs”. Highlight the positives of your employment
background by putting them in the forefront of any job description paragraph.
If you need help in resume writing there are many helpful sites to explore,
here are a few Simply Hired.com, Indeed.com,& Glassdoor.com
Also make sure the phone numbers for all your contact/reference information
are current. If a Personnel Manager cannot easily reach your past Superiors
for a Reference Check you may find your resume at the bottom of the pile.
By now virtually everyone has heard of Job Search Engines such as Monster.
com and Dice.com but it is important to have your resume on as many
sites as possible.
Most of these sites can help you write a resume and cover letter as well. We
cannot stress enough sending a personalized cover letter with your resume,
especially for a position you really want.
Also “Do it All” sites such as CraigsList.org usually have as many jobs as
the more famous search engines and often are used by more Local
Employers to seek candidates. As the Job Search Engine field has expanded
there are many sites devoted to a particular line of work as well, examples of
these are: theladders.com
Most of these are of the common sense variety so please don’t be offended.
Research: Find out as much as possible about the company you are
considering employment with by researching their website. Having knowledge
of a companies’ mission, history and statistics can be an impressive
interviewing tool. Also many companies are reviewed by Fortune 500 and
Interview Preparation: Times may change but looking best for your Interview
Being well groomed and dressed most always will give you a “leg up” on the
Unless the employer specifies casual dress at the interview, have your best
outfit cleaned and pressed, ready to go.
Many of us have not been on a job interview in quite some time. I would
suggest the first job interview you go on to be one you are only mildly
interested in. This will give you practice interviewing and reduce any jitters
you may have going into an interview for the job you really want. Try to be
objective and critique your interview performance in order to be better
prepared next time. Review any questions you might have had a tough time
with and prepare better answers.
The Interview: Again many of these are common sense but nonetheless
Be On Time: Rule one is simple as leaving early for your interview If you are
not sure of the route to the location MapQuest the directions and better yet
make a “dry run” to the interview site at the same time of day as your
Being late is always a huge strike one against any applicant.
Make Eye Contact: Not an easy thing for many of us but it is very important as
it projects your interest, confidence and sincerity.
Be Polite: Smile, say “Thank You for your time” etc.
Relax: Easily the toughest of the bunch here but if you can collect yourself
and be at ease the interview will go smoother. I tend to do this by thinking of
the interview as a performance rather than an inquisition. Be confident in your
skills and what you have to bring to the table without overstating your case.
Show your interest in what your prospective employer’s business by the
knowledge you have researched about the company on the Web. Show a
willingness to learn in any areas of the job you might not have much
experience in. In short, Sell Yourself!
Post Interview: Make notes on your interview performance.
If applicable, call back your prospective employer as to your possibility of
being hired. Usually the employer will give a time frame when they may or may
not be contacting you but if this is not the case call back within a day or two.
In closing I’d just like to say that I’ve been recently laid off and have a pretty
good idea what you may be going through. I’m back to work full time but it’s
still a bit of a struggle making ends meet. I hope that you might be able to use
some of the advice in this site and welcome any ideas, comments or questions
you may have. I might not be able to answer all of them but will do my best to
point you in the right direction if possible.
Thanks for your time and best of luck going forward.
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