Have you been laid off? Job layoffs and unemployment rates have significantly increased due to the global pandemic. If you have found yourself in a state of unemployment, either temporarily or until the unforeseeable future, know that you are not alone. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help ease the stress and panic of unemployment until you secure your next job! 

5 steps to take if you’ve been laid off from work

Apply for Unemployment Compensation

Unemployment compensation is often viewed shamefully but it’s an excellent resource for those experiencing a job layoff.  If you’ve been laid off, it’s best to make sure you secure a source of income to pay your living expenses, then you can focus on obtaining a job that’s right for you.

You can contact your specific area’s labor department to inquire about the application process and qualifications for Unemployment. 

This source of income is terminated once you obtain your new job or when you reach the end of your time frame for Unemployment eligibility. There are instances where you can request an Unemployment extension if you are experiencing further complications obtaining a job due to the global pandemic, so it is important to keep that in mind in case you find yourself in that situation.  

While it may be tempting to sit back and take a break from work, it is recommended that you instead utilize this time to continue the search for a new job during this time of security from the Unemployment payments. Remember, do not be embarrassed to seek out this type of financial assistance because it’s there to help you during this period of hardship! 

Time to Update Your Resume! 

If you’ve been laid off, before you begin submitting applications for new positions, it’s important to take a brief moment to update or generate your first resume. Typically those who are employed don’t think to make consistent updates to their resume until times like this, but fortunately, there are resources to assist if you feel stuck in updating your resume. If you will be writing your resume yourself then make note of the following resume tips:

  1. Start with updating your contact information, job experience, and dates of employment.  
  2. Ensure your resume is ATS compatible by utilizing keywords and bullet points on your resume. 
  3. Ensure that you are featuring your most relevant job experience at the top of your resume to catch the eye of the potential employer or hiring manager. Do not be afraid to change the wording or order of your resume to appeal to each specific employer, because sending the same resume to every hiring manager may increase the chances of dismissing your application if it does not emphasize your relevance to their specific position.   

Do not underestimate the importance of this step. Your ATS-friendly resume is your opportunity to convey your competencies without being able to speak directly to a future employer, and to potentially secure your chance for an interview! 

Start Searching for Job Vacancies

After tackling your resume you’re ready to find and apply for job openings. During this technologically advanced era, heightened by the global pandemic pushing mostly virtual operations, there are several avenues to find job vacancies from the comfort of your own home:

  • Job search websites such as indeed.com, careerbuilder.com, and monster.com consider the type of position you’re looking for, your qualifications, level of education, and more. You also have the benefit of reviewing their job description, salary, and ratings from current/previous employees; then submitting your job application online directly through the website. 
  • Social networking sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, have become very beneficial in job searching. Facebook even has its own job posting functionality due to the site’s popularity, so it acts very similarly to job search websites. 
  • Your local area likely has a county/city website with job postings from local businesses that would be a great opportunity to find employment directly within your community. 

In addition to these online avenues for locating job openings, if you’ve been laid off you can also seek assistance from job placement specialists at career centers and community colleges, and recruiters.

Interview Preparation 

As you come across jobs you’re interested in or as you begin to schedule interviews, you will want to ensure you are prepared to make a great impression during your interview! Being prepared for an interview allows you the chance to respond well to questions and ensure you are making the best impression possible. 

  • Review common questions asked during an interview to help you form responses ahead of time. Glassdoor.com provides an article discussing common interview questions that you may find helpful. 
  • Ask a friend or family member to ask you common interview questions, then provide feedback for your responses. Practicing with another person will help expose any weaknesses in your responses, and allow you to make corrections before your interview. 
  • Secure interview clothing. A common misconception is that you must purchase an expensive suit for an interview, but there are ways to look presentable without spending all the money you have. Many career and community centers offer formal business attire for individuals to borrow for an interview, and appropriate business outfits can be purchased for a low price at thrift stores or low-end department stores. 

Employers will recognize your efforts to prepare for the interview, so make sure you do not skip this step. Your interview performance could be the determining factor if you are selected for a position!  

[Related:How To Ace The “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question ]

Consider Temporary or Freelance Work

Pursuing temporary employment or paid internships are a great way to supplement your income while you search for a full-time position if you’ve been laid off. Sometimes, full-time employment is offered through temporary positions because they prove to be a great way to show your work ethic and you already have direct training for that position. 

Freelance employment is typically contractual and considered self-employment. These positions vary greatly, such as website design, writers, video editors, app developers, translators, etc. This avenue is a great option for supplemental income regardless of whether you are experiencing job loss from the pandemic, looking to earn extra money on the side, or looking to practice your skills. Freelance opportunities are found primarily online on websites such as upwork.com or freelancer.com.

Another great option is teaching English online, which you can do after completing a TEFL course.

Sometimes having a flexible option for income while searching for a new career is what you need to help you avoid a hasty decision on a job that is not right for you.

You Can Overcome Job Loss! 

Experiencing feelings of anxiety and stress over job loss is to be expected if you’ve been laid off, but the methods discussed in this article should hopefully have provided insight on how to navigate this time of uncertainty. Whether it is obtaining a new position, or simply filling the time until your job becomes available again, these are the ways to ensure you can confidently move forward!

About the author 

This article was written by Lisa Holmes. Lisa is an online writer. She’s a new writer and contributor at contentcampfire.com and writes about career development for students and others going through career transitions.