Job security — or lack thereof — is a pressing issue in today’s economic climate. If this has affected you, here are four strategies to use as you embark on a post-redundancy job search. Even in the midst of economic pressures and instabilities, there are other businesses out there who need the knowledge, experience and talents you can deliver.
Learn New Skills and Credentials
With your current schedule more flexible than it was before the redundancy, be productive and teach yourself new skills that will turn you into a marketable job recruit. Enroll in a coding class, get a social media or marketing certification or take a web design course. Hone your technical, creative and interpersonal skills to increase your areas of expertise.
“I value employees who continually show me they have a thirst for knowledge by taking the time to learn new skills that could benefit the company,” says Diana Goodwin, entrepreneur. “Having a large capacity to learn shows me that, as the company grows, this employee will grow with the increasing demands of their position and continue to move up the ladder instead of falling behind.”
Be sure to include your new skills on your CV so employers know how you’ve used your extra time.
Broaden the Search
You can narrow your job prospects to the roles and companies within your existing frame of reference, or you could venture outside what’s familiar. Consider your hobbies and interests. Do you have an analytical mind or have you always been a great writer? Find out what inspires you and use this time to move into a new career.
Once you’ve researched your broader options, it’s wise to network with people who are already in this field. “Speak with those in the sector, attend talks and meet-ups or ask to shadow in different workplaces,” says Kevin Mallen, the Marketing Director at Virtual Co-Workers. This might help you get an idea of how you can break into the industry, or better yet, make connections that can lead to a job.
Ensure Your CV is Polished
Before an employer decides whether to meet with you face-to-face, their first impression of you is based on the CV. If it’s been a long time since you applied for a job, this CV might need an update to accurately describe the relevant experience and skills you can offer this organisation. Think of this as a chance to summarise what makes you the ideal candidate.
Remember that a quality CV is succinct and tailored to the precise role. Be selective about which details to include and then ask yourself: “Does this highlight the best of my work and what I have to offer?”
Be Honest, But Don’t Over-Explain
If you reach the interview phase, be transparent when asked when you’ve left your previous job. Keep your answer honest and concise, sharing basic information without prompting more questions from the recruiter.
“You should definitely not feel defencive about leaving or being made redundant from a past employer,” says Jon Gregory, an interview specialist at Win That Job. He continues, “If you apologise for your situation, it will create a negative impression of you.” Instead, remember: the redundancy occurred — there is no need to pretend otherwise — but you don’t want this to be the main focus of your interview. Address it with confidence, then redirect the discussion.
Find a New Job After a Redundancy
When you’re made redundant, it can seem like both your effectiveness and competence as a worker have been called into question. But with persistence, a desire to improve and a little introspection, this could be the start of an exciting new career that fills you with a renewed sense of purpose and unleashes your potential.