February 16, 2015

Conducting a Job Search After Job Loss

Written by Rachel Eddins

Posted in Career Planning and with tags: job search

business woman interviewing job candidate

Are you unhappy or dissatisfied with your career? Have you recently been laid off?

As a Career Counselor in Houston, I work directly with professionals who are unhappy or dissatisfied with their careers to take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve.

Many people begin to panic after a job loss and begin to sell themselves short. While there may be pressure to find something, you can still find the right opportunity for you with a strategic job search.

What is the first step to conducting a job search after a job loss?

  1. It’s having confidence, focus, and motivation. The outcome of your job search will have more to do with how you THINK about it.
  2. Having a clear focus and direction is often contrary to how most people tackle a job search.

Not all of us have a background in sales, but you really need to be able to sell yourself in a competitive job market. What are some self-marketing strategies job seekers can use?

  1. Focus on quantifying accomplishments and what you can bring to the position you are targeting.
  2. 30-second introduction: State who you are professionally, the industries you’ve served, and the particular strengths you can contribute to a new employer.
  3. Develop a contact list of everyone you know personally and professionally. Most data indicates that over 80% of jobs are found via networking and often were discovered through the person LEAST expected to be of assistance. Write a networking script to help you feel more comfortable talking about yourself when you are in a networking situation.
  4. Secure letters of recommendation or references early in the game.

Ready to make a change in your career? This report will guide you through 7 steps to making a career change. Includes self assessment questions.

Top 10 habits of successful job seekers:

In any situation, it’s important to focus on what you have control over when you are feeling helpless and out of control. The following strategies will help you gain control in your job search:

  1. Build your relationships
  2. Seek help
  3. Leverage technology
  4. Differentiate yourself: focus on what makes you special and get involved in your industry or profession.
  5. Act with urgency and professionalism
  6. Take care of yourself
  7. Focus on tangible results and practical solutions
  8. Identify growth industries
  9. Take a temporary, contract, internship or volunteer job in the meantime.
  10. Treat your job search like a job!

How can job seekers use the internet beyond sites such as Careerbuilder.com?

  1. Google yourself to see what is online about you. A recent study indicated that 35% of recruiters had ruled out candidates based on what they had found on a google search.
  2. Use linkedin.com to research companies, contacts and positions. Stay active and engaged in your profession through groups, etc.
  3. Register your own name as a domain name and create an online resume/bio.
  4. Write a blog about a topic you are knowledgeable about and begin to establish yourself as an expert in a particular area.

Networking is essential to finding a job. It’s often about whom you know, not what you know. What are some tips for job seekers who have never been in networking situations?

  1. Remember that people want to help you.
  2. Great networkers are great listeners not necessarily great talkers or schmoozers.
  3. Networking is not about using the word JOB.
  4. It’s about asking for help, advice, input and contacts and offering the same in return.
  5. The basic formula goes: MEET, ASK, LISTEN, LEARN, ACT, THANK
  6. Many job search support groups offer structured networking to allow job seekers to help each other.
  7. Other:
    1. Get involved with professional organizations.
    2. Teach a class – community college, leisure learning, meet up group.
    3. Write a blog or articles in your area of interest or ANYTHING you are knowledgeable about.
  8. Put time every week towards active networking vs. searching online for job postings and the time spent on your overall job search will decrease.

conducting a job search after job loss in houston, txLet’s talk about some job search tactics.

  1. Don’t spend all your time on job boards. Only about 1% of good jobs are ever advertised online.
  2. Companies are always hiring as long as you have what they need. Look for needs, problems and challenges.
  3. Relationship building is the key component – about 85% of your job search activities should involve contacts with people.

Are recruiters and headhunters a good idea?

  1. Recruiters and search firms can be helpful in your job search process. Remember that they work for the company that hired them, not for you.
  2. You can find recruiters through the Directory of Executive and Professional Recruiters.
  3. Don’t use any service that requires you to pay a fee.

Once you land the interview, how do you seal the deal?

  • You must prepare, no matter how confident you feel. Role play with a professional.
  • Research the company.
  • Be sure you can articulate how you can meet the employer’s needs.
  • Be professional in every aspect of the interview process.
  • Be careful not to ever say anything negative (avoid negative contractions).
  • Be prepared to address rule out questions.
  • Dress for Success – The mission of Dress for Success Houston is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.


There are many opportunities out there. The most important thing is to focus on what you do best, believe in yourself, be open to new opportunities and you WILL survive this and get to a more rewarding place in your career. Don’t face a job loss alone, get help and take advantage of some of the advice we’ve discussed today.

Contact a career counselor in Houston, Tx for help with your job search, coping with job loss or transition, resume critique, and interview preparation. Career counseling appointments are available in person and online. To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online.

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