Monday, March 2, 2009

5 ways to kickstart your job search after a layoff

by Margaret Hansen, Portland Jobs Examiner

Job seekers getting out (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Losing your job can be difficult, but don't let it get you down. In hindsight, people often say that getting laid off was the best thing that could have happened to them. Think of it as a temporary setback and get moving. Here are 5 ways to start...

1) Think positive. Whether you prefer audio tapes, books, blogs or mp3s, catch up with your favorite motivational guru. Websites and the library are your best free bet. Many of these experts have studied human emotion and motivation and will have invaluable advice when you need it most.
2) Get suited up. But forget about buying retail. Portland has great options in second-hand clothing. Goodwill, Salvation Army, and a score of consignment and other second-hand stores abound. If finances are too tight, check out Dress for Success, the Southern Maine Chapter.
3) Get online. Register with to reconnect with your former co-workers and bosses. Ask each for a recommendation. Follow blogs that match your interests. Not only should you use the internet to search and apply, but you can also research: companies, salary data, industries, careers and locations.
4) Market yourself. Have business cards, regular and text-only templates of your resume, a copy of your bio, samples of your work, references and other collateral ready to hand out or email. A free blog on Blogger, Typepad or Word Press is a great place to "store" them electronically. Include your blog's web address on your business card.
5) Get out of the house. Join an in-person networking group. The Unemployed Professionals group meets and hosts a guest speaker every Tuesday at the Portland Career Center. The Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce is another great place to meet, talk with others and spread the word about you.

Embrace change; a career that you love could be right around the next bend.

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