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7 Tips for Finding Work After a Job Loss

Preparation can improve your chances in the job market

By Department of Labor

Job hunting after a job loss can be tough.

Whether you loved your old job or hated it, being laid off is a shock — and it can be hard to dive into a job search right away.

But by planning a careful job search, you can increase your chances of landing a great next job. Follow these tips to make your job search a success.

1. Be Positive

There's no need to feel ashamed or guilty. Companies downsize because of the economy, not because of the employees. If you’ve lost your job, you’re not alone. If you’re finding it hard to move on after a job loss, read these tips for helping you deal with stress after a job loss.

2. Make a Plan

A successful job search requires planning and time. Often, after a layoff, your immediate concern is replacing lost wages. Find out about any unemployment benefits you may qualify for, and learn about other benefits and assistance. You can also consider temporary work as you conduct a more thorough job hunt for a long-term position.

3. Know Your Options

When you're laid off from a job, you have experience in a particular occupation as well as a particular industry. As you look for a new job, you have several options. You can often get advice about which option would be best for you by visiting your local One-Stop Career Center.

Laid-off job searchers have three basic options when looking for jobs:

  • Same occupation, same industry. If this is your goal, you can begin your job search by following the rest of the tips below.
  • New occupation and industry, similar skills. You might decide to try a different type of job that requires similar skills as your former job. Explore this option at Change Careers. You can also visit mySkills myFuture to find new career options to explore.
  • New occupation and industry, new skills. Maybe the time is right to move to an entirely new field and learn new skills. Explore this option at Change Careers or Get More Training. You might also want to visit mySkills myFuture to find new career options to explore.

4. Network, Network, Network


Talking to everyone you know is vital. Networking can help you find and land a job.

5. Polish Your Resume

When you apply for a job, your resume is often the only information a prospective employer has about you. Make sure your resume highlights your skills and qualifications in just the right way. This resume guide offers tips on creating or improving a resume.

6. Hunt Deep for Job Leads

Even during a recession, businesses are hiring. But since it can be harder to find job openings, it’s important to explore all avenues. Job banks, job fairs, One-Stop Career Centers, and of course your networking contacts are all good sources of job leads. Here are some ways to get started:

7. Brush Up on Your Interviewing Skills

This is especially important if you haven’t had to interview for a job in many years, or if you’ve never interviewed before.

By Department of Labor
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