Six Steps to Take When Preparing for a Job Change

Although the government may say a recession is over, more layoffs will inevitably occur. In addition, with the economy improving, people will find themselves less willing to accept the long hours, wage increase suspensions and other requirements of bad times. With more firms adding to staff, wages will start to increase and you will have more of an opportunity to land a better job.


If you are worried about being laid off or just think you might want to explore other alternatives your best course of action is to be prepared.

Here are a few things you can do to get ready.

1. If you haven’t already done so, track your accomplishments so that updating your resume is easy. Every three months, sit down with yourself as though you were going into a performance review and record your accomplishments during the previous three months.

2. Update your resume. If you regularly track your accomplishments, updating your resume will be easy. If you don’t, then take the time to document your role, responsibilities and accomplishments. If you employ technology, indicate it in the body of the resume, not just in a summary section.(I know of no one that reads Summaries on resumes, waste of space because they are not connected to a specific project) A position review from HR and previous performance reviews may help you put it together.

3. If you don’t know where they are, track down your references. Managers who will provide strong testimonials about you, your character and your work ethic are worth their weight in gold. Do not let the trail go stale. Stay in contact with them so that when they are needed you know how to find them. Barring that, contact your references and update their contact information (Name, company, title, phone number, e-mail address). Ask them if they would give you a strong reference.

4. Check the job boards to get a pulse for wage scales for what you do. Job boards are a great source of the language and key attributes that employers are looking for.

5. Tailor your resume for each position you apply for. Like the broken watch that is right twice a day, a generic resume will reflect what an employer is looking for from time to time. A tailored resume will do it every time. Get an e-mail account from Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail for your search. Use this address in case you are laid off prior to finding a new position or to insure that you can disappear from recruiter data bases after you find a new one. The account should read,

6. If you’re laid off, get letters of recommendation and try to negotiate both outplacement and a lengthy severance. Outplacement will provide you with an office to work from while you search plus the services of a support staff to assist you.

By taking time to organize yourself, you will find that your search will get off to a strong start.


© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC  2008, 2016


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

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