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Lost Your Job? Seven Things To Do Before Starting Your Job Search

iStock_000003458384Large-1024x685Experts at Harris Allied, a New York City-based executive search firm, note that almost everyone, at some point in their career, gets laid off or fired.

“People lose their jobs for many reasons. Maybe their company has decided to outsource or sell a division; it’s purely a financial decision; or the nature of the work or business has changed. Even in cases when you’re fired for poor performance, it’s important to leave that embarrassment at the door and put the past behind you so you can look forward toward the future,” says Harris Allied Managing Partner Kathy Harris.

Harris offers the following tips to unemployed job seekers so they can make the most of today’s job market:

Write a brand new resume: Position yourself in a new light with a new resume. Do not edit an existing resume — what was important to you five years ago is not important to the job you are seeking now.

Revise the dates on your resume: Simpler is better. Refer to the years you were employed rather than the months and years. If you remember incorrectly and an employer discovers the discrepancy, they might assume you lied.

Nail your messaging: Be prepared with the right words and make sure you’re not bitter during that part of the conversation. Get some coaching from a recruiter and work through the language you will use when describing what happened.  Of course, never lie. Employers will check your references.

Be professional: Never bash your former employer in a conversation with anyone because you never know if it will get back to them. Also, limit conversations with people at your last job so you don’t get sucked into old office politics.

Freshen up: Update your LinkedIn profile, professional accreditations and clean up your Facebook page of anything that might turn off a potential employer.

Network every day: Connect with people on LinkedIn; reach out to recruiters and ask for introductions or reconnect with old contacts. Remember to keep the conversation positive.

Pay it forward: Take the time to do something good for someone else: volunteer or mentor or make an introduction for someone. You will feel better about yourself and maybe make some new connections in the process.

“It’s important to remember that just because your last boss did not value what you bring to the table, it does not mean that your next employer will not see the value in what you bring to your new position,” says Harris.

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