Getting laid off is never easy. These days, many companies offer less in terms of severance pay, continued benefits, and outplacement counseling. But if you’re laid off and your company offers outplacement counseling, you should take advantage of it. It may even be worth paying for your own outplacement counseling to smooth the transition to a new role.
If it’s been a while since you went on the job market, outplacement counseling can get you up-to-date on current job search practices. They can help you polish your resume and cover letter, give you access to job postings, and let you practice interview techniques. Perhaps most importantly, outplacement counseling can give you moral support as you navigate the job search process.
Learn Current Job Search Practices
The need to review current job search practices will, of course, grow direr depending on how long it’s been since you last had to look for a job. If you’ve only been with your company for a couple of years, chances are that the strategies job searchers are using now haven’t changed that much since the last time you had to look for a new position. But if you’ve been at your company for a decade or more, career outplacement services will be able to provide you with valuable information to update your job search skills.
Outplacement services can help you learn to use job search engines, navigate the online application process, tailor your cover letter and resume to get your materials in front of the eyes of actual human beings at the companies where you apply, and use your professional network and online presence to find opportunities others might miss. They can increase your odds of getting an interview, and help you ace the interviews you do get.
Polish Your Application Materials
Chances are you’ll need to update your resume to reflect the contributions you’ve made at the company you’re leaving behind. First, you’ll need to decide what you want out of your next role, what industry you’d like to work in, and how you can contribute. Outplacement career services often offer one-on-one job counseling, which can give you the opportunity to talk out your preferences, experience, and skills with a professional who can help you find the opportunities best suited for you and polish your application materials to help you get interviews.
Practice Interview Techniques
Job interviews are always intimidating, and the longer it’s been since you went through the interviewing process, the more intimidating they are. If it’s been five, 10, or 15 years since you went to a job interview, you’re going to want to practice making a good impression. An outplacement services counselor can help you practice your answers to common interview questions, and can help you come up with good questions of your own to ask the interviewer. You’ll also get advice on how to cope with pre-interview nerves, how to follow up after an interview, and how to present yourself as a polished, professional, and desirable candidate.
Access Job Postings
Your outplacement counselor may have access to information about open positions that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you, and may help you sort through the many job postings and available positions to find the ones that are the best fit for you at this point in your career. He or she can also put you in touch with head hunters who may be looking for candidates just like you. You’ll also get access to inside information about hiring companies that can help you network with professionals at those organizations.
Receive Moral Support
Don’t underestimate the value of moral support as you go about the job search. Outplacement counseling can give you a place to go everyday, where you’ll have the chance to commiserate with others who are also job searching. You’ll also get encouragement and support from staff members, who will be there to remind you of your qualifications and experience and help you learn to articulate those qualifications in a way that appeals to employers.
Outplacement career services are a valuable retarget for anyone seeking a new job. Whether you need help brushing up your resume, practicing interviews, or updating your job-seeking strategies, outplacement counseling can help you find your next job – sooner rather than later.