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What to Do When a Layoff Is Lurking

You have a job but you’re worried about a possible layoff. Here are 10 things you can do to take better control of your career security and employability while you're still employed.

1. Update your resume and keep it current. Enhance it regularly with your latest achievements or added responsibilities.

2. Make a list of your responsibilities and accomplishments from the past couple of years. Compiling this list while you’re working makes it much easier to remember things you've accomplished in your current job.

3. Compile a list of all your internal and external contacts so you can start networking immediately. Don’t wait until you’re laid off to begin exploring your career options.

4. Get professional resume writing assistance to create a spectacular resume. An average resume won’t do you any good in this economy. Pongo's online resume builder is great for writing your own resume, with online and live support to make it even easier. But you might also consider investing in a career coach or professional resume writer if you want even more expert help.

5. Learn to write excellent cover letters. You can find lots of advice in this blog, our Learning Center, other online resources, and in books. Each can help educate you on how to write effective cover letters. Use the advice that sounds best for you.

6. Make copies of your performance reviews. If you do get laid off, use your performance reviews to prove to hiring managers that your layoff was due to a lack of business, not poor performance.

7. Ask to review your personnel file, which is typically kept in the Human Resources department. You don’t want to find any surprises in the file’s contents after you leave. If there’s any inaccurate data in your file, this is your chance to correct it.

8. Create a professional online profile on business-centric networking sites such as LinkedIn and Plaxo. Also, take better control of your profiles on social networks such as Facebook. This means denying public access to potentially embarrassing information and pictures that may send the wrong message to a potential employer.

9. Cultivate your professional references now by contacting previous colleagues and bosses who will provide excellent references for you. Ask each of them the following: "Are you comfortable providing a spectacular reference for me?" If they hesitate, find someone else.

10. Get organized by establishing easy methods to track all your job search activities, career documents, and networking contacts.

If you believe there is even a slight possibility you will be laid off, preparing for it now can make it easier to secure a new job in the future.

Do you agree with this advice? Do you have additional advice to share? Please tell us.


RELATED LINKS
Can’t Get Hired? Consider Temp or Contract Work
Laid Off? Try These Short-Term Jobs to Bridge the Gap
What to Do When You Get Laid Off: Tell Everyone

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