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Layoffs possible? It’s wise to prepare for the worst

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Question:  “I work for a bank that was recently acquired by a larger bank. Management has told us that there will be layoffs in a few months, but we don’t yet know who will be affected.  Should I wait and see what happens or start looking for another position now?”  —Worried

Answer:  With your job security in doubt, you would be wise to start preparing for the worst.  But don’t let anxiety send you running wildly off in all directions.  Use this time to plan and organize an effective job search.  

First, acquire the job-seeking skills that will make you a first-class applicant.  Look for books and web resources on networking, resume-writing, and interviewing.  Mastering these three areas will greatly increase your odds of being hired.  

If you’ve been out of the job market for awhile, update yourself on the latest electronic job search strategies.  Using online resources can affect everything from your networking techniques to the wording of your resume.  

While you’re online, find out what curious employers can learn about you.  Google yourself and try to remove any worrisome information.  Carefully review social networking sites to be sure that you present a professional image.

Next, create a basic template for your resume and cover letter.  When you start applying for jobs, you can use this template to customize your documents for each specific position.  Interviewers will be more interested in a resume that closely matches their job requirements.

Finally, start the networking process by letting people know that you want to hear about job opportunities.  Get involved with professional associations, community organizations, or any other group that might produce job leads.   
Even if you survive the upcoming layoff, your preparation will not be wasted.  At some point in your career, these job-seeking skills will come in handy.   

For more Office Coach job search advice, check out the following section of our website: Job Search Skills

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