Being laid off can feel pretty traumatic. Even when you’re expecting it, sometimes there’s just no way to avoid the cocktail of panic, anger, sadness and/or guilt that comes from losing your job. The good news is that you can do something immediately to begin to rectify the situation: polish up your resume and reach out to local staffing agencies. Whether you’re looking for a permanent job or just want to jump into a quick contracting role, working with recruiting firms can help you get there (and get there faster!). Here are some of the reasons to get your resume over to staffing companies ASAP after finding yourself laid off.
1. Time is of the essence.
After being laid off, most people want to jump back into a new job as quickly as possible. Staying unemployed can be scary. It may make it harder to pay your bills and potentially even hurt your career if you’re unemployed for too long. (Selling yourself as a candidate is always hard, but selling yourself as a candidate with a huge gap or two on your resume can feel like a Herculean task.) Staffing companies can often help you find a new role faster. Because they have relationships directly with hiring managers, as well as their own internal teams to handle the logistics of the hiring process, they may be able to expedite things a bit. Another reason that recruiting firms can help you find a new job quickly after a layoff is that they give you access to contract roles. The hiring process for these kinds of jobs can drag less and be less cumbersome, thus landing you back in a new role faster.
2. Staffing firms open more (sometimes hidden) doors for you.
The problem with just conducting your own job search is that it’s so limiting. Recruiting firms don’t just see the jobs that are posted on LinkedIn, Monster, and other popular job boards. They also get to hear about the jobs that aren’t posted. The size of the ‘hidden job market’ is certainly in dispute, but some say that at least 30% of open jobs are never posted. Employers will share them within their own networks and keep their hiring pretty quiet. If you’re working with recruiters, they might be some of the few people who are told about an open position.
In addition to hearing about job openings that are never posted, sometimes staffing companies can even help create a role for you. Depending on the field, some recruiters will share great candidates with employers (and sell them). Some employers won’t be able to pass up the opportunity. They’ll create a new role for the candidate, add them to an existing team, or open a position they weren’t planning on opening just yet. This doesn’t happen in every field, but it does happen pretty often in fields where the candidate’s skills are high in demand. For instance, here at AVID Technical Resources, we certainly find that we can sell employers a candidate they didn’t even know they needed. Why not work with staffing firms and put yourself in the position to be that candidate?!
In addition to getting you access to unposted jobs, recruiting firms will give you another benefit after a layoff: they’ll give you access to a much deeper pool of posted positions. IT recruiting firms have entire teams of people with connections across various industries. Through their multiplied manpower and connections, they just have access to so many more jobs than you, as only one candidate does. They also often have paid access to some of the best job boards out there. If you want to really hit your job search hard after your layoff, consider joining up with a recruiting firm. Doing so can intensify the power of your job search exponentially. More jobs to apply to means better odds of finding something you like (and finding it faster).
3. Working with recruiters is like having your own PR firm – but even better.
The job search is hard enough without a recent layoff. It can be difficult to make sure you’re presenting the best, most marketable version of yourself to potential employers—especially after you’ve suffered a blow like a layoff. Layoffs can make a mark on your resume and really dent your self-confidence. One way to remedy this is by working with staffing companies. Staffing agencies want to place you, so they help you finesse your resume, your interview skills, and your overall presentation to employers. Good staffing firms also have an employer’s trust. When they recommend a candidate, the hiring managers will listen. Having a recruiter on your side can be particularly helpful after a layoff, as they can get a hiring manager’s attention and explain the reason you’re job hunting in a favorable way.
Recruiting firms aren’t just good at selling you as a potential employee. They’re good at selling you as an employee to particular companies. Staffing firms have an insider perspective because oftentimes they know what really appeals to a certain employer. For example, at AVID Technical Resources, we try to create great relationships with the employers we work with. We know more than just what technical skills a company is looking for in a candidate, we also know the kind of temperament the candidate needs in order to do well with the team they’ll be working on. We know when the interviewer needs to see a real passion for working with a particular kind of software, or customer service, etc. We can share this info you with you so that you can edit your resume and prep for an interview accordingly.
Samantha Keefe is an Interactive Marketing Manager at AVID Technical Resources. AVID Technical Resources is a leading information technology recruiting company with nine offices around the country.