Being made redundant can be a terrible shock and it is sometimes hard to know where to begin. City CV are experts in supporting clients through this difficult time with effective, job-generating CVs, LinkedIn profiles and interview coaching to ensure you maximise your chances of success. We truly believe that when one door closes, often another one opens and we work with clients at all levels to achieve their career goals.
Here are our top tips for coping with redundancy.
- Roll with the punches
Try not to panic – redundancy can happen to the best of people, and it happens all the time. People frequently react to what is clearly a traumatic event with extremes of activity or inactivity, which is natural. But it’s not in your best interests to run around like a chicken with its head cut off, or to disappear under the duvet for weeks. Avoid these fates by maintaining a zen-like calm (as far as possible) and getting smart by creating an astute to -do list for the weeks ahead.
- Understand your rights
The ACAS website is a great source for information, and you might well find speaking to an employment lawyer is an extremely useful use of your time; often they will give some initial time for free. Make sure you have a copy of your company’s redundancy policy, assuming there is one. But first? Dig out your contract and go through it with a fine tooth comb, with particular focus on any specified exit terms.
- Talk turkey and don’t always accept the first offer
It’s in your company’s interests to have you peacefully and amicably accept a settlement, and their first offer may well not be as high as they are willing to go. Don’t be afraid to negotiate – it costs nothing to ask the question if there is more available than the employer is initially prepared to give. Ask open questions around how the offer was calculated; it might give you an advantage in discussions. This could include keeping the company car, re-training, a bigger lump sum or sponsored professional CV writing services.
- Don’t take it personally
Try and control your very understandable feelings of resentment, anger or betrayal. Your redundancy is unlikely to be a comment on you personally so if you do choose to negotiate the redundancy, try to emphasise facts and policies, not the human factors. This principle also applies when talking to future employers about your redundancy; try to present it as having been a tough business decision and refrain from criticising individuals.
- Don’t burn bridges
It’s a great idea, and in life generally too, to maintain good relationships wherever you can, even if you are upset over how things ended. You will still probably need a reference for the next role. It’s always worth cultivating extensive personal networks and, you never know, perhaps your former boss ends up finding you something down the line.
- Get help
Help from a professional CV writing and interview training company such as City CV can make all the difference to job search success, as well as save money by reducing the amount of time taken to find the next job. A good CV means you will find a new job more quickly so the initial investment will pay off as soon as you start earning again. You can of course arrange this yourself, but there are certain tax advantages to negotiating it via an organisation. It’s always worth checking to see if your former employer can do this for you.
- Get employable
Make sure you have a target role, or roles. Prepare a professional CV, tightly focused on the deliverables of those roles, which uses a series of achievements to illustrate the relevant key skills. Write a great cover letter that condenses motivations, skills and ambition into three or four tight paragraphs. And of course, work hard on creating the best possible LinkedIn profile.
- Give good interview
If you’re returning to the job market, you’re likely to be out of practice at presenting yourself in the best light during the pressurised environment of an interview. Make sure you’ve prepared answers to the obvious interview questions. You need to package your motivations, experience and skills into bite size chunks; create answers that last two to three minutes long, and which focus on tangible achievements with results. Be able to answer questions on your strengths, weaknesses, summaries of each role and motivations for the target job. You could seek the help of a professional interview coach who can help you give the best possible interview questions.
- Optimise job search strategy
First things first – sit down and plan your attack, which should be diversified across several fronts. Most people stick with the obvious process of contacting agencies and looking at job boards. There is nothing wrong with using this strategy, especially if you’re an obviously sought-after candidate, but if you’re looking to maximise your chances, you need to be more creative. Work hard on optimising your LinkedIn strategies. Developing the ability to cultivate personal networks is crucial for career progression as well as for job hunting. Join all the groups, answer posts, make contact with industry figures. Finally, work out the best companies you want to work for and contact them directly – this is a great, high value approach that lowers your cost to target employers.
- Work with City CV
Take advantage of our expertise: you will benefit from our insider knowledge. We know what makes recruiters tick, what employers are looking for and how hiring decisions are made in the UK and abroad. City CV’s collective understanding and expertise of the employment market is second-to-none.