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Job hunting after a job loss can be tough. Whether you loved your old job or hated it, being laid off is a shock—and it can be hard to dive into a job search right away.

But by planning a careful job search, you can increase your chances of landing a great next job. Follow these tips to make your job search as successful as possible.

1.  Be positive. Most of all, don’t feel ashamed or guilty. Companies downsize because of the economy, not because of the employees. If you’ve lost your job, you’re not alone. If you’re finding it hard to move on after a job loss, read these tips for helping you Dealing with Job Loss.

2.   Make a plan.  A successful job search requires planning and time. Often, after a layoff, your immediate concern is replacing lost wages. Find out about any Unemployment Benefits you may be entitled to. You can also consider temporary work as you conduct a more thorough job hunt for a long-term position. Visit Creating a Job Search Plan for tips on planning a successful job search.

3.  Know your options. When you are laid off from a particular occupation in a particular industry, you have several options. You can often get advice about which option would be best for you by visiting your local One-Stop Career Center. Three basic options for laid-off job searchers are:

  • You can look for a similar job in the same occupation and industry. If this is your goal, you can begin your job search by following the rest of the tips below.
  • You can look for a different type of job that requires similar skills as your former job. You can explore this option by visiting the Change Careers section.
  • You can look for a job in an entirely new field that requires new skills. Explore this option by visiting the Change Careers or Upgrade Your Skills sections.

4.  Network, network, network. Networking is so critical to a successful job hunt, we’ve devoted a whole page to it. Read about Networking During a Recession.

5.  Polish your resume. When you apply for a job, your resume is often the only information a prospective employer has about you. Make sure your resume highlights your skills and qualifications in just the right way. Visit  Resume Advice or the Resume Guide to get tips on creating or improving a resume, access resume samples and templates to help get you started.

6.   Hunt deep for job leads. Even during a recession, businesses are hiring. But since it can be harder to find job openings, it’s important to explore all avenues. Job banks, job fairs, One-Stop Career Centers, and of course your networking contacts are all good sources of job leads. Here are some ways to get started:

7.  Brush up on your interviewing skills. This is especially important if you haven’t had to interview for a job in many years (or if you’ve never interviewed before). Visit the Resumes & Interviews section for help on interviewing.

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Employment and Training Administration