How to Prepare if you Think you are Going to be Laid Off

Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2022 by Graham Quinn

News of impending lay-offs in the workplace can come as a shock. Your sense of security is bound to be shaken, especially if you have been with the company for a while. However, it’s important not to take losing your job personally. Remember that lay-offs aren’t about your performance but are due to conditions within the company. Keeping a positive attitude is essential, so don’t let it knock your self-esteem. Approaching the problem confidently and taking immediate action will help you regain a sense of control. It also increases your chances of quickly finding a great new job.

Make a Plan 

See this as an opportunity to think about how you’d like your career to develop. Consider not just what your ideal next role is, but also about your ideal lifestyle. There’s never been such a variety of options, not just for where you want to work, but how. If working from home, or in another country is something you’d like to do, research which companies are offering what you want. This way, you’ll find your job hunt more inspiring.

Update Your Profile

Anxiety about being laid-off tends to increase for people over 40. However, you can take steps to prevent age discrimination by removing dates on your profile, such as from your university degree. Consider eliminating work experience from over ten years ago, or only including the most relevant roles from your work experience.  The goal is to emphasise your knowledge and skills, not the number of years you’ve spent gaining them. Making these changes will ensure employers focus on your strengths. Visit the WMIS website for more tips on how to beat ageism in your job search.

Lead with Skills

Do some research to find out what skills are most in demand for the role that you have decided to pursue and emphasise these in your profile. It has never been easier to find courses to fill any holes in your skill set that may prevent you from competing with other applicants. LinkedIn offers a wide variety of short work-related courses or try other top online learning sites like Coursera.


Here are some general tips for updating your online profile:


  • Create a summary which captures your strengths, skills, and experience, but also communicates your passion for the role.


  • Include a brief vision of where you’d like to take your career, to show that you are driven.


  • Keep the language positive, friendly and not overly formal.


  • Recommendations always help. Reach out to your contacts to get some recent examples if yours are over five years old.


Get Yourself Out There


To make your profile really stand out to recruiters, create a 1 minute elevator-pitch video highlighting your relevant work skills and achievements. You can also use the video to reach out to recruiters or to companies where you like to work.


Next, set your LinkedIn profile status to Open-to-Work. This enables employers and recruiters to find you. LinkedIn research shows that you are 40% more likely to receive recruitment messages after following these steps.


Time is of the Essence


Start networking and applying for jobs as soon as there is a likelihood you may be laid off. Reach out to contacts in your network to see who’s hiring. Ask for introductions or recommendations from ex-colleagues. Also reach out people you don’t know in companies you’d like to work for to start conversations. Attending events and conferences in your field can also be a great way to find out about vacancies and make useful new contacts.


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Set up job alerts on LinkedIn and on other job sites, like Glassdoor. Research shows that being an early applicant increases your chances of hearing back from would-be employers.


Consider Hiring a Career Coach


If it’s been a long time since you last applied for a role or have been interviewed, enlisting the help from a career coach before you’re laid-off could be a savvy move. In addition to getting support for updating your CV and interview coaching, they can help you identify the type of role and company you will thrive in. This is especially useful if you have been in the same role for a long period of time. A career coach can also be helpful if you feel its time to make some changes in your career path.


Before you commit yourself to a particular coach, do some research and organise a no-strings chat. To get the full benefit of their services, you’ll need to know that you gel before you hire them.

Use a Recruiter with a Good Reputation

Good recruiters will be able to offer you many of the services of a career coach for free, such as helping you create the perfect CV and one-to-one coaching on interview techniques. A reputable, well-established recruiter will also have a bank of existing employers as clients and may be able to offer roles which are not published on other job sites. This gives you a wider pool for your job search and increases your chances of success.

WMIS (Wireless Mobile International Search) have been helping match quality candidates with their ideal employer in their specialist niche (wireless and mobile networks, systems and connected devices globally) for over fifteen years. If you are seeking a role in executive sales, sales engineering, marketing, product management, business development or project management contact us now to find out how we can support you.


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