What to do if you find yourself unemployed

On Tuesday, April 14th, ABC’s The View hosted these guests:

  • Andrew Serwer – Managing Editor of Fortune Magazine
  • Marcus Buckingham – Career expert, and author of The Truth About You: Your Secret to Success,
  • Tory Johnson – Author of Will Work From Home: Earn Cash Without the Commute.

Each guest espoused excellent advice on how to land a job, which I have recapped below. View the entire Top 10 Things to Do if You Become Unemployed list .

The ten points below were broken down into the top level advice of:


Below is some of the detail on the 10 points, with some further commentary from me in a couple places.

1. Thoroughly assess your financial situation.

2. Give yourself a chance to recharge and re-evaluate what you want to do in life and how you can best contribute.

3. Ensure your resume includes all relevant experiences and education, and then customize it for each specific job that you are applying for. Remember:

  • Keep it simple. Flooding your resume with too many details is distracting.
  • Highlight relevant experiences and describe them in quantifiable terms. Be specific about the results you have achieved and the contributions you have made to the business.
  • Incorporate company terminology from the job posting into your resume.

To this I would like to add Tory Johnson’s top five resume mistakes, which are in line precisely with the advice we give our clients at www.MilitaryResumes.com.

  • One size resume does not fit all – customize your resume for every position.
  • “Outdated and overblown” – keep your experience concise and within the past 10 years.
  • Failure to celebrate successes – how well you performed is just as, if not more, important than what you did.
  • Waiting for the phone to ring – submit your resume and hustle.
  • Unexplained gaps.

4. Treat your job search like a 9-5 job with daily objectives. Remember a rejection is a partial success – it will help you focus on more likely opportunities rather than waiting by the phone.

5. Network.

To 4 and 5 I would like to add that there are a number of free resources available to military-experienced job seekers. www.CivilianJobs.com is a great place to gain access to a military job board, locate job fairs, and obtain valuable career search advice.

6. Adopt a positive mental attitude. Whatever you’ve been putting off in other areas of your life because you’re “too busy working”- tackle it now.

7. Expand your skills. Go to school. Learn another language. Do something to demonstrate a dedication to self improvement to a potential employer.

8. Take a platform job. There is no shame in taking on a job that helps you pay the bills even if it’s not your ideal role or if it pays you less than you have earned in the past.

9. Volunteer. Many organizations understand when a person has been out of work following a lay-off, particularly during times like these. They do not understand when a person has nothing concrete to show for that time.

10. Start your own business.

What would you add? Please comment if you have other suggestions for readers of the blog.