Laid off? Coolly prepare to interview for next job

WORKING DIGEST

April 19, 2006

Mass layoffs, downsizing, buyouts ... whatever you want to call them, dismissals by large corporations have become commonplace. Getting fired doesn't come with much stigma anymore and perks like severance payments, benefit extensions and the use of "outplacement" firms can help. But with retirement, health care and other essential benefits still linked to jobs, it's as important as ever to get back in the saddle. Keeping cool and rational is a good place to start, experts say. The more tenure you've had at a company and the smaller the number of firings, the more negotiating room you have when talking severance. Working from home or in an office provided by an outplacement firm will help you put some distance between your old job and your next one.

Knight Ridder/Tribune

Careers

How to prepare for job search

Here are some tools for job searching from Ford R. Myers, president of Career Potential LLC, a career-counseling company in Haverford, Pa., and author of The Ultimate Career Guide.

Written narratives of tasks that made you proud, describing the challenge, your actions and the results.

Verbal presentations about who you are, what you've done, and your particular strengths.

Biography.

Target company list. A "wish list" of adjectives that would describe your ideal employer, such as size, location, industry, culture, environment, etc.

Contact list. A list of all the people you know personally and professionally.

References.

Letters of recommendation.

Networking agenda.

Tracking system.

Resume.

Summer jobs

Few companies plan pay raises

Plenty of jobs, but flat pay. That's the word from a survey of 50 national companies that hire an abundant number of summer workers. Of 50 employers, including pizza chains and movie theaters, 84 percent indicated that they'll have the same number or more jobs available this summer than last. But only 28 percent said they expect they'll need to pay more than a year ago. According to the survey, 16 percent said they see a decline in teenage applicants, and 36 percent said they plan to target older applicants this summer. "Older workers, from recent college graduates to senior citizens, have a record of experience that is attractive to employers," said Shawn Boyer, founder and chief executive of SnagAJob.com Inc., a Richmond, Va.-based job site that queried the companies.

Associated Press

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