how to apply for jobs after being made redundant

Whatever your age or career stage, being made redundant can be one of the most discouraging experiences you will face in your career. It feels unfair and is often an unexpected change in your career projection – after all who chooses to be made redundant?

It may be a shock, but there are ways to re-assess and re-focus your career – and kick-start your job search again. See it as an opportunity with these tips and tricks for getting back on the search: 

1. take some time to recover

Don’t try to do too much too soon. No one will expect you to get back on your feet straight away, it’s unrealistic and unhealthy. Use this time to really re-focus and even take some time out for yourself. Being made redundant can be shock to the system – most people’s career goals align with keeping their job – so it’s crucial that you take the time to process that shock. 

Of course, if you didn’t receive a relevant redundancy package then it might be more difficult or even impossible to take the time out that you need. If you are in a difficult financial situation when your job finishes then you may need to more creative when it comes to controlling the situation – try not to jump back into the same career space so quickly, consider finding an interim job to give yourself the time you need to recover.   

2. find your new career story

Being made redundant is now a part of your career story – in a good way. Ultimately, being made redundant gives you an opportunity to re-align your career and decide what it is that you really want to do. When you write a cover letter and speak to a new employer, be open and honest about your redundancy experience and really highlight how you turned this negative into a positive career experience.

Don’t forget even bad experiences are all part of the journey, and when a decision is made on your behalf the best thing you can do is turn it into a positive.

3. set new goals

Use this opportunity to set new career goals for the future. Decide where you want to be in five years, 10 years or even 15 years. And if you are reaching the end of your career decide where you would like to be this time next year. Maybe there is a dream company you have always wanted to work for, or an industry you’d love to move into – well now could be your chance!

A great way to start your plan is to look at what you have achieved so far, and what you would change. Be critical of your career achievements, skills and qualities and see where there is room for improvement. Make a list of skills you could improve upon and aspects you could refine. Finish your goal setting by summing up your goals in one sentence – this is a good way keep your vision simple and even visual. It can also be a good idea to keep this in your notebook or on your computer for inspiration!

4. revamp your CV

Losing your job is a great chance to spend some time re-writing and re-working your CV. When you are working it can be difficult to prioritise evaluating the content on your CV, so now could be the time. Try to re-focus your CV towards your new career goals (if they haven’t changed much, make sure you edit the content) and highlight the aspects of your job you would like to project to future employers. Find out more about customising your CV here

Of course, being made redundant is hard. But remember not to take it personally. Use all of your positive thinking to turn this unexpected career event into a positive change – and maximise the career opportunity. 
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