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Dealing with unemployment: What to do when you lose your job and
how to start over

By Paula Delos Reyes, Contributor

#DealingwithUnemployment #LatestJobTrends #InterviewTips #CandidateGuide #JobHuntingTips #EmploymentTips #CareerTips

Starting over: Losing your job and adjusting to life as a job seeker

If your boss breaks it to you that the company is letting go of people, and sadly it includes you, how would you go about this sudden unemployment? Or what if the company needs to shut down, leaving everyone jobless? What happens to your career then?

While we pray this scenario wouldn't happen to our worst enemies—let alone to us—this is a sad reality many of our fellow employees have to face. Just last month, it was reported that 27 million Filipinos were jobless. While we are still battling the pandemic globally, almost half of the Filipino labor force need to look for new jobs and income opportunities.

We understand that circumstances sometimes drive us to unemployment. It is usually unwanted, unplanned, and most likely unforeseen. The pandemic has forced many businesses to close down, causing their employees to become jobless, possibly after years of tenure with the company.

What do you do if unemployment suddenly hits you? How should you approach job hunting after years of being stable in your work? Worrying about job security and finding another job is one of the last things we'd want to happen, but if you find yourself in this uncomfortable situation, here's some job hunting advice from the Xcruit Team.

What to do if you lost your job during the COVID-19 pandemic

1. Remember that the current situation is not your fault. This is a setback that you can bounce from.

Nobody wanted the pandemic to happen nor the crisis it brought. While it is normal to acknowledge that this is a negative experience, remember that retrenchment and getting laid off because of this crisis is not your fault.

In the Philippines alone, the unemployment rate four months into the pandemic is already at 45.5 percent. Losing one's job means a multitude of things for different people, and it’s often personal. It might mean losing a source of funds for your family if you're a breadwinner or losing the HMO for your parents or children.

While this sudden unemployment situation may overwhelm you, keep in mind that it's ok and that it can be remedied. Take time to breathe and heal and accept the current situation.

2. After you've wrapped your head around your job loss, it’s time to come up with an action plan.

Losing your job might have caught you by surprise, but your next steps need a clear head and a good strategy. How do you now gear up and find a new job after years of stable employment? We have listed some tips on how you can get started.

A. Update your CV

Making a resume after years of stable work may feel weird and overwhelming, but it needs to get done. Take a look at your old CV and see what you need to add. Start your resume draft by writing down all the job roles you took at your last work, and the tasks that each entailed. When it looks complete, arrange it chronologically and add to your resume. Place your latest job role at the top, as it should be the first one recruiters see when they review your resume.

You can also refresh the look of our CV by using design apps such as Canva. Making a resume might be different now as compared with the last time you needed to update your CV, so it's important to check the latest CV trends.

B. Read up on employment trends

Speaking of trends, employment opportunities and in-demand jobs might have changed since the last time you applied for work. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of some professions, such as healthcare and logistics. Most of the job openings now are also online jobs or work from home jobs, and there are more employment opportunities revolving around technology. Stay up-to-date with the latest employment news to help you prepare for jobs that are out there. Future-proof your career by checking out the new normal jobs and the skills needed for it.

C. Assess your strengths and gaps

So much may have changed with the world from the time you started your latest work. New apps and programs are introduced all the time, and they dictate the kind of skills and mastery that we need to do our job well. After reading up on the job trends for 2020 and beyond, evaluate your competencies versus what you need to learn to become more employable. Now that you have some time, there is no excuse from not investing in yourself through online courses, or even learning on your own. You might be a graphic designer that needs to level up by learning animation, or a writer that needs to learn SEO. Depending on the specialization you choose to focus on, check out the available free online courses you can take in learning platforms such as Coursera. We also offer online courses at Xcruit, so don’t forget to check out any webinars that are coming up.

Class photo of our July 2020’s Canva 101 webinar, where participants learned graphic design and CV creation.

If you want to switch careers, this may be a great time to pursue it as well. Consider it your reset button. Just make sure that you are ready to take on this new role by learning the skills needed for it.

3. Apply for jobs online and and send your resume to companies

With job search portals such as Xcruit, it's more convenient now to apply for jobs. Safer, too. All you need to do is create your Xcruit professional profile, search for the jobs you want, and apply to the jobs that match your skills and requirements (such as salary and company benefits, or a specific field that you want to specialize in).

Since it might have been a while since you last applied for a job, we hope you find the courage to start all over again. Take this time to strategize your career move and choose your next job. Ask yourself - what role would really drive your happiness? Think of your needs and find a role that will address them. Do you need really good pay for your kids’ tuition? Do you want a job that has great HMO coverage for yourself and your family? Or is your priority to have flexible work that will give you time to look after yourself while still working from home? Battling the pandemic doesn't mean we need to give up on our dreams and aspirations. Now more than ever, we need to be more purposeful with everything we do - including our roles at work.

There are various ways you can filter your job search. Using Xcruit, you can look for jobs by salary, position level, or industry. If you are looking for jobs at a particular company, you can search for the company name, too, and see their job openings. Given the current situation, you can even easily use our Work from Home Jobs filter to search for jobs that let you stay at home and minimize going out, and our Frontliner Jobs filter to find jobs in the medical field, service industry, and other pandemic-related jobs.

The pandemic has rendered over 27 million Filipinos jobless, a July report from Social Weather Stations (SWS) says.

4. After sending out your resume to companies, prepare for the job hiring process.

It may have been a while since your last interview. What are the interview trends now, you ask? Especially if you are anxious about your interview, read our interview tips to see what the current interview scene is like.

a. Read (and digest) the job description of the role you are applying for

Understanding the job description for the job post you are applying to will help you remember the skills and experience that you need to highlight during your interview. If, for instance, under skills it says, "excellent negotiation skills," mention this as a strength and prepare to cite an example where you were able to display this at your last job.

b. Do your own research

Interviewers would typically ask you if you had any questions about the role or the company you are applying to. Prepare for this by checking out the company’s website or scouring the news for their most recent successes, and preparing some questions from there. This would show the recruiter that you are serious about wanting to be a part of their organization.

c. Read up on interview tips

Interview scenario 1: Preparing for virtual interviews

With our current situation, most recruiters facilitate online job interviews and employment assessment exams instead. Prepare for online interviews by checking if you have the tools for a seamless interview. This includes a mobile device, laptop, or computer where you can take a video call, and a stable internet connection. We have more detailed advice here.

Interview scenario 2: Answering difficult interview questions

Why did you leave your last job? While this may still sting, it's completely ok to tell the interviewer that the company you used to work for (and love!) sadly had to let go of people or cease operations because of the pandemic.

This is just one of the difficult interview questions you might encounter. Don’t worry, we have all the ways you can answer them in this blog.

5. Keep your hopes up

Times may be tough, but you are tougher! If you lost your job because of the COVID-19 crisis, remember that there are still companies hiring out there. Stay positive and take the first few steps as we’ve defined them above, and we’re confident you’ll be back on your feet in no time.

But for now, while waiting for your next job interview, you can take free online courses to brush up on your skills, and take your Xcruit profile to 100% completion by filling in as many details as possible. Remember, a more detailed resume will always be more attractive to recruiters than a half baked one.

Find job opportunities out there!

Need more helpful job advice in navigating our new normal? Check out our careers blog.