If you have lost your job, the idea of finding a new one can seem overwhelming. That's why it's a good idea to create a reemployment plan to help you structure your job search and complete other tasks that will help you secure gainful employment. Follow the steps outlined below and use the printable template provided to chart your own personalized plan.
Creating a Reemployment Plan: Step-by-Step
Your reemployment plan will serve as an individualized guide and to-do list to use as you search for a new job. Use the steps below as a general guide for mapping out your own plan.
Determine Your Job Search Goal
List your overall job search goal at the top of your reemployment plan. Specify exactly what kind of job you are seeking following the SMART goal format. Make sure that everything you put in the plan is carefully selected to help you make progress toward this goal. Examples of job search goals include:
- To secure a position as a call center customer service representative working remotely from home.
- To get hired to work as an assistant manager in a retail store.
- To become a business-to-business sales representative calling on customers in the industrial space.
Make a Skills List
Make a list of the skills you have (or need) that are relevant to your ability to do the kind of job you would like to secure. As you do, consider whether your skills are as strong as they need to be, or if you need to practice or seek training to boost your employability. This will help you in several ways, such as:
- Brainstorming for skills to add to your resume
- Identifying areas in which you need to develop new skills
- Creating a development plan to build or improve key skills
- Thinking about how to pitch your qualifications to prospective employers
Update Your Job Search Documents
As you start applying for jobs, you are going to need several documents to support your efforts. For example, at a minimum, you are going to need an updated resume, a cover letter, and a list of references. You may also want to craft a letter of interest that will allow you to reach out to decision-makers with prospective employers.
- The sooner you update these documents, the greater (and faster!) success you're likely to experience with your job search.
- Consider using a professional resume writing service, especially if it has been a long time since you have been in the job market.
- Treat the base versions you create as templates, tweaking as needed to customize for each application that you submit.
Create an Online Job Search Strategy
Decide how you are going to use job search websites in your efforts to find a new job. Research to identify which online job seeker sites are most likely to be beneficial to your goals, then come up with a plan for using them effectively.
- Start with Indeed, as it is one of the most comprehensive job search sites. Register as a job seeker, then set up alerts to receive relevant job announcements. Consider uploading your resume.
- It's also a good idea to search LinkedIn for advertised jobs, and to set up alerts so you receive notifications when companies post jobs that meet your search criteria.
- Research to find out if there are other sites that are good sources for the type of work you want. For example, if you are particularly interested in remote or flexible opportunities, explore FlexJobs and WAHM.com.
- Explore professional association job boards relevant to your field. For example, the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) has a board for HR jobs. The professional association for your line of work may have something similar.
- Based on what you find, set up job alerts, and leverage job seeker features of sites that seem helpful. Then, set a schedule for doing a manual search of the most beneficial sites based on what works best for your schedule.
Establish a Networking Plan
It's not ideal to rely solely on job search websites when you're in the market for a new job. It's also a good idea to incorporate business networking into your reemployment plan. Not only can it be helpful to connect with people already in your network, making new contacts can also be a great way to cast a wider net when you're looking for a job.
- Update your LinkedIn profile so that you have a current and visible online presence that is professional in nature.
- Reach out to people that you have worked with via phone, email, or LinkedIn. Let them know that you're in the market for a job. Ask if they know of any suitable open positions, or if they have any suggestions or tips to share.
- Go to professional association meetings or business networking events specific to your profession to build your network and/or reconnect with people in your field with whom you may have lost touch.
- Reach out to the career services team at the college you attended to find out what kind of support they offer to alumni seeking reemployment, and if they have any leads.
Make a Wish List of Employers
Next, consider if there are any employers that you are particularly interested in working with. Make a list and come up with a plan for reaching out to those employers in a way that may help you be considered as positions become available there.
- Make a list of these companies that includes a link to the careers page on their website (if they have one).
- Fit their websites into your online job search tasks so that you get into the habit of periodically looking to see if they have any new jobs available.
- Call the company to find out who is in charge of hiring for the type of position you are interested in. Reach out to those individuals with a letter of interest and copy of your resume.
- Follow up your letters of interest with personal phone calls to introduce yourself. Or, if the hiring manager seems amenable, to request an informational interview.
Document Completed Applications
As you apply for jobs, keep a running list so you'll know which companies you've applied with, what jobs you've applied for, and when. Also keep track of any usernames or passwords that you used when creating applications on company websites, as this information may make it easier for you to apply for other positions that become available with the same company while you are still in the market for a new job.
Keep up with scheduled interviews so you can keep track of where you need to be when, and so you have a good record of your interview history. You can make a simple list, use a paper calendar, or a digital tool such as Google calendar. In addition to keeping track of when and where you have interviews scheduled, also keep up with the outcome of each one. For example, track your follow-up efforts, such as when you sent a job interviewer a thank you note. Also, keep track of when you hear back and the outcome.
Free Reemployment Plan Templates
This may seem like a lot of details to juggle, but using a reemployment template can help make it more manageable. Use the free printable templates below to put together your own customized reemployment plan. Just click the image to access the format of your choice. Update your reemployment plan as you make progress, adding and removing information based on what you have done so far, or what you decide to do along the way.
Printable PDF Reemployment Template
Click the image below for a PDF template that you can edit, save and print. Use this guide for printables if you need help with the PDF format.
Word Reemployment Template
If you'd rather access a fully customizable Microsoft Word version that will allow you to edit the template's structure, click the image below. You'll need a license for Word to use this version, which will allow you to change the structure of the tables in addition to adding your own text.
Job Search Success
Whether you were fired from your last job, downsized due to a reduction in force, or simply chose to quit your last job before having another position lined up, the time you spend creating a solid reemployment plan will work to your advantage. This is also true if you have been out of the job market for a while and are now seeking to re-enter. A reemployment plan will help you make the best use of your time and set you up for success when you are searching for a new job. Keep your plan current so that it accurately reflects the progress you are making in your search for reemployment.