by Alex Lockey
Bonus Material: Our step by step guide to upgrading your LinkedIn profile
Bouncing back from redundancy can seem like an impossible task, besides, no one ever goes into a job expecting to be made redundant. The very definition of the word means to be no longer needed or useful.
We know how it can feel, but we’re also delighted to tell you that you can bounce back and even better your career!
Over the years, we’ve helped countless professionals in FE move onto bigger and better things after being made redundant and here, we’re going to give you our seven simple steps to finding a job in FE, after redundancy.
Facing and being made redundant are some of the most stressful experiences a person can face in their professional career. It can knock confidence, make you feel worthless and put strain on your home life financially and emotionally.
As such, it’s an exceptionally important time to look after your mental health, in order to help keep you moving forwards to better things.
Here are our top tips to look after yourself during this difficult time:
One of the most important points to bear in mind is that you can and will get through this. We have helped countless people bounce back from redundancy and have seen many go onto bigger and better things.
Ok, so now you’ve got a great looking LinkedIn page. However, you can have the best product in the world and no one would ever know if you didn’t say anything, so it’s time to supercharge your output.
Engagement works two ways, creating engaging content that others want to reach out to discuss and engaging with other people’s content. Either way, it’s super-important when facing redundancy, as it can give you a leg up in finding new opportunities.
In the FE industry, there’s loads of interesting topics and opportunities to get your opinions out there. One of the best ways to start is by following FE hashtags and commenting on other posts with your opinions - this will help get your name out there and help others to notice you for your ideas.
Another way to build engaging content is by looking out for relevant news stories that you can repost and comment on. This is a great way to showcase your expertise, invite discussion and open the channels of communication to wider conversations. You can even let the world know what you think about redundancies.
However, don’t feel too pressured if this doesn’t gain lots of engagement at first, there are content marketers out there whose sole job is to write engaging, optimised content!
Engaging with other people is a more straightforward method and can help to quickly build your reputation online, especially after redundancy.
Commenting leads to better engagement rates and is a great way to grow your network amongst FE professionals. This way of generating discussion also leads to an increase in profile views.
More views = more likely to be contacted about jobs.
LinkedIn is used primarily by professionals, who check most on their commute into work, lunchtimes and their commute home, so in theory, the best times to post for engagement are between 8am-10am, noon-1pm and 4pm-6pm.
However, most experts agree that Wednesday’s tend to be the most optimal days to make an impactful post, with 8am-noon being the best times.
The best way to find out for yourself is to just start posting and monitoring your metrics to see when you get the best engagement.
Shout about achievements
One of the benefits of redundancy is more free time, so it can be an excellent opportunity to gain some new skills that will boost your CV. Even if you choose not to, this is a great time to promote yourself further to potential employers by letting them know about your credentials.
Expand your network
When going through redundancy, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know - so by expanding your network you’ll reach more of those people that you need to know.
Simply search FE, education and any other industry keywords that apply and get adding! For a better acceptance rate, it is best to have a pre-prepared message to send out to connections, so they know who you are and what you’re about. Be sure to include that you’re looking to expand your FE network as you look for work - this will immediately let people know that you’re open to opportunities.
LinkedIn will only allow you up to 100 connections each day, so get into the habit of putting aside 15 minutes each day to grow your network. It will soon build up, in fact, you could potentially have 5,000 new connections within 8 weeks!
Start a conversation
Don’t be afraid to reach out to high-profile individuals, to ask for their top tips. You can even go one step further and ask if they would consider mentoring you through your redundancy - it’s an excellent way to gain knowledge whilst building relationships.
It’s also important to comment on posts (as we discussed in “Engaging with Others”) as this not only gets your voice out there, but will encourage people to converse with you, opening up the channels of conversation.
Keep in touch
Networking is hard work and much like (attempting) to grow a plant, it requires time and nurture to fully reap the benefits.
It’s important to keep in touch with new connections, so they’re aware of where you are at in your job hunt. Conversations happen everyday and you just never know when someone might come across your dream opportunity! So, you want to make sure that you’re the first person they think of when that happens.
Sounds a bit obvious, but CVs have come a long way in recent years. They’re now colourful, graphic and almost works of art.
But here are some of the top points you should consider when updating your CV, to make sure it cuts through the noise - especially in the current job market where nearly 700,000 people have been made redundant.
It’s really easy to give your CV a makeover, especially with tools such as Canva, which come with preloaded CV templates. Simply choose the template you want and you can change the colour, graphics, wording, until you’re happy with the result.
Having a beautiful CV to catch a hirer's eye is one thing, but it also has to be factual and informative too.
The following points are important to bear in mind when updating your CV:
A CV which has been tailored to a specific job has a much higher chance of making it through to the next stage. Use job descriptions such as a checklist and highlight each point off as you include it into your CV. This will help hirers looking for relevant experience and they will appreciate the work having already been done.
Treat job hunting as a job in itself. It’s no mean task and is why there are agencies dedicated to doing it for you.
One of the best ways to keep on track with applications, organisations etc is to create a list (we prefer Excel, but old school is fine too).
List each job board down and any jobs within that board which pique your interest. Create columns for:
Once you have done this, you can highlight each stage of your application process and be fully aware of where you are at with each one.
In addition to your ultra application list, you can also sign up to each job board with your dedicated email address and upload your CV. This is ideal for those who are time starved and may not have the time to create and keep on top of an extensive list.
Job hunting is work in itself and is why there are dedicated professionals like ourselves who work solely to place you in the job you deserve.
Recruitment agencies are an excellent option if you are short on time, only want to be involved in the best possible opportunities or simply don’t know where to start.
We can also help support your hiring process after being made redundant. We understand how it feels and have plenty of experience in helping those who have been made redundant find work again.
Agencies also have direct access to the people you want to impress and can help fast track you to where you need to be, but there is some research you should do first...
Recruitment agencies have notorious reputations and should be approached with caution, ok, we’re not that bad - but we’ve heard the horror stories.
A one size fits all isn’t what you want from the people handling your career, so it is always a good idea to go for more specialist agencies, who deal specifically in your sector.
Research what people have to say about them, do they have positive reviews? Do they feature case studies and testimonials on their website? If the answer is no, then stay clear.
We've given you all of our insider knowledge on how to find a job in the FE sector after being made redundant.
We get results and have a wealth of experience in our team, so please feel free to reach out to us by booking a call with us here.
Alternatively, if you have any questions, you can find me on LinkedIn.
If you want to hear from me weekly on all things further education, I send a bitesize email to a few thousand sector leaders every Tuesday. You can subscribe here.
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