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Be Prepared for the Unexpected
By: Angela Betts

How long has it been since you last had to search for a new job? These days it’s not at all unusual to change careers or jobs several times in a lifetime. The idea of retiring from the same company after a lifetime of service is much less a reality in today’s world than it was a couple of decades ago. The likelihood of unexpectedly losing your job is greatly increased today due to a number of different factors such as corporate downsizing, technological evolution, and globalization just to name a few.

Being thrust into a job search can be a rude awakening and an eye opening experience. Ideally a job seeker should already be prepared for the unexpected with an up-to-date resume and versed in good communication skills. The reality is most people don’t have a current resume much less know how to effectively converse with a prospective employer. This lack of preparedness intensifies the stress and fear that comes with being unemployed.

Having current documents and sharpened interviewing skills will greatly increase your sense of control over the situation and relieve some of the stress. The process of writing your resume will highlight to you the skills you have acquired and the challenges you have overcome. In turn your confidence in your abilities will have a positive impact on your self esteem which will effect a potential employer’s impression of you.

Review your resume and determine whether it portrays you to be the candidate a prospective employer would be eager to meet. It should paint a picture of a person ready and willing to use your skills and talents to further the mission and improve the bottom line of a prospective employer. A progressive climb to bigger and better opportunities should be evident upon first glance.

Knowing how to answer and ask questions intelligently with professionalism and grace is just as important. Your resume is the tool to unlock the doors to interviews. Once the door has been opened the ability to communicate well is necessary to convey how you can be an asset to the company. This is the time to present your personal sales pitch.

You should be prepared to ask intelligent questions as well as answer questions. Inquiries about the company’s philosophy and mission, what will be expected in the position, and the degree of camaraderie among employees are examples of some of the questions you should ask. Usually applicants are given an opportunity at some point to ask questions and are very well expected to do so.

Spend some time reviewing your personal marketing documents. Do some research on the internet or at the local library to learn how to communicate well in an interview. Make your own list of questions about the job and the company to pose toward the end of the meeting. Practice answering and asking questions with a friend or family member. Pay attention to your body language and composure as well as your verbal responses.

You can turn an unexpected job loss into a positive experience. Take some time to discover the multitude of possibilities in which your skills and talents can be used and make it a positive one. You know the old saying, "When a window closes, a door opens." Even if you aren't currently seeking a new job, a career advance, or a change to improved employment conditions, be proactive and do the best you can to stay a step ahead. Keep your resume updated and your interviewing skills sharpened...just in case.

Angela Betts is a member of NRWA and has over 8 years of experience writing targeted, compelling resumes that will open doors to a world of new opportunities for you. Email Angela at or call 501-467-8768 for a FREE resume critique and to work one-on-one with Angela to develop your resume. Sign up for the FREE Career and Job Search Tips Newsletter at

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