Your Layoff Emergency Kit

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They say that you should have an emergency kit filled with first aid, fresh water, road flares, whatever, to survive a stalled car/snowpocalypse/zombie invasion. The idea being that while all your neighbors are running around like crazed monkeys trying to buy toilet paper before the stores close, you already have everything you need.

The same is true about prepping for a layoff. Here’s the story of a jobseeker who was unexpectedly laid off but was ready that day with her information, LinkedIn profile, and so on.

Yesterday, Tammy Young tweeted: “Our entire team was laid off this morning. Looking for a product manager? DM me or see http://www.professionalmacgyver.com for my info.”

Her message was retweeted by a few people and came to the notice of Anne Messenger, of Messenger Associates, specializing in HR consulting and career management. Anne wrote:

“Loving how this total stranger @ymmat had seized the social media moment to get the word out, without dwelling on the negative…I want to meet this person, who’s upbeat, polite, smart and at-the-ready with her info for potential employers.”

Messenger checked out Young’s LinkedIn, which was done “really well:”

  1. Tammy has a great pic – a readily identifiable headshot, not a full body shot, so I can really see her face.
  2. She’s clearly smart (Ph.D.) and a geek (member of the She’s Geeky: Connecting Women in Tech group), but she’s customized her LinkedIn professional headline in simple English: “I help make adopting and developing social tools simple and successful for companies and consumers.”
  3. She has terrific recommendations, one from a peer, one from an indirect manager, highlighting both her professional credentials and personal qualities.
  4. She’s a real person, rounding her personal and professional self out by listing some pretty cool interests: board games, cooking, photography, reading, technology, forensic psychology, memes, cyber psychology, film, theatre, terrible puns, travel, science, gaming.
  5. She’s an award winner: 2003 – Recipient of Florida State Hospital ‘Great Job Award’ for outstanding service in women’s healthcare.
  6. She understands how to fine tune her info, streamlining her public profile URL and identifying her websites. Her grasp of skills like that will help get her next employer some extra Google juice. Nice!

Because this was all there, Young was able to send out tweets the same day as the layoff, to her network and potential employers, linking to her LinkedIn profile. If the profile had been languishing, un-updated, for months, there might’ve been a “wait, don’t look yet!” delay while Young fixed up her stuff. Since fortune favors the bold and the early bird gets the worm and all that, having everything ready is a huge job search advantage.

Another reminder to get those recommendations in order before you need them, because you never know.

photo: modomatic