career changeNetworkingBouncing Back After a Lay-Off | Career Coach Sherri Thomas

April 15, 2011by Sherri Thomas0

Three of my clients were hired last week(!) including Cindy, a financial analyst in the mortgage industry who had been laid off 3 months earlier. In fact, Cindy received two (2) job offers in the same week!

After being in the banking industry for 20 years, and with the same company for 10, she found herself abruptly out of a job just before the Christmas holidays. She first contacted me six weeks ago, saying that she needed help finding a new job fast!

Specifically, her challenge was “How do you get a new job, when you were laid off in your last position?”

As Cindy’s Career Coach, our first step was to go through the grieving process.  Cindy had been so focused on finding her next job, that she hadn’t been able to let go of all the pain, dissappointment and embarrassment that comes with being laid off.  It’s natural to have those feelings, and it’s important to work through those emotions so that you can let them go and move on to your interviews feeling confident and assured.

Many, many professionals have been laid off in this economy, so there is no shame in being laid off.  Where it gets tricky though, is knowing how to answer questions to showcase yourself in the best light. 

By learning more about Cindy’s talents, strengths and accomplishments I helped her map out her network, and prepare a 3-step strategy to help her promote herself in a tactful way! 😉  

So, how do you speak about your strengths and successes in a tactful way without making it sound like you’re bragging?  Below are 3 key strategies to help you tactfully toot your own horn without sounding cheeeeeesy…

1.    Talk about your projects, teams, and the value they delivered to the organization.  It may feel uncomfortable talking about your achievements, but the fact is you won’t get noticed (yet alone hired!) if you don’t talk about them.

Here’s a tip – focus on the projects and teams you contributed to, and the value they delivered to the organization.  Talk about goals, or stretch goals, that were met and how they benefited the organization to help increase revenue, save costs, or gain more market share.

2.    Focus on results.  On your resume, in your interviews, and in your networking opportunities – instead of talking about your previous responsibilities, talk about tangible results you helped to achieve. When you quantify your achievements with a number, dollar, or percentage, you add credibility to your successes and rise above the competition.

For example, instead of saying that you managed a sales team for a specific product, instead, say that you led a sales team that generated $250,000 a year for the past 3 years!  Quantifying your successes says that you are a driver, high achiever, and that you get results.

3.    Attitude is the key ingredient!  I’ve found that getting a new job really boils down to two things: confidence and passion.  To get the job offer at the NBC-TV station in Monterey and beat out the other 100 job candidates, I was passionate about the company AND the position.  Even though I didn’t have the kind of experience that was required, I told the hiring manager that I absolutely knew that I could do the job.

There’s a kind of quiet confidence that we all have down deep inside.  A confidence that comes from knowing what we’re capable of doing.  When you transition into a new job role or a new company, you need to show the hiring manager that you have confidence in yourself and know that you’ll be successful in the job. 

And finally…
Great companies are ALWAYS looking to hire great talent – and that means you!  So, if you’re serious about getting into a new career, then follow these three tips, power up your confidence, and believe in yourself!  You’ll significantly increase your chances of getting hired, decrease the time it takes, and be much more likely to transition into a new career that inspires you.

Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books!  Career Coaching 360 ( provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily.   To learn how you can reinvent your career quickly and easily, visit Career Coaching 360’s website for resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages.

Sherri Thomas

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