Job Search After a Layoff: 7 Ways to Start

Losing a job is stressful; an unexpected layoff can be devastating. Seven tips for making the most of your post-layoff job search.

Job search after a  layoff needs determination.
job hunting (Photo credit: Robert S. Donovan)

In today’s economy, layoffs have become a fact of life. There is no such thing as an indispensable employee. Improved unemployment numbers aside, the possibility of losing your job and beginning a new job search is always present.

If you have a plan, it can make living with an unexpected job loss a whole less stressful. Few people genuinely prepare for unemployment, and they end up working double time to pick up the pieces of their lives.

After a layoff, the first thing to do is take control of the situation. It is the only real way to get back on track for your career.

A layoff shouldn’t keep you down. Seven ways to jumpstart your job search after a layoff:

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Job Seekers! What Human Resources Learn About YOU!

In today’s job environment, job seekers have to hit the ground running. And human resources are always trying to stay one step ahead, to get to the truth about candidates.

Human resources can find a wealth of information about you!One of the first things a job seeker usually does will be to try to clean up their social networking profiles; they will be frantically deleting embarrassing photos, offensive language and information that could make judgment and character an issue with employers.

They hope and pray that this will be enough to protect their online reputation from mistakes that should rightly be buried. Unfortunately, that may not be enough.

Human resources departments now look a little deeper than just a social media footprint when recruiting and hiring job candidates. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers now have the right to request consumer and credit reports before hiring you, even as a contract employee.

What things will a human resources department see when they perform a credit check on you?

In this infographic from, there is now a better answer. It shows you exactly what is and is not counted in these consumer and credit reports, as well as background checks.

Some things they won’t get in these reports:

  • Medical or health records
  • Information, such as taxes and collections, from seven years ago or more (however, that does not include criminal records—they will appear in most background checks!)
  • Purged convictions

Even though, this leaves an enormous chunk of data in the hands of potential employers! Many of this data can be used to make the hiring decision. In a recent report from CBS News, human resources pros often look for five pieces of information from background checks or similar credit and consumer reports:

  • Education
  • Licensing verification
  • Credit history
  • Employment verification
  • Criminal history

By reading this infographic carefully, you can learn exactly what information a human resources department can obtain on you. You can also perform a background check on yourself (Ovation Technologies provides a criminal background check for only $20!), checking for mistakes, erroneous information and other things that can be corrected, before it is too late!

Infographic after the jump…

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Valentines Day on the Job: How to Make Office Romance Work!

It’s that time again! The day that puts fear in the hearts of human resources pros—Valentine’s Day. Tips on how to make an office romance work!

Valentines Day! Time for an office romance?
(Photo credit: stevendepolo)

With hearts, candy, flowers and love, once again office romances are a hot topic for human resources. The extra difficulty is the fact that office romances have become more commonplace; one study found that, at one time or another, nearly 70 percent of employees had a romantic relationship at work.

No matter what size company, workplace romances can cause problems. For one, if the relationship goes sour, it can result in emotional distress for not only the employees directly involved, but also a reduction in workplace productivity, which directly impacts business.

There will always be risks in office romances. On the other hand, many happy relationships have come as a result of relationships beginning at work. Happy couples working together could have positive benefits like increased creativity, better performances and higher incentives.

It all goes to show, you just never know.

An office romance doesn’t have to be a problem, hurt a career, or even cause stress. Simply follow these ten tips:

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Human Resources & Social Media: Legal Liabilities

A few legal risks exist when human resources uses social media in a hiring decision, in addition to significant advantages.

Human resources and the NLRB: social media legal liabilities

Social media certainly changed how companies do business. More human resources departments use social media platforms for recruitment, employee engagement, training, internal communications, knowledge sharing and so on.

Recruitment, hiring and human resources providers (including startups like Ovation Technologies that provide pre-employment background checks) often use social media in the process of finding, hiring and onboarding new employees.

With the bigger presence of these tools, certain legal considerations exist. Due diligence is necessary when using social media to decide to hire and/or fire.

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Sexual, Domestic Assault on List of ADA Human Resources Violations

To be Americans with Disability Act (ADA) compliant, human resources departments might have to add dating or domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault to the list of discriminatory acts effecting current or prospective employees.

In a fact sheet issued by the EEOC that explains the ADA may relate to human resources situations concerning employees, applicants or prospective employees who experience sexual assault, stalking or dating/domestic violence.

Civil Rights Act of 1964 as it pertains to human resources departments.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans discrimination by race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. The ADA prohibits discrimination due to a disability.

None of these statutes explicitly lists violence/assault/stalking as protected, but now the EEOC says these factors might apply to human resources interactions.

Employers and human resources departments are prohibited from treating employees or job applicants differently based on gender, including sex-based stereotypes.

Employers also cannot create a hostile work environment or use “tangible employment action” based on gender.

The EEOC provides several examples of the times where domestic/dating violence, stalking or sexual assault may be considered action based on gender:

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Human Resources: Is Hiring the Solution? 4 Questions to Ask

Human Resources: is hiring the solution?
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What procedures do you, or your human resources department, perform before posting a job opening? Do you even have a strategy? There are a few questions you should ask before you decide to hire a new employee.

One way to solve an employer’s problem in the workplace is to automatically hire new people. There are other choices, such as restructuring an existing team, setting up an employee referral program or other options that doesn’t take as much time and money .

To find out if hiring a new employee is the best solution for you, first have a way to analyze your current situation and make a list of “best practices.”

There are four key questions human resources should answer, even before you can think of beginning the hiring process:

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