APU Advises Laid-off Workers to Continue to Improve Their Career Skills to Maintain Competitive Edge
University also Launches First Virtual Career Fair to Help Bring Students, Alumni and Employers Together in Difficult Economy
Charles Town, W.Va., September 7, 2010 – As millions of Americans remain jobless—and layoffs continue—American Public University (APU) is encouraging unemployed professionals to use their downtime to enhance their career skills and to better position themselves to re-enter the workforce. “A layoff is stressful, however, it is the perfect time for you to regroup professionally and explore what you want to do next in your career,” said Dr. Marie Gould, program director, management, American Public University. “Even if you are unemployed, you can show prospective employers that you are filling this gap by doing something productive and gaining additional expertise.”
Dr. Gould suggests that unemployed professionals remain positive during this economic downturn, and offers the following 10 tips:
- Go back to school. Take advantage of this time off to better yourself professionally and personally.
- Take a professional development class or enroll in a degree or certificate program to update your skills.
- Think about pursuing a new career. Going back to school is one of the best ways to retool and obtain the necessary skills to start in a completely different direction.
- Get out and network! Although sending out resumes is important, networking can help you tap into new contacts and job leads.
- Join a professional group and attend its activities in order to meet new people. You can connect to potential employers or references that may help you find a new position.
- Use online and social networking sites to meet people in your field, which also can be a fast, easy and cost effective way to learn of upcoming job opportunities.
- Activate your network and tell everyone you know you are looking for a job. Many friends and acquaintances are often more than willing to provide job leads or act as references.
- Volunteer in an area that may lead to a prospective new field or ignite your true passion. Many times volunteer positions can lead to full-time employment.
- Research organizations or companies that you admire and where you may want to apply. Read company blogs to get a sense of the corporate culture and to help narrow your focus to the firms you are most interested in working for.
- Remain upbeat. Get up every morning as if you were going to work and develop an agenda of tasks that you want to complete every day. It will keep you motivated!
In related news, American Public University also recently launched its first Virtual Career Fair for students and alumni to view job postings, apply for positions, upload resumes and meet with recruiters. More than 600 individuals participated in the inaugural event and met online to chat with representatives ranging from Amazon and Accenture to the National Security Administration and U.S. State Department, among many others. The event provided students, alumni and deployed service members with an excellent opportunity to meet with recruiters in a setting where distance and location did not hinder participation.
“During the event, 34 recruiters posted more than 180 positions for student and alumni consideration,” said Grace Williamson, senior program manager for APU career services. “ This successful launch, coupled with high student interest, has laid a solid foundation for us to begin planning additional future events.”