Step 4: Clean up your social media profiles
"We always recommend clients update their social media profiles like LinkedIn right away, and then their resumes second. The first place most recruiters and hiring managers look is your LinkedIn profile," says Ripaldi.
Be sure your LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ profiles are up to date and are focused on the role you are trying to attain. Update your personal brand via your social profiles and resume by articulating what value you add to a prospective employer's company. Try looking at the social profiles of people in the position you are applying for to find the commonalities like keywords, skills highlighted and so on.
Step 5: Avoid surprises
You also want to Google your name, says Ripaldi. "You want to find out what comes up because a lot of times you need to be aware of what's out there in regards to your personal branding." You don't want to go into an interview and be blind-sided by some thought you posted two years ago or a picture that needs explaining.
Step 6: Update your resume
When it comes to your resume, says Ripaldi that "you want it to be no more than two pages and almost like a basic template, then as you respond to different openings that's when you'll decide what skills to highlight in your resume. If you've been in the IT world for any length of time then your skills will likely fill up more than two pages. You really need to target to whatever position you responding to."
Your resume should be up-to-date with all of your latest work experience, education, training and career highlights, according to Sampson. "Review your performance reviews and include applicable achievements, training, courses, and/or relevant responsibilities.
Getting help writing a new resume is probably good idea, especially if you haven't updated it for some time. According to Ripaldi, statistics show that a professionally written resume tends to get a better response so help with writing a new resume is probably good idea. That may be especially true if you haven't updated it for some time.
There's also a lot of material out there that you can purchase or read yourself. For example, books, articles and tips walk you through resume-writing and brand-building process.
Step 7: Reach out to your network
Be active, communicate and talk to your network. Try to make your messaging positive and upbeat. "Some people are hesitant to talk about it, but we counsel our clients and candidates that it can happen in the course of your career and it's OK to talk about. If your company was in the middle of a reorg or layoff and you were affected by that, it's OK," says Ripaldi.
When it comes to social networking, says Ripaldi, you should act immediately. "Reach out to your network and let them know you're looking for a change or a new opportunity. If people ask what's causing the move, simply explain that the company is reorganizing and you're looking for your next contract position, your next full-time position or for the next opportunity."
Depending on the contact, you can go into more detail or not. Just make sure you're focusing on where you're going next. That is, focus on the next opportunity and what your skills are that can help that contact.
"How you frame it is very important. You don't want to appear like a charity case," says Van Vreede. "You don't want to put too much pressure on people and make them feel as if you're counting on them to get you a job."