Resources for the Recently Displaced

Tips for targeting your next job in the cable and broadcast industry

If you recently lost your job due to the recession and you want
to stay in the industry, you're not alone. The cable and broadcast industry is
a great place to work, and fortunately there are wealth of resources to help
you target your job search.

Leverage Your Membership Privileges

Chances are you already belong to at least one professional association such as
CTHRA, NAMIC, WICT, CTAM or SCTE. These groups offer resources that are unique to cable
and telecommunications, such as networking events, online membership databases
that will help you keep in touch with industry colleagues, job boards and
educational opportunities. Yes, while you're in transition, your dues and fees
for educational and networking events may now be on your own dime, but it is
well worth the investment to stay connected and visible during your transition

Associations also provide a great way to optimize your free
time-simply give one a call and volunteer your time and talents. Associations
with limited staffs and numerous projects will welcome your offer to
contribute. And while you're helping a worthwhile nonprofit, you'll make
valuable contacts that may aide in your job search, expand or sharpen your
skills set and add a new item of interest to your resume.

Get Social

Did you know that industry recruiters and hiring managers search social
networking sites to identify and screen potential candidates? Professional
social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Plaxo are free resources that are easy to incorporate into
your career search strategy. Simply create or update your profile by using key
words that will help others identify you as a qualified job seeker. And ensure
your content is 100% professional-you don't want your profile to have personal
information that discourages an employer from contacting you. Instead, consider
spicing up your online presence with recommendations from colleagues. Next,
invite colleagues into your social network and actively engage them on a
regular basis by regularly updating your profile, writing posts and sending out
messages regarding your career search, professional development and volunteer

Party with a Purpose

While a layoff may not be something to celebrate, it will gain you entrance
into a party worth attending. According to, Lisa Kaye, Founder and CEO of an online networking community
focusing on career resources within the media and entertainment industry,
"More and more job seekers and employers are finding creative ways to
connect given these challenging times. Any event that provides an opportunity
to expand someone's professional network is worth exploring."

The Pink Slip Party is a grass-roots initiative that gained
popularity during the dot com crash. The recession has spurred a resurgence of
these parties, where job seekers often wear something that designates them as
such, and those hiring are also easily identified. A quick online search
yielded pink slip parties all over the country, so hop on the Web and find one
near you.

Targeted Technology

Our industry has several niche job boards focused on specific job functions or
professional communities. Most offer employers an opportunity to post jobs
which you can search by keyword or geographic location. In addition, they often
allow job seekers to post their resumes for free or a nominal fee, and some
offer sophisticated technology to match your qualifications with available
jobs, create a video ad to market your skills, and upload an online portfolio
of your work.

Read All About It

During your job search, it's important to stay on top of industry news so
you're not perceived as out of touch during an interview. Industry publications
are a great resource and many, including Multichannel
and Broadcasting &
, have extensive Web sites to make it quick and convenient to stay up
to date. When you're reading, keep your eyes open for companies that are
expanding, people on the move who left a void that needs filled, and newly
appointed hiring managers who are seeking fresh talent.

Utilize Outplacement Services

Industry employers are working harder than ever to help displaced employees,
and many offer and pay for outplacement services. If it was part of your
severance package, take full advantage of it! Outplacement firms can assist
with crafting a winning resume, honing up interviewing skills, focusing your
job search, and identifying ways to maximize and expand your social network.

While it can be challenging to be "in between"
jobs, it's also a great time to reassess your personal and professional goals.
Utilize this opportunity to research your ideal companies or career roles and
develop a game plan for utilizing the above resources to help you get where you
want to be. The best advice CTHRA can offer to any job seeker is to leverage as
many relevant resources as possible. The more you're actively engaged in your
search and connected with industry professionals, the easier it is for an
employer to find you (or you to find your next employer). To all those
currently in transition, CTHRA wishes you the best of luck in your efforts.

Pamela Williams is executive director of Executive Director of the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association.