9. File for your income-tax return refund
Another thing to consider, depending on the time of year you are laid off, is to use your income-tax return as a one source of money for paying bills. I haven't been a fan of paying for electronic filing, but this year I did spend the money so I would get the tax refund a little sooner.
10. File for unemployment compensation
This is something I delayed doing a little bit -- partially because of pride and partially because I didn't anticipate job-hunting to take more than three months. As someone pointed out to me, you have earned this money and you should take advantage of it. In my case, filing was complicated because I had moved from another state in the previous 18 months. The unemployment folks go back that far in figuring out where someone should file for unemployment. That potentially had me talking with three states' unemployment departments. I spent several days on the phone with the two states that would be involved in my situation. As painful as it may be to deal with this part of your unemployment, the sooner you start, the sooner the money will come in in to help pay the bills until you get another job.
11. Check the job boards
During my job search, I looked at CareerBuilder, Craigslist, Dice and Monster. I found no job leads from Monster in my career area. Several of the HR folks I talked to during the process told me they used Monster very little, in part because of the higher fees the site charged for posting a job compared with other job boards, and in part because of the generally poorer quality of applications they received from Monster. I found some new job-postings on Dice, but with a significant number of jobs cross-posted on other boards, I didn't find Dice to be a significant source of potential job leads. One source I wouldn't have thought to check was Craigslist. More than one recruiter told me he had good results from posting jobs on Craigslist. Set aside time each day to do this.
12. Make the job boards work for you
Dice has a feature where you can make your résumé searchable by companies and recruiters with a position to fill. I got some calls from that. CareerBuilder recently followed suit. Dice lets companies and recruiters repost a job every day so that it looks new, but in some cases this makes identifying the jobs a little harder. Turn the tables in your favor by making changes to your résumé periodically so that when it is searched it will show up as new or changed; this could get you looked at by a company or recruiter that might have passed you by the day before.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.