First 10 things to do after being laid off

Fired? The news can be a shock, but by taking a systematic approach to this news you can reduce the financial stress and set yourself up to be re-employed in no time. Resist the urge to panic, drink, or grouse. Chin-up, develop a plan, and approach finding a job as your job. Below are my recommendations for the first 10 things to do after being laid off:

1. File for unemployment.
2. Update (or create) your resume.
3. Reach out to several individuals you respect who will review your resume with a critical eye and provide honest feedback... and then rewrite your resume based upon that feedback.
4. Check the job postings of companies you wish to work for and submit your resume for consideration. If you know of someone who works for one of these companies, try and submit your resume through that individual as referrals are often given preference, and the employee may receive a referral bonus if you are hired.
5. Post your resume on Monster.com, hotjobs, careerbuilder.com, and the new Hound.com.
6. Contact recruiters in your industry and submit your resume for consideration.
7. Eliminate the "want to have but don't need" expenses such as the local newspaper (it's probably available online), premium cable (just how often do you really watch HBO or Showtime?), and even NetFlix (my local library has hundreds of DVDs that can be checked out for free).
8. Go through your closets, attic, and basement to find unnecessary items to sell on eBay and/or Craigslist.
9. Consider refinancing your home or opening a home equity line of credit in the event you don't have a 3-month financial cushion or just want to have access to cash "just in case".
10. Do your taxes & file now if owed a refund; file on the due date if you owe taxes (which is April 17 this year).