It's important, even if you just lost your job and you're in panic mode, to take some time to get organized before you start a job search. Rather than scrambling, spend some time writing or updating your resume, create or update your LinkedIn Profile, write a cover letter, and plan on how you are going to manage your job search.
Here are the top five things you'll need to do before you start job hunting:
Resume - Your resume needs to be professional and polished, because if you don't have a professional resume, your application materials probably won't get a second glance from a hiring manager. Make sure your resume has what it takes to make a good impact.
LinkedIn Profile - One of the most important parts of LinkedIn is your profile. That's what you use to connect with people in your network and your profile is how you get found on LinkedIn by potential employers. Update your Profile so it's current and compelling.
Cover Letter - Write a cover letter you can use as a starting point for the customized cover letters you are going to write when you apply for jobs. It will give you a base to work with and it's good practice.
Organize Your Job Search - Take some time now to organize your job search and the entire process will be easier. Take advantage of the free tools available to help you plan and manage your job search.
Interview Clothes - Get an interview outfit ready in advance, because you may get a call or email to schedule an interview much sooner than you expected.