Outplacement services are sometimes provided as part of a severance package. Outplacement generally consists of a variety of transition and job search support services over a limited period of time, provided by a dedicated firm that is contracted and paid by the former employer. Two of the largest U.S. outplacement firms are Lee Hecht Harrison and Right Management.

Knowing what to expect of an outplacement firm will help you get the most from this resource. Contact the outplacement firm as soon as possible after separation and inquire about:

  • Length of support – when does support begin, and how long does it last?
  • Type of support – will you receive one-on-one counseling and how often? Will you have access to office space, equipment and administrative support during your transition?
  • Job search – what kind of job search education and tools are provided? Are any resources available online? What marketing materials advice is given (resume, cover letters, websites, social media, etc.)? What type of resume writing or critique is available? How will you be prepared for interviews?
  • Networking and support groups – what job openings and networking contacts are provided? Are structured job search support groups formed and maintained?

Once you know the parameters of your outplacement services follow these tips to get the most out of the service:

  • Start when you’re ready – if you don’t feel ready to jump into job search immediately, determine what triggers the start of services so you can make the most of the term of service.
  • Take full advantage of everything offered – an outplacement counselor can help you learn about new job search trends, connect you with local companies and provide personalized support.
  • Be open and active – participate in group sessions and be willing to share your contacts, success (or setback) stories; group interaction can help ease you through the transition and expand your network.

Contact Alumni Career Services – even if you’re working with an outplacement firm, we can augment their advice as well as provide additional support.