Raise your hand if someone you know was laid off in the last month. The odds are pretty good (meaning awful). Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that hiring slowed dramatically in March.

Although more people are being taken on than cut loose in the private sector as a whole, the public sector continues to hemorrhage jobs, and recently we’ve seen dismissals in everything from magazines to nursing homes.

You know the Web is critical to a thorough job search, but when you get the boot you must clomp around a trickier minefield than if you were simply seeking to switch jobs.

We talked to a few career experts about the wise digital moves for the newly unemployed. Tune in next week for part 2 of 2: How to survive beyond that first week of employment.

Let’s say you haven’t been fired just yet

(Social) network, (social) network, (social) network.

Yes, you should be schmoozing with contacts in real life, informational interviews are important, the whole nine yards. But you should also be strategically networking online, hooking up with new friends on Facebook, new professional peeps on LinkedIn, and new potentially interesting contacts on Twitter, Instagram and the like.

Spend a few minutes a week stoking cyber-relationships: liking posts, congratulating your contacts on promotions, and offering up clever commentary. Like IRL elbow-rubbing, it’s only slimy if you’re completely feigning interest in a Machiavellian scheme to eventually crush your competitors.

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