Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to work again. Then turn them loose on the Web -- the greatest career resource since the power tie.
From the humorous PlanetPinkSlip.com to the jam-packed WetFeet.com, the Web is brimming with support and consolation during these tough times. The following list of Web sites was handpicked by Fast Company to aid the recently unemployed in their search for work, contacts, and a shoulder to cry on.
This site promises a haven "for the laid-off, fired, downsized, rightsized or otherwise unemployed" with generous helpings of humor. Get advice on layoff etiquette and pink-slip party pickup lines. While you're browsing, be sure to cruise by the store, where you can find coffee mugs and T-shirts donning slogans like "Paycheck, schmaycheck" and "I wasn't fired. I was given a career change opportunity." Also, be sure to sign up for the site's newsletter, "The Unemployment Line," which offers hints for surviving a layoff, job-opening announcements, and some tasty Ramen Noodle recipes.
The Layoff Lounge
This group of professionals holds monthly recruiting and networking events that serve the technology, telecom, and media industries across the United States. Use this site to broadcast your stellar résumé and to stay in touch with various contacts through regional networks and discussions.
Layoff Survival Kit
This CareerBuilder microsite offers a boost to laid-off executives climbing back on the career horse. The recently downsized can read articles -- such as "Forty and Fired" and "Rebounding From a Layoff" -- launch a full-scale job search, join a discussion (aka "bitch session"), and tap into countless other career resources.
Dot-Com Layoffs and Shutdowns
This comprehensive list of job cuts and bankruptcy filings at Web-related companies contains links to relevant news stories from the Wall Street Journal.
This product of the Wall Street Journal offers high-caliber information about salaries, interviews, and executive recruiting alongside career counseling, a job-search engine powered by Futurestep, and provocative articles that touch upon free agency, stock options, career events, and more.
This research and advice site offers employees, job seekers, and employers collections of articles that gauge the current job market and in-depth information that covers companies and organizations in a wide range of industries.
Monster.com is a reputed career hub, but its offerings far surpass the standard résumé postings and job searches. Now free agents and executives receive the same services once offered to only midlevel professionals and rookies. The expanded Career Center features articles, advice, and special in-depth reports about current employment issues.
Yahoo! News: Downsizing and Layoffs
This index of news stories and related Web sites provides a running count of company closings, staff reductions, and missed earnings reported by various media around the globe.
HR Plaza: Fast Facts
This area of the HR Plaza site reads like SportsCenter -- just the stats, please. Find out about mass layoffs, distribution of pink slips by region and industry, and many more depressing facts.
This site boasts a database of 20,000 big ideas and smart concepts culled from business and management books. The Layoffs, Downsizing & Survivor Syndrome section features extracts from books like Downsizing Sensibly, Forgotten Survivors, and Implementing the Decision to Terminate, among others.
Cecilia Rothenberger is the Fast Company Web staff writer. Christine Engelken, a former Fast Company intern, is a student at Northwestern University.