The 3 biggest mistakes job seekers make after a layoff

The number of layoffs remains historically low in the labor market, but the shocks to technology and financial jobs have intensified throughout the year. With companies like Twitter, Stripe, Salesforce and Meta announcing staff cuts in days, and CEOs saying they’re bracing for a recession by downsizing, the market could tighten a bit for some job seekers. jobs that rebound after a layoff.

Albert Ko, 37, knows a thing or two about preparing for the worst: He suffered five rounds of layoffs during his 15-year career in engineering and sales, including two instances where he lost his work. He is now the director of AngelList Talent, a career site for starter jobs, and volunteers his time to help review resumes, offer advice, and connect people with new jobs.

He has consistently noticed that sudden job seekers tend to make three big mistakes when they hit the market. Here’s what to avoid:

Saying you can do it all: “Nobody needs a GP”

When you’re updating your LinkedIn status or tweaking your resume, you might feel compelled to list every job you’ve perfected or every skill you’ve learned. From a hiring perspective, that’s a mistake, says Ko: “You don’t want to be good at everything. Be really good at some things.”

A resume or resume with a laundry list of everything you’ve done before doesn’t give the reader a good idea of ​​your unique expertise, Ko says. marketing and operations, and in my mind, I’m like, ‘You can’t be good at all three things, and I don’t need you to be good at all three things.'”

So when posting your layoff on social media and making a call for job leads, take the time to think about exactly what you’re best suited to do and what you want to do next, based on your circumstances. ‘a mix of your interests, talents and what the labor market demands.

When you start applying for jobs, make sure your resume and cover letter are tailored to each company. Be specific about how your skills match the needs of the organization: “Emphasize your super strength,” Ko says. “Nobody needs a generalist. really good at what they’re trying to solve.”

And where possible, be sure to quantify your work and how it has made money or saved the company time.

Not being clear about what you are looking for next

Ko says it’s great to see people posting about their layoffs on LinkedIn because it removes the stigma of asking for help. He has found that former colleagues, recruiters and hiring managers generally respond positively to these positions and are willing to lend their support.

But, another big mistake to avoid is asking for help without being clear about what you’re looking for in your next job or business, says Ko.

This could mean making a call saying you can do anything, as mentioned above, or it could mean being vague about the title or level of work you’re looking for.

“If you’re too general about the type or role or company you want to work for, I don’t have a starting point and I’m potentially very busy helping a lot of people at once,” Ko says.

To help your network help you, be specific: “Tell me the type of companies you want to work for, or take the extra step to find managers or hiring teams at these companies and let me know. know. Then I can facilitate introductions that way,” Ko says. “Telling me you’re looking for a job in operations or marketing doesn’t help me.”

Even if you don’t have a list of dream employers handy, you might know what type of work environment you’re looking for: company size, industry, types of products or services you are passionate about. building, and so on.

Accept every interview, even if you are on the fence: “You will burn your relationships”

In addition to crowdsourcing on LinkedIn, Ko recommends tapping into other personal networks to find job leads: a mailing list of high school or college alumni, Facebook community groups, circles parents, a sports league, organizations you volunteer with, and other social groups where you are a member.

That said, going through a layoff is as much an emotional challenge as it is a financial one. So if you start asking other people for help in your search, make sure you have the time and the mental energy. follow the leads that people give you.

“You don’t get too much of a chance to put yourself forward and ask for a referral,” Ko says.

He says it’s also a big mistake to chase every reference when you know it’s something you’re not really interested in. “Recruiters and referrals know when you’re not serious about something,” he says. “If they stick their necks out for you and you’re not sure [about an opportunity]it’s going to be a problem.”

Not only are you wasting your and the hiring manager’s time, “you’ll burn your relationships trying to help each other out,” Ko adds.

Instead, thank your connection for their support and repeat why this opportunity isn’t the best fit. Stay focused on what you really want and only take interviews that fit well.

Want to earn more and work less? Register for the free virtual CNBC Make It: Your Money event on December 13 at 12 p.m. ET to learn from money masters like Kevin O’Leary how you can increase your earning power.


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