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Landing job offers after a layoff

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

You don’t have to be part of Salesforce’s massive layoff to know that losing your job is mentally challenging—even when you see it coming and have money in the bank. Take a week to relax if you can.

When you’re ready to begin a job search, ask yourself what a hiring manager wants to know. In my experience, they seek a candidate who is a good fit and a great find, kind of like connecting with the one person that 10 other people want to date. You should present yourself as employed (until the month after your employment ends), someone who is highly desired by other companies, and someone who knows what they want.

Now sit down and methodically plan your campaign.

  • Determine what type of job you will target

  • Update your resume

  • Update LinkedIn completely so your profile reflects your new resume

  • Create a short list of companies to target

  • Identify the top three to five contacts in your network to reach out to first

  • Start networking for specific jobs

As I’ve written before, emailing your resume to a company’s job portal does not usually result in an interview or offer. Keep these four tips in mind as you navigate your search.

1. Don’t apply for a variety of jobs at one company.

Reason: You’ll look desperate. When internal recruiters look through resumes or search the database you’ll be tagged as someone who has applied multiple times. The better course is to search for someone you know who knows someone at the company you’re targeting. Employees are typically compensated for job referrals, which are a top method for entering a company.

2. Update LinkedIn to reflect the job you are looking for.

Reason: Highlight the skills and experiences that apply to the position you want. For example, someone who was a Development Engineering Manager and now wants to manage tech projects instead of people should rephrase their job title on their resume and LinkedIn as Development Engineering Manager/Project Manager. Then, briefly outline performance and job aspects that pertain to the project manager side. This is a common and accepted practice where clarity of purpose saves everyone’s time. You can also update the “About” section of your personal LinkedIn page to indicate your passion or commitment in specific areas.

3. Don’t promote on LinkedIn that you were part of a layoff.

Reason: It can trigger questions about why you were you chosen to be laid off, a situation some hiring managers do not like. I suggest you remove the post about your layoff.

4. Don't use the “Open to Work” frame that is available.

Reason: Many top companies want to pursue candidates who are happily employed while passively looking around. It can make you look desperate.

Tip: Visit LinkedIn regularly and comment on posts or just be an active user to appear higher in LinkedIn search results than someone who hasn’t logged in the past three months. Results can vary by person but a Career Coach can help.

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