Looking for a job after a sudden layoff? Here are 5 tips on how to land your next role

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Here are some tips on how to land your next role after being laid off.

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Companies around the world have continued to downsize following the overhiring spree during the pandemic.

Since the start of the year, more than 57,000 employees have been laid off globally, according to Layoffs.fyi. From Alphabet to Meta, Amazon to Microsoft, big tech firms have taken a huge hit, with nearly 230 firms in the industry cutting jobs this year.

In Singapore alone, over 14,500 people were retrenched in 2023, “more than double the record low seen in 2022,” according to the government. With all these layoffs, many people are in the market for a new role.

“Going through a layoff is a very emotional experience,” says LinkedIn career expert Pooja Chhabria. It’s easy to feel lost after the incident, and is therefore important to take a beat to reflect and come up with a game plan for how to move forward.

Here are five tips she gives on how to land your next role:

Invest in community

Being laid off is bound to come with new challenges. First, it’s important to lean into your community and work on strengthening your network.

“Stay in touch with your colleagues at your previous role,” Chhabria told CNBC Make It. Additionally, she suggests attending industry events and reaching out to your connections at companies you want to work for.

“We’ve seen a 4x increase in someone getting an opportunity if they are referred by someone that they know in that company,” she said.

Level up your online presence

When in-between work, it is crucial to use that time wisely to grow professionally. It is also equally important to show how you’ve grown, she added.

Chhabria suggests emphasizing your skills when updating your resume and online professional profiles. She said that “87% of recruiters have told us that they prioritize skills when they vet candidates for roles.”

Another way to stand out is to start sharing content online about your professional knowledge, previous work experience, or future career aspirations.

“Content really leads to community building,” Chhabria said. “If I talk about my work, I can make my work reach more people.”

Prepare for the ‘Tell me about yourself’ question

“Always prepare for the first question that you’re typically asked in an interview, which is: Tell me about yourself,” Chhabria said.

“I think a lot of people underestimate that question,” she said, but “that question is your pitch on why you’re the best person for [the] job.”

Be prepared to answer that question. It can help position you to stand out and influence the direction of the interview.

“Sometimes what I’ve seen is people tend to take up a lot of time to chronologically describe their work history,” she said. “I would say telling a more cohesive story is more impactful.”

Preparing your answer by talking about your experience and connecting it back to why it’s valuable to the position and tasks at hand, Chhabria suggests.

She says a candidate’s answer to that question helps her determine whether or not they are a good fit for the role.

Own your career gap

It can be daunting to talk about your career gap after being laid off.

“Career breaks are also seen as something very natural for professionals,” she said. “Just be honest and transparent about it.”

Being upfront can help build trust with the interviewer.

Additionally, she suggests talking about how you used the time to your advantage. “Whether you invested in building new skills, you took up a few LinkedIn learning courses, or you did a few freelancing gigs,” it’s important to talk about how you spent that time.

Don’t criticize your previous workplace

After being laid off, it’s easy to speak badly about your previous employer.

However, Chhabria suggests leaving criticism out of the conversation.

“I would recommend people to not spend time on that,” she said. “A lot of people are going through layoffs for the first time … I would frame it positively.”

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