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The 7 Point Guide to Finding a Job After Being Laid Off


Being laid off from a job is one of the hardest things we go through in today's world, and harder yet is finding a job to replace it. Tech and software companies are seeing large numbers of layoffs too, but there are still plenty of roles out there for anyone wishing to find new work in the industry. Join us as we present our 7 point guide to finding a job after being laid off. This guide will look to answer your biggest questions, and help put you on the right track towards fulfilling employment.

1. How do you start over after being laid off?

Beginning again after being laid off is never easy, with each passing day seeming more uncertain than the last. So we answer the question, how do you start over after being laid off? And what positive aspects can we pull from the situation?

Ask the right questions before leaving your old position

Sometimes layoffs come as a surprise, and sometimes you will be made aware of them in advance. In either situation, make sure to take time to speak to your manager, or a member of HR. Doing so will help you plan your next steps in an informed manner.

It is important to understand how the lay-off will affect your future with your current employer. Some employers do not fully lay off staff, but place them on furlough.

What is Furlough?

Furlough means that you will not be required to work, and while you will retain your job, you will receive no wages, dependent upon the employer or country*. This is often until they feel that the business is in a strong enough position to bring you back to your original hours. If you are placed on furlough, it is worth considering what kind of job role you might want to look into - something short-term may be ideal. If you are based in the United States, it is worth understanding what benefits you may still retain during the furlough period. Do you still have health insurance for instance? How long are these benefits available for?

*Different countries utilise furlough in different ways. If you are UK or US-based, you can find further information on furlough through ACAS (UK), or the Government website (US).

The next steps are relevant regardless of whether you've been placed on furlough, or fully laid off.

Look after yourself and practice self-care

Often, being laid off or put onto furlough can create a sense of aimlessness and worry. Plus, if you enjoyed the company of colleagues around you, loneliness can also begin to affect you. During these times, it's important to take moments throughout each day to do things that you enjoy. Taking time for yourself will not only help you unwind after an incredibly stressful period, but it will also help you to process your situation. While it is not always easy to do this, especially when you have a family, taking time for yourself is an incredibly important healing factor.

If you have one, make sure to lean on the support structure of your friends and family too. Spending time with others can help relieve loneliness, and opportunities for work and for personal growth may appear where you least expect them. If you do not have friends or family nearby, there are many resources to help you fight loneliness. Volunteer your services to a local charity, or take time to visit public locations and events to meet new people.

Remember ultimately that being laid off is not your fault. We cannot always control what happens around us, but we can control how we proceed.

Assess your immediate needs

A vital step in starting over is to assess your immediate needs. Sitting down and understanding where your priorities lie can help you to make an informed decision on the type of job role you want. Things to consider might be:

  • Your home - Do you pay for rent or a mortgage? Your next position needs to be able to cover this.
  • Groceries - Think about the food and drink you consume in a week or month, and consider how you might find places to cut back or find cheaper alternatives
  • Bills - Do you currently pay for gas and electricity? Phone bills? Figure out where your bills are coming from, and assess whether you need to maintain any of your standing orders.
  • Family - If you have a family, how does it factor into the above? You may need to find a job role that can cover the costs of yourself and your family.

Draw up a budget plan and take account of your current finances

Drawing up a budget is one of the most helpful tasks you can perform. Once you understand your outgoings, you can begin to control them. Saving money where you can will take some of the strain away from job hunting.

Evaluate your career path

Taking the time to evaluate your career path can be a helpful exercise. There are many skills that can be used across a range of industries. What skills do you have? Could you apply them in a new industry?

We recruit employees from across Europe and the US, helping them find a new career in Tech and Software fields. These industries are quickly growing and feature as many soft skill roles as hard skills. Get in touch to see if we can help you today.

2. Is getting laid off better than getting fired?

Being fired and being laid off are both terrible experiences, and while it may be unfair to suggest that being laid off is better, it does provide better prospects for you than being fired. This is because layoffs are often down to the company itself having to cut back, which is not the fault of the employee. Being fired, on the other hand, suggests the employee is at fault, and as such, you may have to explain why you were fired during interviews.

person sitting at a desk writing with a laptop by her side

3. Update your CV

When finding a job after being laid off, you must update your CV. It allows employers to understand your current position better and see how you can be an asset to their business. When updating your resume or CV, consider these elements:

Technical skills - In fields like Software and SAAS, technical skills can be of vital importance. Make sure to include all of your technical abilities within your CV. If you know how to code javascript, or have expertise in a particular software, employers want to know about it, so they can see the potential for you in the role. If you have a range of technical skills in software development, consider viewing our job listings today.

Promotions - Letting prospective employers know that you are eager to improve and step into leadership roles can reflect well on your character and competence. It shows a passion and a hunger that a lot of employers will pounce on. If you’ve been in leadership positions in past roles, view our mid-level and top-level roles at TalentBox to see if we can find a job to fit you. 

Extracurriculars - Have you completed any courses or training outside of office hours? Always show this. It provides context to who you are as a person, and shows a willingness to learn in your own time. This will greatly improve your prospects, especially in industries like Tech, Software and SAAS, where industry changes happen fast and frequently.

Voluntary work - If you have space on your Resume or CV to include voluntary work, do so. It speaks well to your character, and suggests that you would make a compassionate and hard-working colleague.

In-work training - Have you recently completed a First Aid Training course? Or taken on the role of Fire Warden at your workplace? These often voluntary training courses and roles can take up a small amount of room on your CV or Resume, but show that you are willing to be responsible in your role, both for yourself and colleagues. 

About you - If you write a short paragraph about yourself when you update your CV or Resume, make sure to include your 'soft' skills. These skills often include things like teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability. Soft skills can sometimes be more important than the more technical skills, which can sometimes be taught during the role. We offer a range of roles at TalentBox that soft skills suit perfectly, including sales and customer success positions. View our job listings today to find out more.

How do you reflect a layoff on a resume?

You do not necessarily have to include that you were laid off in your resume or CV. Still, it is worth including that information in any cover letters that you send to prospective employers, especially if there is a gap between being laid off and searching for new roles. 

When including that you were laid off in your cover letters, do not speak poorly of the company that you were laid off from. This often comes across negatively to prospective employers. Focus on explaining why the lay off occurred, and make the employer know that you bear no ill will towards the business. This professional approach reflects well, suggesting you will retain that approach throughout hard times in future roles.

Do focus on your achievements in your previous role. Employers like to know that despite being laid off, you achieved goals and hit deadlines, and that you were a positive force for the company. This is especially helpful in the SAAS and Software industries, where deadlines can be tough.

4. Start your new job search.

Starting a new job search can be intimidating, but try to take heart in that you're making positive steps towards your future. There are thousands of roles out there that you may never have heard of that jump out to you, so try to go into the exercise with a mind open to opportunities. If the world of software and SAAS is of interest to you, consider getting in touch, or view our live positions available with our fantastic partners.

Create unique cover letters

Whether in the software industries or otherwise, always create unique cover letters for that position and company. Employers see hundreds, if not thousands, of cover letters for any given opening, so standing out is important. Use the job description as a base point for writing your cover letter. What skills do you have that can reflect what the employer needs, as suggested in the job description? Try to be as precise as possible to that job description, for the employer to see how well you will fit the role.

Make your job search your main job

Job searching can be laborious, often times involving application and cover letter writing. Consider treating your job search like you would a day job. Start at 9am and finish at 5pm. This structure will help keep you motivated towards finding new job roles, and help to give you a timeframe for applying. It will also provide a healthy amount of time to relax and spend time with your friends and family.

Stay Organised

Staying organised does not always come naturally to everyone. Still, the more organised you can be, the better. Here are a couple ways you can stay more organised:

Keep a notebook handy with all of your prospective employers and their information. If an employer calls you out of the blue to offer you a job role, or to discuss the role, you can be prepared and refer to the notebook wherever you are.

Create folders in your cloud storage for each role. This can help you to divide up your prospective job roles, which will help you to organise if you are writing multiple cover letters at once, or have to flit between job applications. Make sure you save each application and cover letter to the correct folder.

Do Your Homework

Always do your homework on prospective employers. This is vital. Doing your homework will not only make you appear more informed to the employer, but can also help you to decide if the company is a good fit for you. More and more, companies are focusing on work culture, especially in SAAS and Software industries, so consider how you will fit into your prospective work culture.

5. Talking to a recruiter

Talking to a recruiter can be one of the best ways to find open positions. On top of that, recruiters will work with you to help you secure the role, and act as a go-between for you and the employer.

If you're considering working with a recruiter, and wish to move into the Software and SAAS fields, get in touch today. We work closely with candidates and companies to connect them together, and we could help you find your next role.

6. Update your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn can be an incredible resource for finding new work. It is worth taking the time to make sure your LinkedIn profile is fully updated with all your previous roles, your skills and even up-to-date profile pictures. Taking an active part on LinkedIn shows that you are serious about work, and serious about finding a new role.

Build your network

Follow people and organisations on LinkedIn. Doing this can help give you a glimpse into what life might be like at their company. You can also gather a host of useful information from influential figures. It's also a good opportunity to see if there are roles and industries that you didn't consider before, that might open up your career.

Seek out a mentor

Find a mentor on LinkedIn. This can be someone who actively mentors you, or it could be someone you follow on a daily basis to gather tips and advice:

Being actively mentored can be incredibly helpful in getting the most from LinkedIn. They know the best ways to grow your following, offer tips on content creation, and can help you find that next role.

If you do not wish to be actively mentored, simply following influential figures can be a great help. They often provide tips and insights into their industry. Some may even respond to your questions if you comment on their posts.

Be active on LinkedIn

Stay active during the job-finding process. This is the best way to keep on top of new industry trends and information, especially in the software industries, where technology improves quickly.

Talk to Your Network

Don't forget to talk with your network. Doing so can help to build further contacts, and they may even be able to offer you opportunities themselves.

Two people sat at the opposite sides of the desk. One writing with a pen and the other looking at a laptop.

7. Prepare for the interview

So how do you prepare for the interview, when it comes?

Dress to interview

Always dress well for an interview, regardless of their uniform. This builds a good first impression, and shows you are willing to be professional and take the role seriously. Consider smart-casual wear for any job interview that doesn't require you to wear a full three-piece suit.

Prepare tailored answers to questions

Prepare tailored answers for each question you expect to get, and rehearse them. Showing you've prepared for the interview will reflect well on you, and if you rehearse, it will prevent you from stumbling over any answers.

Body Language for your interview

Be open with your posture, and lean forward to show interest. Body language can be a huge factor in interviews, so if you can present yourself as calm, confident and fascinated by the role, employers will take that on board.

Find a way to stand out during your interview

Is there a way that you can really stand out during your interview? Consider who you are as a person, and allow your personality to come through. This helps to make you more relatable, and can also provide vital information on how well you will perform with your new colleagues. 

Consider anecdotes and achievements from previous roles, too. If there is anything you have done in your career that is particularly impressive, don't be afraid to share it at the right time. It shows that you are willing to go above and beyond to perform well.

Should you tell an interviewer if you were laid off?

Often, interviewers will ask about any unemployment gaps. At this time, you should let them know that you were laid off. As daunting as job interviews seem, the employer is a human being also, and may have even been laid off before. As long as you are clear about the reasons for the lay-off, they will understand.

Always remember to speak appreciatively of the company you were laid off from. If employers hear of your achievements within that company and what they have offered you, it shows them that you can be professional.

Also let the interviewer know what you have done to improve yourself during your unemployment gap. This shows a willingness to improve no matter the situation, and is something they will take on board.

Interview Prep Questions

Always come to the interview with questions to ask the employer. This shows interest in the role and company, and employers will be impressed by your research. Consider asking things like:

  1. Where do you expect the company to be in 5 years time?
  2. What do you expect my day-to-day tasks will be?
  3. What can you tell me about the work culture?
  4. Is there opportunity for advancement in the company?

Can a company find out if you were laid off?

When gathering your references, companies will likely find out that you were laid off from your previous role. Therefore, it is important that they understand this early on, so they are not caught out by it.

Conduct a mock interview

Ask a family or friend to act as your interviewer. This will help you prepare for the interview and nail down any answers you're unsure of. Your mock interviewer may also throw up questions you haven't prepared for.

Follow Up

Always follow up any interviews with a thank you to the interview team. This shows that you respect their time, and further impresses upon them your interest in the role.

Asking someone to help you get a job

At TalentBox, we help candidates find the best roles available in the SAAS and software fields. 

We work across Europe and the US, casting a wide net to work with the most creative companies in the industry. If you'd like more information, get in touch, view our job listings or feature companies today.

Posted by: Talent Box