How I Landed a Tech Job After Being Laid Off
I was laid off from my tech job in 2023. I was devastated, but I knew I had to get back on my feet. I started my job search, but I quickly realized that things had changed since I was last looking for a job. The tech job market was more competitive than ever, and I needed to find a way to stand out from the crowd.
I did some research and learned about applicant tracking systems (ATS). ATS are software programs that scan resumes for keywords that match the job requirements. If your resume does not contain enough keywords, it will be rejected by the ATS and you will not even have a chance to be considered for the job.
I also learned about the importance of tailoring your resume to each job you apply for. This means highlighting the skills and experience that are most relevant to the specific job. You can do this by using keywords from the job description throughout your resume and by highlighting your accomplishments in a way that is specific to the job.
I took all of this information to heart and made some changes to my resume. I also started practicing my interview skills. I was determined to get a tech job, and I knew that I had to be prepared.
Make your resume ATS-friendly! Try the following:
- Use keywords throughout your resume that are relevant to the job you are applying for. You can find these keywords by reading the job description carefully and looking for words and phrases that are used repeatedly.
- Use a clear and concise writing style. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may not be familiar to the ATS.
- Format your resume in a way that is easy for the ATS to scan. Use white space and headings to break up your resume and make it easy to read.
Yes, it is often painful to tailor every single resume you submit. However, doing so, increases your chance of getting a call back for an interview. In other words: tailor your resume for each job you apply for. Some ways you can tailor your resume are:
- Read the job description carefully and highlight the skills and experience that are most relevant to the specific job.
- Use keywords from the job description throughout your resume.
- Highlight your accomplishments in a way that is specific to the job.
A rejected resume is in no way a judgement of you personally. No matter how perfect you are for a job listing, odds are that you still won’t get an interview. over 90% of resumes submitted do not lead to an interview.
D. Now, regarding interviews…
Interview invitations are as rare as four-leaf clovers. If you are invited to interview for a position cultivate it just like you would a clover. Some tips for doing so:
- Do your research. Learn as much as you can about the company and the position you are interviewing for. This will help you answer questions intelligently and show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the job.
- Be prepared to answer common interview questions. There are a few questions that are commonly asked in interviews. Practice answering these questions in advance so that you can give confident and polished answers.
- Use stories to answer interview questions, for example, if you are asked “how do you handle conflicts with teammates”, tell the story of a time where you had to help calm an argument between co-workers. (Note: do not make up stories.)
- Be yourself. The interviewer wants to get to know the real you. So relax, be yourself, and let your personality shine through.
- Ask questions. At the end of the interview, the interviewer will likely ask you if you have any questions. This is your chance to learn more about the company and the position. Be sure to ask thoughtful questions that show you are interested in the job. e.g. “How would you describe the responsibilities for this position”?
Searching for jobs in 2023 is very different than in the past. With so many qualified candidates applying for each job, it’s more important than ever to have a strong resume and interview skills. By following the tips in this blog post, you can improve your chances of getting a tech job and starting your dream career.
- Get feedback on your resume from a trusted friend or colleague.
- Practice your interview skills with a friend or family member.
[Note: most of my interview tips are paraphrased from videos on the Self-Made Millenial YouTube channel. Resume tips are based off resume improvement articles on LinkedIn and FlexJobs]