Hit by recent layoffs? Here are some do’s and don’ts to land your next job
Being laid off from work can be a difficult and stressful experience. If you are facing a layoff, there are a few things you can do to help make the transition easier. With decades of combined experience, our twenty people strong recruiting team has reviewed tens of thousands of resumes and conducted thousands of interviews over the years: they have seen it all. So, we’d like to share some of our insider tips to help you capitalize on your strengths and find your next job. In this article, we’ll give you some do’s and don’ts on your job search and provide you with some helpful resources.
But first, remember the most important element: Try to stay positive and focus on the future. A layoff can be a difficult experience, but it does not have to define you. With hard work and determination, you will find new success. If you’re struggling to keep your morale up, try checking out this classic Dale Carnegie book – many have found it useful over the decades.
Things to do to land your next job
1. Do an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses
You should take some time to think about what you’re good at, and equally, think about things you can improve on. Once you have a good sense of your own skill set, you can start thinking about how you might be able to use and improve those skills in a business context.
Some examples of relevant, transferable skills and strengths could be
- Analytical skills
- Strategic thinking
- Good with people/communication skills
- Creative problem solving
- Organizational skills
- Sales ability
- Giving presentations
Some examples of skills that you might be weak in or want to learn could be
- Writing skills
- Public speaking
- Technical skills
- Data visualization with Power BI or Tableau
Strengths and skills can also be useful as keywords when searching through job descriptions for something that’s a good match. You can also use them to tailor your resume and clearly map your skills to those listed for the role.
2. Polish your resume and make sure it stands out
Your resume should be a well-written, error-free document that highlights your most relevant skills and experiences. If you’re not sure how to do this, there are plenty of resources out there to help. Outside of hiring a resume writer, there are videos, numerous websites, and even apps to help you craft resumes.
What helps a resume stand out? Every recruiter and job application will be different, but we’ve found the following to be helpful:
- Ditch the objective section or summary. Most of the time it will be skipped. Save that space to highlight more of your relevant experience.
- Keep your resume to one page unless you have 10+ years of experience with lots of relevant experience.
- Use a professional looking Gmail, Outlook, or personal domain email address. Applying to a cutting-edge company with an older email service, such as AOL or Hotmail, might raise an eyebrow and make them wonder why you haven’t upgraded your email.
- When saving your resume, stick to” FirstName LastName Resume” for your file name. That’s it. Avoid including role titles, draft versions such as “Final,” and dates.
- Make sure you have both a PDF and a Word resume. If you are sending your resume over email, it’s best to send a PDF as it helps keep the integrity of formatting. Use a Word version resume when applying to jobs through portals. It will be easier for a resume parser to capture everything accurately.
For more tips, check out this Harvard resume and cover letter guide.
3. Create a game plan
Don’t just apply to any job or mass apply to all jobs. You should take the time to research which jobs would be the best fit for your skillset and goals. Applying to the right jobs will save you time and energy in the long run and increase your chances of getting hired.
Additionally, network, network, network! Explore opportunities through friends, colleagues, connections on LinkedIn, directly with companies and recruiters.
Local groups can be a great way to network in your area of interest or competency. Meetup.com is a popular site where professionals can connect, network, and learn. There are groups for nearly every profession across the U.S. Plus, you’ll find that company representatives and third-party recruiters will often attend some of the larger groups.
If you’re in the Seattle area and interested in data science roles, you might be interested in these Meetup groups
- Seattle Data Science
- Cloudy with a Chance of Data (formerly Seattle Data Science in Action)
- Big Data (native Hadoop) Ingest & Transform, Seattle Chapter
- Seattle Data/Analytics/Machine Learning
- Big Data Seattle
Things to avoid doing on the job search
Don’t lie on your resume
Don’t fake your qualifications or experience to get a job. This will only come back to bite you later on and will likely damage your reputation in the process. Be honest about your skills and experience, and only apply for jobs that you are truly qualified for.
Don’t forget about your LinkedIn profile!
Also, make certain that there are no inaccuracies between your resume and your LinkedIn profile. Many recruiters use LinkedIn to find potential candidates for open positions, which is why it’s important to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is accurate and up to date. Inaccuracies between your resume and LinkedIn profile can give recruiters the impression that you’re not being truthful about your qualifications, which could damage your chances of being considered for a role.
To avoid this, take the time to review your LinkedIn profile and compare it to your resume. Make sure that the dates, job titles, and other information match up. If there are any discrepancies, update your LinkedIn profile so that it aligns with your resume. By taking this simple step, you can help ensure that you’ll make a positive impression on recruiters who view your profile.
Don’t use a generic resume for every job application
Don’t use the same resume for every job you apply to. You should tailor your resume to each individual job, highlighting the skills and experience that are most relevant to that particular position. This will show employers that you are truly interested in the job, and not just mass-applying to anything and everything.
Don’t come unprepared to interviews
Research the company
Researching the company is a must for any potential employer. You want to know about their culture, what makes them unique in terms of how they operate and why someone would want this job over another one available at present time or historically? If you’ve done your homework, then it’s no surprise when an interviewee asks questions such as these!
Double-click on their values
Print out the about page or the values section on the website of the company you’re interviewing with. Then highlight any parts that you are curious about or would like to know more information about. Then take notes and write down questions in the margins.
Prepare your questions
Now when you interview have a copy of your resume and their web page on the desk. Whether you are on a Teams interview or in person, the interviewer should likely know their own web page with your highlighted sections when it’s the time of the interview when you get to ask questions. They will notice your professionalism, preparation, and your interest from this simple task.
Conversely, not being able to answer a simple “do you have any question for me” at the end of an interview is often an interviewer red flag. If you are truly qualified and interested in the role, you should have smart questions at the ready around topics such as expected KPIs, key stakeholders, company and manager culture and expectations, etc.
For more tips, please reference this link. We found this to be a very informative and helpful article to really give you an edge in winning your interview.
We hope these tips and resources will help you find your next job as quickly and painlessly as possible.
As a consulting firm that also provides staffing for customer engagements, Neal Analytics regularly has new job openings. If you’d like to see our current positions, check out our Careers page! You can also find openings listed at our parent company, Fractal.
This article was written by Sean Collins (Director of Talent Acquisition and Recruiting) and Sean Kirk (Senior Technical Recruiter).