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Recently laid off. I want advice on what to do next in my job search! Can someone help?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer at Unemployed24 days ago

Hello, everyone. It is March 29, 2024 at the time I am creating my first ever post on Taro. This is the Friday night where as of now, I am no longer an employee of a Fortune 500 company I used to work for. I was, how one says in corporate talk, "impacted by a layoff". I was given news of this on March 7th that I had a few weeks before I needed to return all my work technology and leave. This is the night of my last day in the company. People in the company liked me, so they told me to apply and come back again. A LOT of people were willing to let me use them for referral. It was one of the top 10 worst feelings of my life. But, it should not be one of the top 10 worst things to happen in my life. It's on me to make sure of that. I'm only 24, so I'm confident I can bounce back. I was also given a severance package to last me until the end of July. My company provided me outplacement benefits (resume writing, interview prep, etc), but I heard they honestly weren't too helpful. That's why I'm here.

What I've done in the meantime is update my résumé. I also have a plan of action for how I want to handle this upcoming first week of the job search. I want to build small-scale projects of each programming language on my resume which showcase understanding of mid-level to advanced topics of the skills I list in my stack. I want to treat my job search like a 9-5 job, where half the work day is spent building meaningful connections, applying strategically, and interview prepping (I need a LOT of that now), and the other half is spent on coding, be it refining what I think I know and adding new skills: hopefully getting chances to contribute to open source and giving back to the community.

I think I need to work on things such as making my résumé stand out, ensuring my interview prep is rock solid, and finding opportunities to show what I can do.

In the meantime, I'll check out some content that Alex and Rahul have on Taro, but I want to ask everyone else how I can refine the best way to begin my approach. What do you all think I can do?




  • 3
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    23 days ago

    You legitimately have one of the best post-layoff job search strategies I've ever seen - Bravo! My main advice is to go through our comprehensive job searching course: [Course] Ace Your Tech Interview And Get A Job As A Software Engineer

    After the course, I recommend sprinting into action ASAP (so for you, this would be polishing your resume/LinkedIn and applying to jobs). From there the process is effectively:

    1. Based on your application/interview results, you'll discover weaknesses in your job search
    2. Get the support you need to patch up that weakness by starting another discussion here in the Taro Forum or coming to Group Office Hours
    3. Repeat and go back to Step 1 until you have no more weaknesses, which will let you land an offer

    On the immediate tactical side, there are some logistical things to understand fresh after a layoff, so I highly recommend this too: How To Recover After You've Been Laid Off In The Tech Industry

  • 4
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    Senior Software Engineer at Upstart
    17 days ago

    I want to treat my job search like a 9-5 job, where half the work day is spent building meaningful connections, applying strategically, and interview prepping...how I can refine the best way to begin my approach. What do you all think I can do?

    This is an optimal strategy at a high level. Here are some tips to refine into the details:

    1. Participate in communities across three community archetypes: https://github.com/Vandivier/ladderly-slides/blob/main/docs/ENDORSED-COMMUNITIES.md
    2. Ensure you have a high-quality portfolio and resume. Your portfolio will be fine with as few as 3 projects it's not a volume game. Indeed has a free resume scanner. Make sure the ATS properly parses your education and years of experience.
      1. Through your job search feel free to A/B test changes. Make sure not to change it so rapidly that you can't get a reliable signal.
      2. Ceteris paribus, try to keep your resume to one page, black and white, standard fonts, no objective statement, hit major technical keywords 2-3x each.
      3. When spellings vary, consult Google Trends, eg "Full Stack Developer" not "Fullstack Developer." Treat your resume as an SEO game.
    3. Leverage easy apply features and quality job boards to apply to 50-100 job posts per week if you are optimizing for rapid standard placement.
      1. Don't target a single company. Build bargaining power with authenticity and competition by targeting a company archetype that you care about by tech stack, industry, or a combination.
      2. If you are going for Tier 1 companies in particular, and willing to have a slower placement rate, reduce the application rate and focus on upfront networking to generate a referral.
      3. Social network at every company you apply to. Prior networking is ideal, but post-networking is also fine. Use demonstrated networking scripts and target the main three job families for contact: https://github.com/Vandivier/ladderly-slides/blob/main/docs/NETWORKING-SCRIPTS.md
    4. Obtain over 500 Connections on LinkedIn. At this point LinkedIn just begins to show "500+" connections and the marginal opportunity benefits from network size diminish greatly. Ideal growth to this goal will be a natural side effect if you are following steps 1 and 3.
    5. For DSA prep, see the Ladderly Leetcode Kata: https://www.ladderly.io/blog/2023-11-25-leetcode-kata
For those who were laid off, taking a career break, or any another reason why they're not working right now. It's good to be unemployed every once in a while!
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