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Tech layoffs have made competition for jobs fierce, some workers say

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Even though Tiara Richardson read news articles warning of impending layoffs from Big Tech, she still hoped for her job as a content designer for Meta would be safe. She had been with the company for four months and said that at one point her team was considered a priority for the company.

So when a layoff email came back to her inbox in November, she said she was devastated.

Richardson, a 40-year-old in Raleigh, North Carolina, had been working remotely for four months with a team she loved and just found her groove when she and around 11,000 of his colleagues lost their jobs.

“I just started bowling,” she said. “I had never held this position before. … I started thinking, ‘Oh my God, what if I can’t find a job?’ »

Richardson joins hundreds of thousands of tech workers who are in the same boat – without unexpected work and looking for their next gig. Twitter, Meta, Stripe, Lyft and more recently Salesforce and Amazon are among the most notable companies that reduced their workforce.

While many laid-off tech workers are finding job openings, they say there are far fewer and they have to battle more top talent for newcomers. roles. Layoffs not deterring tech workers, say several workers, and they still see tech jobs as opportunities for professional growth and increased income. But the cuts are pushing them to look for positions that could offer more long-term job security.

The data shows that the outlook is not so bleak, for now. Employers added about 223,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. The tech layoffs are not entirely a reflection of economic conditions, Rand Ghayad, head of global economics and labor at LinkedIn Markets wrote in a recent blog post. They are, in part, a move to return to more normal hiring.

Richardson posted on LinkedIn a month after being fired to let her network know she was open to new opportunities. When she started applying for jobs in December and January, she noticed that she was competing with hundreds, if not thousands, in her industry for the same positions. (LinkedIn shows how many applicants applied for the job at the top of job postings.)

“Competition is going to be fiercer,” she said. “For the jobs I applied for, I got more rejection notices than before,” she said.

Hiring in the technology, information and media industry is at its lowest level since July 2020, according to LinkedIn member data. Still, nearly 40% of LinkedIn members in the industry who jumped jobs in November remained in the industry. Others left for professional services, such as legal or accounting firms, or financial services industries. According to October data from ZipRecruiter, the wait for tech workers to get their next gig might not be long. About 37% of laid-off tech workers surveyed found a new job within a month, and 79% found a job within three months.

For Meagan Moakes, getting laid off was sadly a familiar experience, but this example may have come at the worst time as her husband was laid off two days prior. Moakes, a 37-year-old Dallas resident, has been fired four times during her career.

“The fourth time, you’re kinda numb,” Moakes said. “We went from a two-earner family to a one-earner family to a zero-earner family in 48 hours.”

Moakes said her game was in stark contrast to that of her husband, who seems to be in more demand as a video game developer. But as someone who has worked in customer relationship roles for tech companies large and small, she applies for jobs that often have between 350 and 3,600 other applicants, many of them from Big Tech companies, she said. she declared. As a result, she begins to doubt her own skills and accomplishments.

“I feel like I’m lost in a sea of ​​numbers,” she said.

Vahan Terterian has applied for at least 150 positions since losing his job in December, but only a handful have responded with interest. The 26-year-old Denver resident was most recently production manager at rental technology company Nomad, where he worked for seven months before the cuts hit.

“I had a sinking feeling in my chest,” he recalls thinking of the layoffs to come.

After taking a few days to recover from the shock of losing his job, Terterian said he, too, had begun to realize how many people he was up against for the current openings – a much different reality than when he landed his job in May.

“The market is flooded with high quality talent,” he said. So it seems slower than when I got this job in May. It was booming [back then].”

Terterian said he’s asking hiring employers more specific questions about their financial stability, hiring and prospects to avoid another layoff.

For Amber Adamson, 36, the strategy is to boost her coding skills to make her more employable in the tech field. Adamson, a resident of Norristown, Penn., who quit her teaching job, started her first technical job as a junior email developer for veterinary services company Covetrus in June, but was laid off in September.

She says there are many hurdles for new entrants to the industry. First, prerequisites often require years of experience for entry-level positions, she says. Then there are the hundreds of qualified candidates she competes against. She sees more and more laid-off workers from big tech companies posting that they are available for hire.

“I hope to make myself more desirable to recruiters, so that they contact me,” she said. “You really have to be ready to sell because the market is saturated.”

Some workers find that the The best path to a new job is through their professional network. Charell Star, a former head of brand media, social media and partnerships in Meta’s payments business who has worked in marketing for the past 20 years, was also among Meta’s layoffs in November after he worked for the company for more than two years.

The Maplewood, NJ resident was four months into her five-month maternity leave. It was the second layoff of his career.

Star said the best leads came from connections who heard about her firing or saw her LinkedIn post announcing it. She receives advice on jobs that have not been advertised or positions that have not yet been created, and some of her employee contacts refer recruiters to her. So while layoffs increase competition, they also create a sense of community, she says.

“There’s a camaraderie between us going through this together,” she said. “I recommend people start networking and reaching out to old contacts…you never know where an opportunity will come from.”

Richardson, the former content designer at Meta, said she was getting creative in her job search. With a fashion background and interests in media, fashion, retail, entertainment and technology, she’s contacting her big dream jobs. What size? She said she contacted the human resources manager of Parkwood Entertainment and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s company, and approached the Obama Foundation.

“My advice is to keep a positive mindset and don’t be afraid to shoot your shot,” she said.

Five quick tips for job seekers

  • Include a summary: All professional profiles and resumes should have a summary at the very top that highlights a job seeker’s most marketable skills and gives employers a sense of their personality. This is even more important for candidates who may not have direct work experience for the position they are applying for.
  • Use keywords: Professional profiles, especially online ones, should contain keywords to help the candidate bypass computer systems that may review their CV first. Experts say job seekers should research the most common qualities and skills needed for the job and include them where appropriate.
  • Highlight achievements: Job seekers should refrain from relying on job descriptions to explain their previous experience. Instead, they should highlight their accomplishments in as much detail as possible.
  • Connect with professionals online: Candidates’ professional networks can often lead to the next job. Experts say job seekers should contact people they know in the industries that interest them. But they should also ask to be introduced to people their friends, family and colleagues may know, as well as to message people they have no connection to.
  • Publish on social networks: To increase the chances of getting hired, experts say job seekers would do well to post on their personal social networks to let people know they’re looking for a job and provide details about what they hope to find.

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