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How to Compete with Experienced Job Applicants When You’ve Were Laid Off Early In Your Career

Unfortunately, reports are out that layoffs are on the rise since the pandemic. You may have heard of names like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google laying off tens of thousands of employees in our current economic climate. Because of this, you may find yourself in a layoff situation even early in your career. If you find this makes you feel like you can’t compete as well in the job market, think again. Here are a few ways you can turn a layoff situation to your advantage.

If you were the “last-in, first-out.”

Sometimes, you’ll be one of the first to be laid off in a company because you were simply one of the most recently hired. In that case, you can sell yourself as an undiscovered talent. In other words, your previous employer didn’t have enough time to determine your growth potential yet. Promote this potential in a job interview. Give concrete examples of how you’ve excelled in situations where you were an underdog and overlooked. These might be examples from the classroom, sports, or starter jobs you’ve had.

Show you’re more flexible about salary.

Let’s face it, if you’ve been laid off, you might not be in a position to be overly aggressive about your next salary. If this is your situation, show how open you are to salary negotiations. You don’t want to work for less than what you’re worth, so do some research about the range of salaries for what you do. But, you can sell it to an employer that they are getting a strong leader and massive talent for less than what you would work for in a more desirable situation.

Prove what you’ve done with your time off.

Probably the best way to spin a layoff and compete with others who have not experienced the same is to show what you’ve done with your time off. It’s easy to want to use this time away from work as an extra vacation time, but if you improve your skills during the layoff, what better way to sell yourself in your next job interview? So, if you’ve been laid off, look into what classes you can take or if there is extra training or certification you can work on for your career. Then, find a way to work what you’ve done during your time off into an interview question.

As a laid-off worker, you are actually a highly valuable candidate for a potential employer.

You’re more likely to be eager and excited to get back to work. You may have been humbled and willing to work under different circumstances than someone who hasn’t been laid off previously. If you’re in an interview and worried about how to present your layoff, encourage the company to not overlook you. They may have been considering the advantages of hiring laid-off workers themselves, and they are great reminders about the asset you are.



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