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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Simon Fisoye-Kings, Software Engineer in the UK

    Can you share a little bit about your educational background and what opportunities impacted your tech career?

    I studied Computer Science, which can be seen as the traditional course. I actually did not do any coding before university.

    The best thing I did in my career was participating in a year-long placement. High-quality experience on my CV before graduating made me stand out from other candidates. In addition, completing it at a top software company in SAP allowed me to use my technical knowledge in a corporate environment. The skills you learn at university are beneficial but using them in a working setting is very different.

    What would you like to learn more about?

    I want to explore cloud and machine learning further. I believe this is the biggest thing in technology currently. I’m interested in learning more about how machine learning can be used in various areas of our lives. For example, the technology around Amazon Echo and Google Dot devices is fascinating, and I would love to learn more about how they work.

    Related: How to Become a Machine Learning Engineer

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I started with an interest in gaming at a young age and was curious about the technology behind the scenes. Then, I went into web and mobile applications. I was curious about how apps worked and intrigued by how easy it was to create your own. I believe the main reason for my early passion for tech was its ability for users to be creative and express themselves with it. From age 12, I remember working on a mobile application where users could view comedic images and videos in secondary school. I always enjoyed making people laugh and technology brought that to life.

    How has your skillset evolved over the course of your career?

    Over time I have become more confident and excellent in my coding ability. I started Computer Science with a general interest in technology but became more interested in the programming side.

    Do you specialise in one area?

    Yes, I specialise in back-end development. I realised I was interested in algorithms and how systems work behind the scenes, making this area the best fit for me.

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    I left a high-profile bank for an internet publishing/insurance company. My previous role was old-fashioned, less flexible, and had little room for progression. My new role is flexible and offers a transparent route for progression.

    Related: How to Maximize your Job Offer as a Remote Engineer

    What are some of the things you’re most excited about in your new role/company?

    I’m thrilled about the opportunity to learn from a range of different people. I’m looking forward to the chance to grow and develop myself on a personal level too.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    It was slow-paced and challenging to navigate. There were many unknowns and it was difficult to communicate with employers. I always felt out of the loop and did not know whether I would hear back.

    What would you tell someone curious about Hired?

    I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new role. With Hired, you will feel confident speaking to companies as they approach you first.

    Related: Want More Interviews and Better Matches? 5 Key Tips!

    Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

    The best thing I would say is to know your worth. If you are confident in your abilities, don’t settle for anything less than your expectations. Remember, the employer has to impress you as well. A job is a transaction, not a favour. 

    Congrats on the job, Simon! Interested in landing a great role in the UK like Simon did? Complete your free profile on Hired today!

    About Compare The Market

    Compare The Market is a price comparison website and provides customers with an easy way to make the right choice on a wide range of products including motor, home, life and energy. Founded in 2005, Compare the Market has between 501-1000  employees and is headquartered in London.

    Tech Stack

    JavaScript, Node.js, MongoDB, AWS, C#, .NET, iOS, Android, Docker, Git, HTML, CSS, Scala, Java, Kafka, Kubernetes, Python, React, Redux, Big Data

    Benefits

    Life/disability insurance, work-from-home flexibility, volunteer time off, flexible working hours, employee discount programs, and more. More

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    Engineering Manager or IC? Which Tech Career is Best for Me? (Video)

    Have you ever wondered whether to follow an Individual Contributor (IC) path or an Engineering Manager (EM)? According to the Hired State of Software Engineers report, one-third of engineers report they want to advance to become managers, while the remainder says they want to continue being ICs.

    What are the pros and cons of the Engineering Manager career path versus the Individual Contributor one? Let’s find out!

    Hired, along with our partner Exponent, recently completed a video series to explore engineering career advice. The series featured three of our talented engineers: Nico Thiebaut, Prakash Patel, and Dan Baker, discussing subjects such as:

    In this article, we recap Exponent’s conversation with Prakash Patel. Prakash is an Engineering Manager at Hired, a tech marketplace that matches talent with employers for roles around the world. He followed his passion for data engineering and solving complex data problems, spending two years as an Individual Contributor and one year as an Engineering Manager. 

    Although Engineering Managers currently command the highest salaries across all technology roles on Hired’s platform conventional wisdom says, 

    You should not become an Engineering Manager if you… 

    Want dedicated time to work on specific projects or hone in on programming skills Are uncomfortable managing team dynamics  Prefer to own your own code   Want to quickly build new technical skills Would rather your success be measured by your individual contributions.

    Here’s a quick summary of the conversation between Prakash Patel and Lucas from Exponent. To watch or listen to the full interview, scroll down to the bottom of the article.

    Engineering Managers often don’t get dedicated time to work on a specific project or hone their programming skills. What is your experience with the flip side of this: being focused on supporting your team and making them successful?

    Based on my time as an IC, I understand the pain points and problems my team faces and will face since I have already experienced it. Engineering Managers are responsible for the smooth execution of projects while minimizing the concerns that arise. 

    There are different phases of projects but every phase has a challenge. As an Engineering Manager, I support my team to succeed while minimizing all those concerns. I enjoy focusing on the vision of the company and blending it with the personal and professional growth of ICs.

    As an Engineering Manager, you’re working with an entire team’s dynamics, meaning you need to resolve conflicts when they arise. What do you think the upside is to managing the dynamics of a team?

    Conflicts are inevitable and as an EM, the more you handle them the better you’ll get. One upside is you help all Individual Contributors on the team succeed. Another upside is eventually you get better at saying no.

    There will be so many things to control as an EM. By managing these dynamics, I see I am helpIng my engineers wholly – both in their technical competence and project management abilities. 

    As an Individual Contributor, your code contributed to the codebase and you could point to what you owned. In your role as a manager, how does your involvement with the codebase change, and how does this impact your team’s work?

    Well, as an EM I don’t get a lot of opportunities to actively maintain the codebase but I do participate in the code reviews. I can always suggest ways to improve the tech stack and that’s where I help my team adjust the roadmap. WhIle I am not maintaining the codebase, I am motivating my team to participate in constructive code-based reviews to help make them better engineers. 

    Insight from Exponent 

    Your experience as an Individual Contributor helps here as you’ve developed the technical know-how and understand how to grow from progress from a junior to senior engineer in terms of coding ability.

    Related: Curious about tech salary trends? Check out the data in this review.

    As an EM, you’ll develop tech skills more slowly. You’ll be focused more on macro than learning new languages or libraries. What kind of skills do you build as an Engineering Manager?

    As an EM I developed a “think big” and “make it happen” attitude. On top of that, I learned to give constructive feedback and how to negotiate.

    When you’re an Engineering Manager, your team’s success determines your success. It can take longer to ship products and code. How is success measured as an EM, and what do you find fulfilling about it?

    My success is measured by the performance of my team and my individual reports. My goal is to develop technical excellence across the company as an EM. I enjoy driving project execution but I make sure my individual reports receive exciting, diverse responsibilities in a way that infuses the company’s culture with our team. 

    If you’re not sure whether to pursue an IC path or transition into an EM, here’s my advice: if you’re even a little interested in becoming an EM, talk about it with your manager. Ask them to provide more responsibilities that will help you become an EM. 

    From there, you can evaluate whether you enjoy the work and if that role feels like the right fit. If so, request more tasks. If you progress, you can eventually transition into an Engineering Manager role.

    Ultimately, the two paths are very different experiences so it’s all about what you enjoy. 

    How to use Hired to find Engineering Management roles

    Hired is completely free for jobseekers and it takes just minutes to create a profile. Once you upload your information, you’ll get interview requests from companies seeking talented candidates like you! Learn more about creating your Hired profile. 

    Already have a profile on Hired? Here are 5 Key Tips to Get Better Matches & More Interviews.

    Should you switch to an Engineering Manager role internally or seek out an EM role when looking for a new job?

    Transitioning within a company is a better and easier decision, especially since you are already familiar with your team. On the other hand, if you are an Individual Contributor seeking a job as an EM at a different company and you do not have that proven experience, it’s harder to make the jump.

    Eager to pursue a role as an Individual Contributor or Engineering Manager? Learn how Hired works for jobseekers!

    Click below to watch the full interview: 

    [embedded content] More

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    5 Automation Habits of Highly Effective Recruiting Teams 

    In a talent-short market, having a consistently engaged talent pool sets recruitment firms apart from their competitors. Thankfully, cutting-edge automation tools are helping recruiters to engage, nurture, and, ultimately, place top-level talent into new roles at the pace and scale demanded by their clients. In fact, according to Bullhorn’s aggregated data, agencies that use automation have a 64% higher fill rate and submit 33% more candidates per recruiter than those completing tasks manually. How are firms making the most of automation to see these incredible results?
    Here are five habits of Bullhorn customers who leverage automation to create an engaged talent community that is excited to work with them in the short and long term.
    1. Engage regularly with talent
    According to our recent survey of 2,000 candidates, the number one reason talent becomes frustrated with recruiters is poor communication. Automation enables recruiters to manage communications more effectively and to keep candidates informed at every stage of the process.
    Many firms already use automated emails, surveys, and text messaging in the recruitment process. However, recruiters need a tightly integrated tech stack to guarantee that they’re able to gather handy information across every channel, as this is essential for personalization and for generating reliable talent insights.
    Recruiters can send occasional feedback requests through automated messages to new hires, those nearing the end of their contracts, or people that have been in a job for a while. These timely interactions will ensure recruiters stay top of mind and will pay dividends once candidates start looking for new jobs – without the burden of conducting manual ‘busywork’.
    Furthermore, AI-based automation can significantly improve the matching process by intelligently recommending candidates for jobs and jobs for candidates. This is particularly useful for temp or contingent workers, whom recruiters can quickly redeploy into newly available positions as soon as their contracts end.
    It’s also important to note that most recruitment firms have numerous candidates in their databases with whom they don’t engage regularly. Using AI, you can stay in touch with them over time and give them content by suggesting jobs, articles, and tips. It’s also a way to notify them that you want to keep their personal data in your database. However, under GDPR, you need to delete their data if they request it since candidates have the “right to be forgotten”.
    2. Improve data health
    Recruitment teams will always have to collect, store, and analyze data in order to succeed – and it’s something to avoid doing manually, especially on a large scale, as siloed, error-filled data can create just as many problems as unified, clean data can solve.
    With the right automation, recruiters can streamline data management and compliance tasks. These include anonymizing candidate records and updating job, company, and contract status for all the records within the applicant tracking system (ATS).
    Declutter your ATS by using automation to identify outdated records, people with no contact information, or records without activity to speed up searches. To make sure you are GDPR-compliant, your ATS must have all its processing activities governed by a contract under EU legislation.
    Don’t forget that internal reminders are an integral part of data collection – remind recruitment teams to send an early message to new contract starters to get feedback on their well-being and work conditions. Unlike traditional recruitment methods, automation simplifies mass communication with candidates.
    3. Stay organized
    Automating simple tasks within the ATS like notes and alerts gives recruiters back valuable time to spend on building candidate and client relationships. With so many candidates competing for so many vacancies, this solution is invaluable for staying organized.
    It also helps recruiters to set interview reminders and let applicants know whether they’ve been accepted or rejected. Importantly, if a candidate has been offered a position and it falls through for whatever reason, you can contact other suitable job seekers and fill the job quickly if your database is up to date.
    4. Streamline onboarding
    The ability to automate paperwork eases the process of onboarding talent. This is especially relevant for recruitment firms working across different locations and industries, where there might be different laws on taxes and compliance. Companies also have different policies on harassment, pay, benefits, company culture, and other aspects they want extra documentation on.
    A well-defined, automated onboarding system tailors processes to different types of hires and mitigates hiring risks. Back-office mistakes not only distract from an employee’s productivity, but mistakes like worker misclassification also carry the potential risk of fines and penalties.
    5. Scale up marketing
    Automating marketing campaigns to candidates and clients across channels like web, mobile, email, and social media is extremely helpful. Equally helpful is the ability to automatically personalize your content to better communicate with specific groups and ensure everyone receives relevant and interesting offers.
    Determine the segmentations you want to use in your marketing workflows and create lists. This will help to target specific contacts with relevant content. The workflow doesn’t just engage prospects initially but is critical to establishing a sustained interaction with them. As a result, you can expect better engagement scores (and closing ratios) from clients or candidates who are actively being nurtured, instead of those who aren’t.
    Nurturing sales prospects with valuable content enables a recruitment agency’s sales team to focus on engaged leads while automatically engaging with not-ready-to-buy prospects. Some of the metrics to track include engagement score (points are added to prospective candidates’ profiles on the database each time they engage with content), pipeline revenue (income generated through lead conversions), and new lead close rate (the percentage of leads that turn into conversions).
    By Jason Heilman, Senior Vice President, Automation, AI, and Talent Experience, Bullhorn.
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    What Does Your Tech Salary Look Like? A Review of Salary Trends

    When thinking about how your tech salary stacks up in this current hiring environment you’d consider factors like your job title, years of experience, and company size. 

    In this article we dive into these characteristics in relation to tech salaries based on data from Hired’s 2022 State of Tech Salaries. 

    Related: Should I Stay or Should I Go? Workers Explore Relocation to Improve Quality of Life, Pay

    So, What Do You Do?

    If you’re an Engineering Manager, you are paid more than other tech roles across the US, UK, and Canada. The US pays the highest for this role with an average of $196,000 (remote salaries reach $198,000!).

    The runner up for highest salaries in 2022 is US Software Engineers with average salaries of $160,469. US Product Managers take third place with average salaries of $157,602.

    For those who are not in Engineering roles (Design, Data Analytics, and Quality Assurance), the good news is these positions saw the highest salary increases from 2021 to 2022.

    In 2022, salaries for:

    Design roles in the US increased by about 8% to an average salary of $153,005 USD. The same roles in Canada increased nearly 20% to $121,773 CAD.Quality Assurance (QA) roles in the UK rose almost 10% to £68,215 GBP.Data Analytics remote salaries in the US increased about 8% to $142,565 USD.

    How Long Have You Been On the Job? 

    Years of experience will certainly sway your pay. Generally, working in tech longer correlates with a higher salary.

    It may not be surprising that those with more than 2 years of experience saw major salary growth in the US and Canada. 

    Mid-level (4-6 years of experience) US candidates, in particular, had the greatest salary jump – a $8,000 increase from 2021 to 2022. 

    Again, excluding very junior level roles (0-2 years of experience), remote salaries across all experience levels also saw increased growth between this year and last at $7-8,000 USD.

    Junior candidate salaries (1-2 years of experience) remained steady with little changes compared to 2021 in the US. However, they increased in the UK and for remote roles but decreased in Canada. We might attribute the salary decline to the increase of junior level  jobseekers on the platform.

    How Big Is Your Company? 

    It’s easy to assume the largest companies are associated with the highest salaries. 

    Contrary to popular belief, our data this year found that mid-market sized companies (300-1,000 employees) offer the highest average salaries in the US ($163,623) and UK (£85,312). That means they are passing up SMB (75-300), eSMB (0-75), and even the enterprise ENT (1000+) sized companies.

    However, in Canada enterprise-sized companies did pay the highest salaries. While this conforms to that conventional notion, note the pay was only slightly higher.

    How Does Your Salary Compare? 

    Use Hired’s Salary Calculator to see how companies value your experience. The calculator determines salary benchmarks based on real interview requests to help jobseekers like you know your worth. 

    Say you’re a Software Engineer with 5 years of experience. You’re based in Boston and skilled at Java. Here’s what the output would look like: 

    Give the calculator a try and see what you could be making with a company on Hired!

    We’ve reviewed some common parameters that contribute to how tech earnings might look. Framing what you earn around these trends may lend some insight into how your salary compares in this current hiring environment. 

    There are a lot more factors to explore including location, benefits, and being remote versus local. Check out the new State of Tech Salaries Report for all of the insights into tech salary trends and some more resources to help you navigate the market.  More

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    Should I Stay or Should I Go? Workers Explore Relocation to Improve Quality of Life, Pay

    Despite tech salary increases this year, many employees feel their pay does not reflect increased costs of living. According to Hired’s 2022 State of Tech Salaries report, 42.3% of remote respondents and 29.1% of local respondents surveyed feel their salaries have not matched the pace of rising inflation and living costs. Many have explored relocation already. So, if you’re a tech professional, should you stay or should you go?

    How Far Does Your Salary Take You?

    Let’s say you’re a software engineer living in the San Francisco Bay Area and earning an average tech salary of $176,000. Seems solid, right? Then you take into account the cost of living (COL) there and things take a turn.  

    Note: “Average tech salary” includes multiple roles on the Hired platform, including software engineers, engineering managers, devops, designers, analysts, and more.

    After adjusting average salaries on the Cost of Living Index, we find earning that same salary in San Francisco is equal to making $223,729 in Atlanta. Relocation becomes an attractive option when it is clear earning power is different across markets. If you move to Atlanta, it’s like getting a $47,729 raise! 

    Perhaps you’ll consider Texas, where there are the second and third highest average salary markets in 2022, after adjustment for COL. Your San Francisco salary is the equivalent of making $216,000 in Austin and $211,000 in Dallas. 

    In contrast, if you consider relocating from the West Coast to the East Coast in a big move to New York, your San Francisco salary won’t take you as far. New York City had the highest COL in US markets. This means your San Francisco salary would be the same as earning $153K in the Big Apple – or over $23,000 less. 

    Should You Consider Relocation?

    So, will you stay or will you go? 

    If you’re considering settling in a traditional tech hub like New York or San Francisco, know your earning power will go farther in smaller, second tier cities. 

    Thanks to remote work, tech jobseekers are increasingly based in lower cost of living cities, such as Denver, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta. Jobseekers from these cities rose by almost 8% from 2020 to 2022. Conversely, tech jobseekers in higher cost of living cities, such as New York, San Francisco, and Boston declined. This points to an exodus from major tech hubs. 

    Tech workers are increasingly distributed across the country thanks to remote work. A recent study from Brookings Institute found tech “superstars” like Seattle and San Francisco metropolises are seeing slower employment growth compared to “rising stars” like Atlanta and Dallas. As for “the rest,” or the other 83 metro locations studied, these areas saw tech employment grow faster in 2020 throughout the pandemic. 

    Inflation Grows No Matter Where You Relocate

    In addition to the cost of living, many feel their salaries fall behind with inflation too. 64.5% of remote employees and 82% of local employees surveyed feel their salary is not in line with inflation. 

    Since the pandemic dramatically increased the ability to work from home (or anywhere) tech workers moved away from higher cost of living areas. In some cases it was practical. There was no longer a need to live in a higher cost of living area or they wanted a larger home to accommodate sometimes multiple home office spaces. Others moved to be closer to family, or simply because they were free to live in places they’d always wanted to. 

    It’s little surprise then, that most candidates still prefer pay based on their role. Only 20.2% strongly agree that pay should be determined by location or local cost of living. 

    Between growing costs of living and higher inflation rates, tech professionals may want to explore relocation. Shedding light on how far salaries can take you across locations does offer some guidance in knowing whether you should stay or go.   More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Rodrigo Mejia Sanchez, Senior Software Engineer

    We’re excited to learn about your story, Rodrigo! Can you start by sharing a little bit about your educational background?

    I have a Bachelor’s in Computer Science from Georgia Tech. I had a bit of experience in programming before, but for all intents and purposes, I essentially started from scratch my freshman year of college. I have done online courses on sites such as Pluralsight, but I don’t have any certifications and would consider most of my education to come from school and on-the-job experience.

    Related: Check out our partners who offer upskilling and certification opportunities.

    Which educational opportunities have made the biggest impact on your tech career?

    Definitely my formal education. It gave me a structured learning environment with lots of resources to advance my career. I also gained many non-technical soft skills, understood how to go about engaging potential employers, and learned the “how” and “why” behind common software engineering processes.

    What would you like to learn more about?

    I would like to learn more about hardware. I personally enjoy tinkering with small microcontrollers and bare-bones computers such as Raspberry Pis and Arduinos. I’m also currently enamored by the maker movement and am trying to expand my 3D modeling/printing skills, and eventually pick up some woodworking skills too.

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I went to a programming summer camp in middle school. I learned to make video games through a drag-and-drop game engine and fell in love with it. I didn’t touch it much again until college, but that summer made me certain tech was what I wanted to study and pursue.

    Related: What are the Best Programming Languages to Get a Software Developer Job?

    How has your skillset evolved over the course of your career?

    Initially, my skillset centered around a lot of theoretical knowledge and I had a focus on making “clever” code. Over time, I’ve learned that readable and easily changeable code is much more valuable. It’s easy to write new code but it’s hard to refactor and maintain it. I have also broadened my skillset with lots of Linux knowledge and that has been really valuable for debugging difficult production issues.

    If you choose to specialize in one area, what was it and why?

    I haven’t decided to specialize, but automation is a common theme in my job roles. I particularly like it because it’s often about scaling up an existing process and understanding how many different systems come together to solve a problem. Plus, it’s needed in almost all industries, so the diversity of problems keeps me engaged.

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    I went from a large corporate financial firm, Goldman Sachs, to a small insurance tech startup called Owl.co. My title is roughly the same, but my current team/company feels much more focused. I enjoy that the work we do is directly related to the core business model, and I enjoy that the smaller size allows for more flexibility when coming up with solutions to engineering challenges.

    What are some of the things you’re most excited about in your new role or company?

    The opportunity to work within a smaller and more focused organization is a major aspect that excited me. Additionally, the prospect of being able to contribute to making an industry slightly less biased and more consumer-friendly is another plus. I had a goal in mind when seeking my next role. I wanted to work somewhere I could be proud of the product and the impact it had on people.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    It mainly consisted of LinkedIn recruiters reaching out to me and me applying on my own to companies I thought would be interesting. I had many traditional financial roles that recruiters reached out to me for. It was difficult to peel away from the perception that because I worked at a large financial firm, I was mainly interested in finance. I was actually more interested in working for places with an exciting product or interesting engineering problems. I wanted to turn away from finance to avoid being pigeonholed into a certain skill set or role.

    Related: Build Confidence and Take Control of Your Tech Job Search Series

    What’s your best advice for job seekers registered on the Hired platform? 

    Contrary to the “spray and pray” approach on other platforms such as LinkedIn, it makes more sense to focus on roles that actually seem interesting. I noticed that companies reaching out on Hired actually had a substantial interest already. So, it was less about casting a wide net to identify leads, and more about deciding if I could actually see myself working at the companies that contacted me. Also, being really responsive on the platform was key. I felt more eager to proceed with interviews when a company reached out on Hired as opposed to another platform.

    What would you tell someone who’s curious about Hired?

    Try it out! There’s no cost and creating a profile is really easy so you have nothing to lose. I had a really positive experience with companies and with Hired employees as they assisted me through my job search. Also, know that you can conveniently pause your profile if you find yourself with many ongoing interviews.

    Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

    Don’t be discouraged by many rejections. The technical interview is not a good measure of how good of an engineer you may be. It is simply a tool used during the recruiting process. Focus more on finding the right company for what you are looking for and you may be surprised at what you find in places you weren’t originally looking.

    Related: Get more practice with technical interviews through events like coding challenges.

    About Owl.co

    Owl.co is an enterprise software company leading a change in how insurers verify the legitimacy of claims by replacing a bias-prone and labor-intensive process with a data-driven one. Founded in 2018, Owl.co has between 51-200 employees and is headquartered in Vancouver.

    Tech Stack

    TypeScript, Clojure, Python, TensorFlow, AWS

    Benefits

    Health/dental/vision/life/disability insurance, performance bonus, 401K matching, paid time off, mentorship opportunities, flexible working hours, and more. More

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    Interviewing After a Layoff? How to Be Confident & Become a Top Candidate

    The third article in our series to help jobseekers bounce back better than ever…

    Once you’ve absorbed the news of a layoff, organized your financials, and taken the next steps to kick off your job search, you’re ready. It’s time to begin interviewing after your layoff. Employed but concerned about the stability of your role or company? Use this article series to get organized and feel more prepared for changes.

    Win at Interviewing after a Layoff

    Securing interviews starts with job applications. Prioritize your job applications at a high volume, but what’s the best way to end with success? According to Pathrise Growth Marketing Associate Alex Macpherson and Career Strategist Mentor Ash Ayvar, it’s best to diversify your application sources by using multiple job boards and sending personalized cold emails to recruiters.

    Cold Email Tips and Tricks for Communicating with Hiring Teams from Pathrise

    Before you start sending out cold emails, there are a few things you need to know:

    Make sure to submit your application alongside or before you send a cold email.Focus your cold emailing efforts toward roles you feel passionate about and companies you would be excited to join. Narrow your focus to organizations with less than 500 people. This increases the likelihood someone will read and take action on your message.Stick to the weekends or early in the week when sending cold emails – if you send them on a Thursday or Friday, they’re less likely to be read. If you must, use ‘schedule send’ features, like in Gmail.It’s ok to send your cold email to multiple people within an organization, but keep the number of contacts to three or four at max. Choose contacts from different teams and divisions, too, or else you risk your email coming off as spammy. Don’t CC – send a separate email to each contact, even if your copy is the same.

    Pro Tip:

    These emails don’t have to be totally “cold.” Follow the guidance in Chapter 2 of this series, to grow your network through social media and informational interviews. That work may pay off in some “warm” leads on jobs or referrals. Proactive actions like this often reveal roles that haven’t been posted yet. In fact, this work cuts down on the outreach talent acquisition and sourcers need to do – you’re helping them!

    It’s worth noting, for technologists and sales or customer experience professionals who join the Hired platform, this type of outreach becomes unnecessary. Hired turns the job search dynamic upside down and once your profile is complete, we promote you to matching employers and roles. Employers search for you, requesting interviews with compensation information upfront. You decide which interviews you wish to accept – you can even pause your profile if you get too many interview requests at once. See how Hired works here.

    When Interviewing After a Layoff, Be Authentic and Upfront

    Many candidates suffer some anxiety and nervousness about discussing their layoffs in subsequent interviews. Fortunately, you really don’t need to worry so much about it. Be upfront and authentic in how you talk about the situation. Keep your answers focused – there’s no need to go into lots of information about the layoff and waste valuable interview time. 

    Do acknowledge the layoff and explain it with relevant context. It may be helpful to give specific details. For example, is there a factual number or percentage of how many employees on your team or overall were laid off? Weave it in. Doing so helps your interviewer better understand your situation and illustrates you were one of many. 

    Was the reduction in force (RIF) part of a merger or acquisition? If the employer is a publicly-traded company, they may have disclosed multiple reasons in shareholder communications or in published articles you could reference. Layoffs happen for a variety of causes and the point is not to dwell on it, especially when such workforce decisions are beyond your control. 

    In general, employers know layoffs are painful to talk about and will respect the information you choose to provide. Find a positive from the experience and lean into it. It might be how proud you were of your team while there, because XYZ. Or, how the time off allowed you to pursue a certification you didn’t have time for before. Maybe the change inspired you to do something you wouldn’t have done otherwise, like train for a marathon or pivot careers. Perhaps it allowed you time to spend with loved ones when they needed you. 

    Pro Tip:

    As part of your pre-interview research, study any “core values” or mission statements the company has. Do not parrot these, but think about how your experiences, while working and while laid off, align with these ideals and echo them in your answers. 

    For example, JPMorgan Chase & Co., says on their site, “In a fast-moving and increasingly complex global economy, our success depends on how faithfully we adhere to our core principles: delivering exceptional client service; acting with integrity and responsibility; and supporting the growth of our employees.” 

    When discussing your career or time during a layoff, could you share examples where you: 

    delivered exceptional service, or went above and beyond expectations? acted with integrity and responsibility, or did the right thing, even when it may have been difficult? supported the growth of employees, or facilitated the development of others, as a volunteer, a coach, or a parent? 

    Related: How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question for Tech Talent, Video Interviews 101: How to Impress in the Digital Age

    Highlight Your Growth During Employment Gaps

    Resume or employment gaps are another area of concern for job seekers following a layoff, no matter how much time has passed. How will you explain that time? 

    Focus on how you’ve grown during this period and turn this gap into an asset. Highlight what you’ve done to enhance your skills instead of allowing them to fade during this period.

    Tell your interviewer about the things you’ve done to improve your skills and build new ones during the layoff period. Whether you took an online course or worked a temporary contract job, it shows you have been proactive. Maybe you volunteered your skills to a local nonprofit. 

    Employers know layoffs put individuals in less-than-ideal circumstances, so they appreciate an interviewee who has demonstrated commitment to professional growth and development in spite of them. 

    Related: Flip the Script: How to Handle an Employment Gap on Your Resume

    Spotlight Your Past Performance & Growth

    Share the value you’ve provided through your work, even on your last team. When you offer achievements and results, this information becomes more impactful to your candidacy than your layoff. Detail the metrics of your work and share highlights of your past projects establishing you as a valuable asset to your team or organization.

    Keep Your Head Up – You Can Do This

    The layoff period is often a humbling time for many. During these days, weeks, or months, you’ve likely done your fair share of reflection on your experience and your career. Share insights about what you learned during this period while highlighting your resilience and unwavering confidence. 

    No matter what you’ve been through during your layoff, it’s crucial to remain optimistic about the interview process. No matter what role you are interviewing for, character matters. Your positivity in spite of an unfortunate situation reflects best on your character. Resist any urges to speak bitterly about your past employers and focus on the new opportunities ahead of you.

    Interviewing After a Layoff is for You, Too

    Post-layoff job seeking can be tricky. While you want to secure a new job as soon as possible, don’t rush yourself too much. Balance this time between searching for new roles and making sure the urge to get hired right away doesn’t lead you to compromise your career goals.

    The interview can teach you a lot about your potential new work environment so you can decide if it’s the right fit – both culture-wise and in terms of job security. Here are some example questions to help you elicit this information when interviewing after a layoff:

    Why are you proud to work here?Do you feel supported in your career growth and professional development by this organization? How does the organization make you feel that way?What’s the process like for providing feedback to a team member?Is collaboration encouraged here? If so, how?Tell me about a time when you saw the company’s main values in action.Has this company ever gone through layoffs in the past? If so, how were they handled?Can you tell me about the company’s financial situation? Is it profitable? Are future investments secured? The company’s solvency is a legitimate question, especially if you’ve experienced layoffs due to cost-cutting measures. Be respectful, and read the room, but don’t feel like you can’t politely inquire at all. Also, do your homework. Don’t ask questions with answers available to you via Google. 

    Related: Ace Your Interview & Get Your Questions Answered

    Cheers to Your New Role!

    The discomfort of interviewing after a layoff doesn’t have to derail your future job search. Take the time to process the situation and decide what you want moving forward. Set yourself up for success during your job search by honing your network beforehand. When it’s time for interviews, be confident and highlight the positives you’ve achieved over this time.

    Related: Chapter 1: Part of a Layoff? Steps Jobseekers in Tech & Sales Need to Take First

    Chapter 2: Laid Off? Next Steps to Find Your Dream Job in Tech or Sales More

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    Laid Off? Next Steps to Find Your Dream Job in Tech or Sales

    The second article in our series to help jobseekers bounce back from a layoff better than ever…

    If you’ve ever been laid off, you know it’s a mixed bag of emotions. Refer to Chapter 1 in our series for the first steps to take once you’ve heard the news. After you’ve had a chance to catch your breath, think about how you’re going to use your time. While many throw themselves into an all-consuming job search after being laid off, it may not be the best strategy for you. To avoid added stress, divide your time between jobseeking, upskilling, and self-care. Consider spending time volunteering to benefit your mental health, keep your skills fresh, and expand your network.

    Once it’s time to start the job search – use these 9 steps to find the roles you want and make the most out of your mission.

    Laid Off Next Steps #1 – Tap into your Network

    Start your job search with the familiar – your existing network. In fact, your network is one of the best sources you have for job offers and hires. Do you know how powerful referrals are in helping you get hired? Referrals are 4X more likely to be hired, so lean into your network for them.

    It’s not always what you know but who you know that may help you land the job, or at least get your foot in the door. While this doesn’t replace having the right skills and qualifications for the role, leveraging who you know including acquaintances and friends of friends can be your ticket to landing that first interview. People may offer warm introductions to recruiters or hiring managers and if you ask them about their company’s referral program, there is a good chance they can cash in on you landing the job. 

    Do your research on open roles and make it easy for people to connect with you online as well as offline. If you’re not particularly social, consider joining shared interest groups. Practice cold outreach on LinkedIn to get out of your comfort zone while you are job hunting. 

    Related: Check out this list of community and networking partners available to jobseekers on Hired!

    Pro Tip: Networking goes both ways

    It’s most effective when you network even when you’re not looking for a new role. Keep in touch with your network to avoid contacting someone only when you’re looking for help. Reshare their posts. Connect them with other professionals in your network you think would be helpful to them. Are they hiring for a role outside of your position or specialty? Refer a qualified candidate to them from your network. Help them too.

    Laid Off Next Steps #2 – Leverage Social Media

    Get involved on social media to make connections, gain industry insights from other professionals, and learn about new tools to aid in your job search success. 

    When it comes to ‘laid off next steps,’ VP of Community Outreach, Raleigh-Durham NC Chapter of Blacks in Technology LaShawnda Rodgers suggests, “#techtwitter is a great resource to help you grow your tech career if you leverage it the right way. I agree tapping into your network is a plus but asking the right questions during informational interviews is profound. When I mentor people who want to grow in tech, I advise them to ask other professionals about: 

    “a day in their life” at their companystrengths needed for someone to excel in the roleif the company has events open to the public so you can continue to meet new people.”

    Related: Learn more about Hired Partner Blacks in Technology.

    Laid Off Next Steps #3 – Set up Informational Interviews

    Informational interviews are a great way to network with people working in areas that interest you. This type of networking allows you to establish valuable connections with contacts who can help further your career and help you land your new role.

    Informational interviews are just that – informational. You’re interviewing them – this is not a job interview for you. Expect an opportunity to share a little about your background and what you’re looking for, but overall, use these conversations as opportunities to learn more about a specific company, a role/job title, someone’s career path, and/or what it’s like to work for a start-up versus a global company of tens of thousands. Review their LinkedIn profile. Prepare questions, but keep it conversational. 

    Informational interview framework

    These informational interviews shouldn’t be long – about 15 minutes is ideal. Follow this framework to help achieve the results you want and gain referrals.

    Take a minute or two to build rapport with your contact.Next, spend a few minutes on introductions and the topic of the interview. Ask them about themselves and allow them to give their elevator pitch. Acknowledge what they’ve said and then give your elevator pitch. Once the introductions are done, tell them what it is you want to discuss and why.Now spend some time listening to the advice they give about your topic. Take notes!Finally, ask for what you want. Give a summary of the information you were just given to show value and ask about the referral process.Wrap up the conversation. Later on, thank them for their time and insight with a well-crafted email that expresses your goal and the value you offer. Update your spreadsheet. It will be easier to keep track of your networking activities if you track who you’ve spoken with, how you know/found them, what was discussed, and the next steps or action items. Plus, if you’re required to submit job search activities for unemployment compensation, this documentation is really helpful. 

    Laid Off Next Steps #4 – Join Professional Communities

    Professional communities are a great place to build your network and meet the people who can help you land the perfect new job. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

    Laid Off Next Steps #5 – Volunteer: It Pays in a lot of Ways

    If you want to achieve more than just an expanded network, consider taking some time to volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to improve yourself all-around and can even help you continue to develop new contacts. Helping others positively benefits your mental health, so why not use your time to give back and help yourself in the process? 

    There are many non-profits that may be in need of your skills. Use these opportunities to continue honing those skills and making good use of them. Plus, volunteer work provides the opportunity to expand your network and bank skills and experience for your resume. Plus, when interviewers ask what you’ve been doing during your layoff, you have great responses ready to go. Here are some organizations for volunteering ideas.

    Laid Off Next Steps #6 – Check Out Educational Resources

    If you want to pivot into a different career path or are interested in obtaining new skills, educational resources are another great place to build your network. 

    President of the New England chapter of Blacks in Technology Rosemary Garabot says, “Look around your community for free or low-cost events like BSides. Sign up to pursue a new certification in a program with hands-on labs so you can build new skills.”

    Related: Hired Partners offer upskilling, certifications, and bootcamps.

    Laid Off Next Steps #7 – Prep for Technical Interviews

    Rodgers suggests, “For those pursuing technical roles, it’s important to prepare for technical interviews. Take some time to work on collaborative projects, showcase your work, and get beneficial feedback. GitHub is a great resource where you can virtually work on projects and collaborate with others.”

    Related: Hired Partners, such as Educative, Exponent, Pathrise, and Interview Kickstart, offer interview prep. SitePoint offers a library of resources to prep and upskill in various coding languages. In addition, developers on the Hired platform can earn badges for their profile using Hired Assessments. Demonstrating skills through earning badges increases the chances of interview requests and better offers.

    Laid Off Next Steps #8 – Refine Your Resume & Elevator Pitch

    Your networking conversations and interactions are invaluable for learning the markers of success in the roles you want. Now that you have this information from your network of insiders, use these elements to further refine your resume and elevator pitch to help you stand out in your search.

    Laid Off Next Steps #9 – Lock In Your References

    Once you start interviewing, references will be critical to the success of your job search. Take time now to lock in key references reinforcing your job performance and work ethic. A reference from your previous manager is also a great tool to ease any concerns about your layoff during the hiring process.

    Ask former colleagues to write testimonials about their experiences working with you. You’re not limited to former supervisors. Colleagues you worked with cross-functionally, peers, reports, even former customers and vendors may be willing to testify to positive experiences working with you.

    With LinkedIn’s recommendation feature, you can ask for a one while offering to write one for them. Positive testimonials about working with someone never hurt, even if your reference is totally content in their role. 

    Ready? It’s Time to Tackle Interviews

    Maximizing your network is a powerful tactic to help you not only learn more about different roles and discover open positions – it may also be the key to getting hired. Get ready to win your post-layoff interviews with Chapter 3: Interviewing After a Layoff.

    Ready to find your dream job in tech or sales? Turn the job search upside down when you complete a profile on Hired. Employers filter based on your skills and preferences to match with you, and request interviews with the compensation information upfront. 

    Sign up with Hired today or re-activate your profile if it’s been a while since you were looking.  More