The number of IT department layoffs in 2022 alone accounts for more than half of all terminations since Covid-19, according to Layoffstracking site.
“Technology companies of all shapes and sizes are reorganizing, carefully evaluating expenses, and eventually laying off employees,” said Erin Lau, director of service operations at Insperity, a human resources consulting firm.
She added that this leads to a narrow labor market “full of unemployed professionals and qualified candidates”.
Other than the stiff competition, job seekers also face the challenge of acquiring “adaptive skills” to meet the needs of the rapidly changing technology industry, said Pooja Chhabria, career expert at LinkedIn.
“Companies are always in down mode, so today’s requirements for a job can change tomorrow. That’s why employers are keen to hire tech talent who are flexible—they not only meet specific needs in the present, but they have future-proof skills to respond to needs from the future.”
CNBC Make It Talk to career experts with tips for tech workers looking for new jobs in a challenging economy.
Skills are now the “new currency” in the business and companies are adopting a talent-first approach, Chhabria said.
“Last year, 40% of employees on LinkedIn explicitly used skills data to find talent, which is up 20% year-over-year,” she added.
“What is even more telling is that these employees are 60% more likely to find a successful hire because of this change in approach.”
To differentiate yourself from the competition out there, Chhabria suggested paying attention to “developing areas where the investment is being made.”
“For example, we’ve seen significant investments in AI and machine learning, so skills like SQL, Python, and AWS are all in-demand skills in software and IT with meaningful growth since 2015.”
She added that whether you’re looking to refresh your skills or maybe be a career pivot, don’t neglect your transferable skills.
“Often to focus on the job or industry you want, you don’t need to overhaul your skills and you may already have the similar skills needed to turn your career around.”
Setting up job alerts can also help identify learning opportunities, said Vicki Salemi, career expert from Monster.com.
“Begin with the end in mind. Look at job descriptions to consider the skills and requirements of the jobs you’re seeking to fill in,” she explained.
“If there’s a new certification, for example, in a technology field that you don’t have but looks like you should, and that’s a growing trend, explore pursuing that.”
The good news, Al-Salmi said, is that there are still technological opportunities available in “countless industries.”
according to Research note from Morgan Stanley This month, significant job cuts in non-tech industries are also unlikely, as “The [U.S.] The economy in general is still understaffed. “
Chhabria added that there are currently more than 3.5 million open roles in Asia Pacific in sectors not limited to technology, such as professional services, retail, healthcare, and financial services.
“Understanding the skills you need to get a job in those industries is an important first step,” she said.
While there are jobs available, experts told CNBC Make It that time is of the essence.
“When I worked in corporate hiring, I usually saw a drop in applications in December even though we were actively hiring,” Salmi said.
“Job seekers will have less competition when they apply given that the majority of people pause their search until January. Don’t wait.”
Linkedin’s Chhabria agreed, saying there were still “many companies” hiring right now and being the first to apply would give applicants an added edge.
linkedin [data] It shows that you are four times more likely to be hired for a job if you apply in the first 10 minutes, so set up job alerts to notify you as soon as a job that fits your criteria is posted, and apply as soon as possible,” she added.
Other than highlighting technical skills on your resume, Soft skills Like time management and customer service is also crucial.
“In this uncertain environment, employers are also placing more emphasis on soft skills such as problem-solving, communication, and flexibility. These are key skills that tech workers also need to demonstrate as we work in a hybrid environment with teams spread all over the world.”
Acknowledging that it is normal to feel anxious and lost after a layoff, Chhabria said that “proactively confronting” these feelings is the best way to deal with them.
“Being part of a community and asking for help by talking to others in a similar situation can also be helpful,” she added.
Start connecting with your network… [that] It can be the first step to opening the door to connections and conversations with your current contacts, who may be able to offer advice, support or make introductions that can help you get a job.”
For example, there are public spreadsheets that are aggregated on LinkedIn Contact details for laid-off tech workers And the Open roles in technology in the Asia Pacific region.
Chhabria stressed that workers should prioritize networking, as professionals are “four times more likely” to be hired through their networks.
“Be sure to engage and check in with your professional community regularly to pave the way for mentoring, career advice and potential job opportunities… Be specific about the type of role you want, your level of experience and the value you bring to the team.”
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