The traditional days of job applications are over. It is imperative...

The traditional days of job applications are over. It is imperative to get creative, be aggressive, and think outside of the box. Credit: Istock

After 10-plus years of my marketing career, I finally joined the most “un-fun” corporate org nobody wants to be in: “The Laid Off Club.” I was forced to shut my laptop and think about the next steps for myself, my husband, and 13-month-old daughter. A Long Islander, born and raised, I knew relocation wasn’t part of that equation, and I had become too accustomed to the joys of remote work out of my Hauppauge home.

Layoffs in certain industries have been rampant. In 2023, more than 68,000 jobs in the global tech sector have been cut to date. When they fear an economic downturn, companies scramble to cut costs. Those who have over-hired in the hope of good times ahead are forced to cut back.

Sometimes, the layoff choices are nonsensical; companies let their highest performers go due to the invisible price tag on their heads. Regardless, I found myself jobless for the first time in my life, right smack in the middle of the holiday season.

I went through all the emotions: grief, anger, anxiety, and sadness. I did some heavy-duty Monday-morning quarterbacking. Then, cradling a glass of eggnog, I put a plan into action.

Resumes get lost in the shuffle, especially since recruiting and interviewing have largely gone virtual in the pandemic. Cover letters are passe and LinkedIn job posts and InMail don’t always algorithmically work in your favor. In a deluge of feeds and clogged inboxes, I knew I was tasked with doing something different: capitalizing on what I could actually control.

Instead of standard “Open to Work” posts, I wrote a Letter to Santa [my future employer] about what I wanted for Christmas [my next role]. I developed a heartfelt tribute to “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” detailing how I was “Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la laid off.” I invited my network to my First Annual Ugly Sweater KPI Party. I spun off of seasonality and twisted the unfortunate time of year to my advantage.

I started a weekly LinkedIn newsletter titled, “CMO: Chief Mothering Officer.” Although it didn’t have a direct tie to 99% of the jobs I have been applying to, it became a medium in which I could showcase my thoughts on being a corporate ladder-climber and a mother, keep my name top-of-mind and relevant, and pepper in a passion project with credible ROI onto my resume and LinkedIn feed. The newsletter is also anchored to a complementary podcast, leading to even more content creation.

In two days, I scheduled eight interviews, and received 35+ leads and a verbal job offer. Though said job offer since fell through, I have kept trucking along. At the end of January, I had applied to 96 jobs and have four additional scheduled interviews and many hot leads. I am in no rush because I truly believe the right job will come at the right time. Times are tough — but there is hope.

The traditional days of job applications are over. It is imperative to get creative, be aggressive, and think outside of the box.

Instead of wading — even doggy-paddling — through the candidate pool and spending eight hours per day searching for your next step, do the butterfly stroke or make waves with a cannonball. Create something. Post about it. Be vocal. Step outside your comfort zone and leverage your unique qualities by doing something vulnerable and unique.

Because you are so much more than Times New Roman 12-point font with 1” margins.


This reader essay reflects the views of Stephanie Giunta, a reader from Hauppauge who recently became unemployed.

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