How to Set Yourself Apart After Being Let Go

December 6, 2022

Ashley Meyer

Ashley Meyer

Losing your job ranks as one of the top 5 most stressful experiences in life, even if it is a job you don’t necessarily love. 

The loss of income, threat to financial security, the jolt of being confronted with a series of unknowns, the impact on families and communities; change is hard at the best of times, but when that changed is forced upon you, it’s an even scarier place to be.

Concept of Job Search, find your career,Job Search Hiring on Website.businesswoman browsing human resources recruitment website and Online Job Search application on laptop computer or smartphone at home

In an economic climate where mass layoffs are taking place; and competition for roles is becoming fiercer, how can a candidate set themselves apart as they look for a new role?

Here are a few ideas that can help candidates take a proactive approach to differentiating themselves and standing out to hiring managers. 

Side note: If you’re a hiring manager and you’re reading this, this could be helpful as you plan for, and execute, effective interviews… 

As a candidate, being able to communicate impact and achievement are two things that are going to immediately set you apart. 

There is a big difference in saying what you “did” vs what you “achieved.” 

A hiring manager skimming a resume or a LinkedIn profile, is subconsciously going to be more drawn to candidates who point to impact and achievement, and are also clear about what they do. 

Often a resume will be a list of someone’s duties and experiences, for example: 

John Smith 

2016 – 2019 – Territory Sales Manager – Big Sales International 

  • Focused my efforts on outbound lead generation and sales through cold calling, emailing, and networking. 
  • Lead a team of 4 Business Development Associates 
  • Used the Kellog Method to increase business opportunity 
  • Oversaw a four-state territory 


John Smith 

2016 – 2019 – Territory Sales Manager – Big Sales International 

  • Used various sales methods to hit 90% of my quota in the first year, which was a company record 
  • Saw a 20% year on year increase in sales resulting in $3million of opportunities closed.  
  • Was directly responsible for seeing the promotion of 3 of the 4 Business Development Associates I managed. Through intentional mentoring I was also able to assist them in exceeding their quota by an average of 17% 
  • Ranked in the top 3 salespeople in the company between 2017 – 2019, achieving first place in 2018. 
  • Landed the Big Industry Account after spending 9 months consistently developing relationships with their sales and engineering teams 

It’s those small tweaks and shifts in perspective that can help your resume/LinkedIn stand out. 

If you want to make your resume more findable and appealing to recruiters/hiring manager then there are three things you can also do. 

  • Highlight skills for the job(s) you want in your LinkedIn profile.
  • Show how you use those skills (see above).
  • Bring your communication skills to life using video. 

You may not be feeling it right now, and that’s ok. Being a position where you are forced to look for work, or to create resources that are compelling enough to be found by hiring teams can be used to your advantage.

Now is a great time to take stock of what it is you want to do, what kind of role will fulfill you, and what you value. It’s through those eyes that you’ll see whether the next opportunity you entertain will potentially be a good fit.

So how do you approach companies who you resonate with but may not be hiring for the role you want? Firstly, just because they aren’t hiring for that role right now doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future. It also doesn’t mean they couldn’t create a role for you. It would be a win-win situation where what you have to offer and what they need collide in a moment of serendipitous hiring.

In terms of next steps there are a couple of approaches that can be highly engaging and extremely unique for the proactive candidate. The reverse resume is one of those things.

The Reverse Resume

If a candidate (you) knows what kind of company they want to work for and what they want to do, then they can create a reverse resume. This is where the candidate approaches companies as if they are trying to hire them, creating a job description/performance profile of the place they would like to work. From a psychological perspective, it shows the company they are connecting with someone who understands their core values, sees an alignment fit and is potentially heading in a similar direction.

Use Tools like LinkedIn

The other approach is using tools like LinkedIn to find the hiring manager at the company you are working for, and reaching out directly to them. Connect with recruiters, talent acquisition specialists, HR managers. Grow your network with people who may be able to help you or who can point you in the right direction. Follow up on unsuccessful interviews, ask for feedback and then; ask for referrals. A candidate who proactively asks those questions creates a sense of ambition, ownership and drive that is immensely attractive to hiring managers and creates trust in the referral process.

At the end of the day we are all people connecting with people. The key word is connecting. Learning what is important, engaging, and that can create a pathway to the win-win will set you on the right course.


Refreshing perspectives and practical expertise from the Titus team.

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