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The 3 biggest mistakes job seekers make after a layoff, from someone who’s been let go twice

By | Jennifer Liu |

Layoff numbers remain historically low in the labor market, but shocks to tech and finance jobs have been ratcheting up throughout the year. With companies including TwitterStripeSalesforce and Meta announcing staff cuts in a matter of days, and CEOs saying they’re preparing for a recession by reducing headcount, the market could get a little tighter for some job seekers rebounding from a layoff.

Albert Ko, 37, knows a thing or two about bracing for the worst: He’s been through five rounds of layoffs in his 15-year career in engineering and sales, including two instances where he lost his job. He’s now a director at AngelList Talent, a career site for startup jobs, and offers up his time to help review resumes, offer advice and connect people with new jobs.

He’s consistently noticed that sudden job seekers tend to make three big mistakes as they hit the market. Here’s what to avoid:

Saying you can do everything: ‘Nobody needs a generalist’

As you’re updating your LinkedIn status or polishing your resume, you might feel compelled to list out every task you’ve perfected or every skill you’ve picked up. From a hiring perspective, this is a mistake, Ko says: “You don’t want to be good at everything. Be very good at a few things.”

An executive summary or resume with a laundry list everything you’ve ever done doesn’t give the reader a good idea of your unique expertise, Ko says. “People will state how they’re good at sales and marketing and operations, and in my mind I’m like, ‘You can’t be good at all three things, and I don’t need you to be good at all three things.’”

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