Layoffs on the Rise, But Don't Sell Yourself Short

Last Updated Jul 21, 2011 10:58 AM EDT

While plenty of global indicators demonstrate that capital is recovering from the Great Recession of '08, that's cold comfort to millions of U.S. workers who continue to suffer from a persistent scarcity of jobs. Indeed, as the Wall Street Journal reports today, the shadow of layoffs is lengthening in some sectors, slowing or even reversing national employment figures.

"Cisco Systems Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp. and troubled bookstore chain Borders Group Inc. are among those that have recently announced hefty cuts, while recent government numbers underscore how companies have shifted toward cutting jobs," the Journal reports.

"The increase in layoffs is a key reason why the U.S. recorded an average of only 21,500 new jobs over the past two months, far below the level needed to bring down unemployment, which now stands at 9.2%."

So what's a job seeker to do when you're called in for an interview? Is it time to admit defeat and tell the hiring manager you'll do anything for a shot at that position?

I take a very different view: In a market as tight and competitive as this one, where hundreds of resumes continue to flood recruiters' desks, the fact that yours garnered you an interview is a clear sign that the employer sees an exceptional opportunity for value in your skills and experience. You need to embrace the compliment that implies and walk into your interview with your head up and your eyes focused on the future.

"By being desperate, you're underselling your value and I don't think that's in your interest," Mark Grimm, a public speaking trainer and author of 'Everyone Can Be A Dynamic Speaker,' told TheLadders' Andrew Klappholz in a story titled "Look Interested, Not Desperate." Do your homework, Grimm said, so you can understand the need the company obviously thinks you can fulfill. (You wouldn't have made it this far otherwise, remember.)

"You have to understand what your value is," Grimm said. "The employer wants to hear, not arrogance, but a clear sense of what your value is."

  • Matthew Rothenberg

    Matthew Rothenberg is a career-advice veteran and co-author of You're Better Than Your Job Search, a real-world guide to advancing your career in the 21st century.