How One Job Seeker Turned a Layoff Into Her Dream Job

According to, a layoff tracking website, since the start of 2023, more than 199,885 people have been given the bad news: you've been laid off. Halle, who opted to keep her identity private, was one of those people. So how did she manage to turn things around and land her dream job amidst waves of mass layoffs in the last year? After losing her job in the apparel graphic design industry and searching for a new job opportunity for over 4 months, Halle discovered the secret to unlocking her dream career, one where she finally felt “right”. For her, the secret was partnering with exclusive, leading creative recruiting firm, Syndicatebleu. Working with Marilyn Stein, Director of Career Group Companies’ creative and marketing division, Syndicatebleu, was a game-changer as she served as a “direct link into the elusive interview process."  

Following All the “Right” Steps  

Halle graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, with a double major in Journalism and Graphic Design. The designer followed all the “right” steps – from specialized classes in her field of interest to multiple internship experiences throughout university – which led her to her first job in the industry right after she graduated in May 2022.  

The Dreaded Phrase: Mass Layoffs  

Halle was coming up on her six-month mark at the athleisure wear company when mass layoffs started to dominate the news cycle.  The creative and technology spaces were hit the hardest as a result of the chronic over hiring that occurred during the economic recovery post COVID-19. Giants such as Amazon, Apple, Meta, Twitter, Lyft and others were all affected, announcing not only layoffs of current team members, but hiring freezes as well. Halle was one of many who faced layoffs, and as a newer team member who worked so hard to land her first job out of school, she felt blindsided by the news.  

The “LinkedIn Hustle”  

Once she heard the news, Halle was quick to hit the job search. She called it her “LinkedIn hustle,”- she got her resume in order and started applying to as many jobs as possible. For many job seekers, the job application process can feel like a full-time job.  “I feel like I was applying to these jobs on LinkedIn, and  it would say it already had like 100+ or 200+ applicants and I think my applications would just get lost.”  Halle stated.  “I was applying for so many opportunities on LinkedIn, and I would never hear back - it's crazy how that works” the designer said.  

Turning Things Around  

Halle started to use her network to her advantage. After the layoffs, she describes a web of peers and former colleagues who wanted to help connect her to a new opportunity. “I had a lot of people reach out to me and say, I have a recruiter that can help you if you're interested,” she stated. It wasn’t long before she realized that partnering with a recruiter is the way to go. “Even though my job search was a mix of looking by myself and through other people as well, I found I was only successful in getting an interview when I had a recruiter helping me” says Halle. Almost 4 months into her search, her name and resume were passed along to Marilyn Stein, Director of Syndicatebleu, who then reached out to Halle with an opportunity that seemed like a dream.  

“I just had a really good feeling about it. After my first interview, this was the only company that I had spoken to that felt right. I was actively looking for about four months before I got an actual offer. And this was the first time I realized interviewing isn't just about selling yourself. It's also about seeing if that job is right for you,” Halle says.  

Working with a Recruiter  

Before Halle connected with Marilyn, she spoke to quite a few recruiters. “With some recruiters I felt like I was just a commission to them. With a different agency, I had told them I wasn’t interested in a position after interviewing, and the recruiter was just really, really pushy. They had multiple recruiters texting me at the same time trying to get me to change my mind. It was like a very strange situation, and I did not know how to navigate it – nor did I enjoy the experience. But then with Marilyn, I felt like she was there for me, and I felt like she genuinely cared,” Halle shares.  

“When I got to my second interview, Marilyn said, ‘I want you to get this job so badly!’ and I just really appreciated her, because that was a very hard time in my life, and she really helped me get through it,” Halle continued.  

Marilyn was more than a recruiter; she was an advisor and a coach. She led Halle through the interview process from a hiring manager’s perspective. “She told me to be assertive and to ask, ‘Is there anything about me that you're curious or hesitant about that I can clarify further for you?’ One problem I was having was that I was still a fresh college grad and I only had about six months of corporate experience. In interviews, employers kept asking me if I had any other experience, and I had to say no, since I had just graduated. So being open with the employer and having a positive attitude that showed eagerness in getting the job, definitely made them more confident in picking me for the role.” When the position came down to two options, Halle stood out as the best choice.  

After Landing the Job  

Even after landing the job, Halle keeps in contact with her recruiter partners "She frequently checks-in to see how I'm doing. I shared a little bit about what I was working on with her, which led us to another interesting conversation about future opportunities with some other clients that she is working with. I feel like Marilyn is not just a recruiter, she’s also a friend.”  

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