Laid Off - How to prove I am worth hiring?

Using a burner account here. I was laid off at the beginning of August. I went to a semi-target, graduated in 2016, and had networked into my TS Valuation role. I started this role in September of 2017. I passed the first two CFA exams and took Level 3 this past June but failed by a slim margin.

I'm having a really hard time with things right now. I network as much as possible. I had a buyside interview at a PE fund during August but did not get an offer. Since this past March, I've had multiple first/second round calls with MM IB firms but haven't been able to land anywhere. When I ask for feedback from HR or the MDs they tell me I'm on the right track but applicants with IB experience have me beat. Today I had a call with HR at a regional bank for a DCM/LevFin role but once we discussed my layoff things seemed to go downhill. Obviously, I'm not going to lie about losing my job and I make sure to be upfront while not dwelling on the subject but I feel like I'm stonewalled from the type of job I want due to being laid off.

If I didn't get laid off I think I'd be set up for a move after my one year mark but got axed right before. Has anyone been in a similar experience or know anyone that has been in my position? How did it work out?

Comments (13)

Sep 11, 2018
ebitdamnnn:

Using a burner account here. I was laid off at the beginning of August. I went to a semi-target, graduated in 2016, and had networked into my TS Valuation role. I started this role in September of 2017. I passed the first two CFA exams and took Level 3 this past June but failed by a slim margin.

I'm having a really hard time with things right now. I network as much as possible. I had a buyside interview at a PE fund during August but did not get an offer. Since this past March, I've had multiple first/second round calls with MM IB firms but haven't been able to land anywhere. When I ask for feedback from HR or the MDs they tell me I'm on the right track but applicants with IB experience have me beat. Today I had a call with HR at a regional bank for a DCM/LevFin role but once we discussed my layoff things seemed to go downhill. Obviously, I'm not going to lie about losing my job and I make sure to be upfront while not dwelling on the subject but I feel like I'm stonewalled from the type of job I want due to being laid off.

If I didn't get laid off I think I'd be set up for a move after my one year mark but got axed right before. Has anyone been in a similar experience or know anyone that has been in my position? How did it work out?

Well, why were you laid off? I agree that the timing is quite unfortunate.

I wouldn't lie but I also wouldn't lead with it.

Sep 11, 2018

I was told it was purely a decision based on the budget. Junior roles across the entire organization get cut depending on the overall status of the business line as well as how your particular partner did for the year. If they don't hit revenue targets they lose people.

Sep 11, 2018
ebitdamnnn:

I was told it was purely a decision based on the budget. Junior roles across the entire organization get cut depending on the overall status of the business line as well as how your particular partner did for the year. If they don't hit revenue targets they lose people.

Still lacking details. Was anyone else or just you? Would give certainty if you can claim (or stretch & claim) that an entire department was cut

Most Helpful
Sep 11, 2018

Keep your head up. Moving from Valuation into IB or PE is difficult even when fully employed. It's a numbers game, but if you keep hustling good things will likely happen.

I think people understand layoffs. Not many people have a full 30-40 year career and never get laid off. Just be straight with interviewers, and don't act like it was anything other than bad luck. If you try to tiptoe around it or act awkward when addressing it, it may leave them feeling like it could have performance based, which would be bad. Just try to remain confident when explaining the situation, and say while you were disappointed to be laid off given group performance/missing budget, it's given you the chance/time to transition into M&A, DCM, etc., which has been your goal.

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Sep 11, 2018

Thanks for the words of encouragement. I think if I was still at my job it would be easier, but you're right it is difficult. Four former associates I worked with all successfully moved to IB analyst roles; one at a national MM, two at regional MM and one at a boutique.

You're right about addressing it, and I think I have all of the typical IB interview questions down about fit and why I want to make the switch. This has also given me the time to network more and to brush up on LBO modeling, so it hasn't all been bad. I'm just feeling down on my luck. I appreciate the advice and positive attitude.

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Sep 11, 2018

Hey OP, I might have missed this while skimming, but how's your relationship with your prior firm and team? If the layoffs was simply due to budget and you being the youngest/newest/most junior but you had good performance, I think connecting with someone from your old team and using their network could be helpful.

If you have a good relationship with them, see if they know if their friends at other banks are looking. It also sends a signal to the other party that your old team was impressed enough to help you out.

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Sep 11, 2018

I didn't work at a bank, I worked Big 4 Valuation so I was trying to work my way into IB. Some of the kids I worked with have gone that route but the fact I've been laid off makes it harder.

Sep 12, 2018

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Sep 11, 2018

So you took the back office job while still applying to IB? How did you answer questions about being in your ops role for only 6 months before applying for IB?

Sep 12, 2018
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