Project Manager at computer examining code and working on project

Although it typically takes two to six months to find a job after a layoff, a recent survey shows that nearly four in 10 laid off tech workers have found jobs less than a month after beginning their search. That’s impressive by any standard.

Why is it that some tech pros are able to land a new job more quickly than others? It turns out that beating the odds is not just about luck—it can also involve skill.

To help you improve your success rate and effectiveness, we asked three tech professionals how they managed to land new jobs (and in some cases multiple offers) after they were laid off. Here’s a summary of their actionable tips, habits and best practices.

Find a Need and Fill It

One of the most important steps to finding a job quickly is to identify an unmet need or niche in the job market and brand yourself as an expert in that area. This tactic separates you from others with similar skills, especially when the market benefits from a sudden influx of talent.

For instance, Joe Pursel changed the course of his career when he went from being just another contract project manager to a highly sought-after JIRA admin. Devoting significant time and effort to learning JIRA paid dividends, especially when he was laid off from Twitter and was able to land a job at Dragonfly Financial Technologies the following month.

“You need a hook; something that makes you memorable,” agreed Aziz Ramos, a senior UX engineer who scored six interviews, three offers and a new gig in the month after he was laid off from a major CRM company.

However, you don’t necessarily need to acquire a brand-new skillset. “Work with what you have,” added Pursel, who continues to receive multiple inquiries from recruiters each day.

Find something you’re good at and that employers need, and brand yourself as an expert. For instance, Ramos distinguished himself by marketing his creative side on his website and then showcasing his knowledge of human computer interaction (HCI) during portfolio presentations.

Offer More Value

Many mid- or senior-level tech pros are having an easier time becoming reemployed. So, why are they in greater demand than their less-experienced counterparts?

For one thing, experienced pros often possess a broad range of skills that help overburdened tech managers do more with less, especially when budgets are tight. Plus, offering greater value can instill a sense of urgency in a hiring manager who is worried about losing your talent to a competitor.

Managers are looking for someone who can kill two birds with one stone, explained Ramos, who markets himself as a UX designer who can also code and mentor junior professionals.

Successful job hunters adjust to the needs of the marketplace. They identify and acquire complementary skills that will boost their appeal and make hiring managers think they’re getting a bargain.

Make Job Hunting and Learning Your Full-Time Job

Laid off tech pros cause a rapid reversal of fortunes by making job hunting and acquiring new skills their new full-time job. For instance, when lead software developer Francisco Sanchez was laid off from a major CRM company, he established a daily routine where he devoted half the day to job-hunting and the other half to improving his interviewing techniques and technical skills.

He asked for feedback after every technical interview, kept a log of where he fell short, and used practice tests, online courses and certification exams to enhance his speed and pass rates. Like the others, Sanchez didn’t limit his search to one hiring source, either. He used job boards, referrals, company websites and third-party recruiters to unearth opportunities, and tracked the effectiveness of each source.

Sanchez also perfected his elevator pitch, so he was ready to answer "tell me about yourself" questions. After a few weeks, he had several opportunities in the pipeline and actually had to decline some offers before jumping at the chance to work for a fintech company.

Ramos created a few websites for clients while he was interviewing. His freelancing experience helped him learn new skills and market his capacity for growth to hiring managers. The extra cash came in handy, too.

Practice Positive Perseverance

Highly effective tech job hunters stand out in the way they prepare for an interview and follow-up, Pursel said.

For instance, he reads the company’s press releases and looks for interesting things in the interviewer's office, such as photos, plaques or college memorabilia, to help break the ice and drive the conversation. “Don’t worry about offending people or saying the wrong thing,” he added. Go into an interview with confidence, and most importantly, never give up.