Getting my foot back in the door with Apple, and other job-hunting tips?
November 11, 2019 9:43 PM   Subscribe

After being laid off from my previous job, I have tried to get back in the door at Apple Retail, but seem to be hitting a brick wall so far. Also running into brick walls with my job search.

I was laid off from my office job about a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I have been searching for jobs in the area. I worked at Apple retail about seven years ago, and want to return. I missed working at Apple, and it'd serve as a great stopgap until I find something permanent. They paid fairly well for retail (double the minimum wage at the time for that state), and had some great benefits. From what I hear, they still do.

However, a few complications. Here's a short backstory:

2014: Left Apple retail. (Am an Apple alumni.) Had a good AppleCare selling track record, if that helps (not bragging).
January 2019: Interviewed for a new flagship Apple store in my area.
February 2019: Got an offer for a part-time specialist position. At the time, as I was one of the only staff at my old (laid-off) job, I wasn't sure about accepting a part-time job in addition to my stressful full-time job. After an AskMe here, and discussing with my old boss, I decided to decline the job offer. (This was all done through text.)
October-November 2019: All hell broke loose. Laid off from my job.
November 2019: Talked to an old Apple co-worker who I worked with during my time at Apple, in person (she works at the flagship store I want). She was very supportive, and asked me to email her my resume, and she'd refer me and talk to the senior manager at the store. She said the store was definitely hiring and needed more people.

This was about two weeks ago. Nothing. I have followed up, and she has not gotten back to me. I also texted the person who texted me back in February, saying my circumstances had changed and I was available to take the position, if it was still available, but the text was read/not responded to. I talked with another friend who also worked at that Apple Store location, and she suggested I go in and ask to talk with the senior manager in person, face-to-face, explain my situation, being honest that I was laid off from my job, and am passionate about returning to Apple.

My questions:
-Should I tell the senior manager I declined the offer back in February because I was working full-time at an understaffed organization, but now I was laid off and need work? That other friend suggested I be genuine in my conversation with the senior manager to show a human face and to show that my intentions when turning down the job in February, in the first place, was good, but that I am now available and willing. I'm hoping the "laid off" part would appeal to the manager, but at the same time, I don't want to come across as desperate, needy, or treating Apple as a "second resort".

-I feel bad that I went through like three rounds for Apple's retail interview process, only to turn down the job in the end due to my full-time job. Do you think this had a bad bearing on me at all? I'm still kicking myself for not accepting the offer, because if I had been working part-time Apple and full-time at my old job, at least Apple would have been a protective net once I was laid off.

-Anything else I should do to try and get in the door again? I don't mind other retail jobs, but I really WANT this job at Apple. It'd lead me back to some familiarity, and at least I'd have a solid retail gig that pays better than most other retail jobs, until I find a good office desk job.

Also, another general question: Is it this hard to find jobs? I also applied at Starbucks and other spots, and have heard nothing back. Old colleagues and friends reviewed my resume; nothing but compliments and minor, small edits that were incorporated. I'm a bit freaking out because I have rent and other expenses to pay, and this whole being laid-off territory is completely new to me. Severance and unused vacation time is great, but won't get me that far. I kind of forgot what it was like to be jobless and having to be back on the market.

posted by thoughtful_analyst to Work & Money (13 answers total)
You haven't technically applied for an Apple job yet, so start there! If none of the stores near you have anything posted, then maybe they're just not hiring. But if they do, just apply in the normal way. It might get better results.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:48 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]

In addition to severance and vacation payout, you’re probably eligible for unemployment since you were laid off. Have you filed yet?

And yes, put in an application to Apple. I wouldn’t give the whole back story unless explicitly asked; I’d keep it brief. For example, if you speak with the manager who offered you the job previously, I’d say something along the lines of “after we spoke in February, it became clear, after consideration, that a part-time job could have difficult to manage. Circumstances have changed, and I’m now available with more flexibility”. You definitely don’t want to look desperate.
posted by lemon_icing at 3:18 AM on November 12 [3 favorites]

Small detail I forgot to mention: I tried re-applying online for the store position, but it said I had applied already and offered to resubmit my resume for me. When clicking on that, their page became stuck in a loop. That’s why I’m sort of stuck, but I believe my information is in their system. When I go in, I can explain that.

Would you recommend I mention being laid off, or no? If I mentioned that, would that make me look desperate?

As for unemployment, not yet. I do plan to look into that more and understand how it works, then apply if I don’t have any luck.
posted by thoughtful_analyst at 6:10 AM on November 12

Apply for unemployment NOW, whether you have any luck or not. You have already left a week’s worth of money on the table. This is part of your financial cushion while you look for a new job.
posted by matildaben at 6:42 AM on November 12 [11 favorites]

I like lemon_icing's script and leaning on "my circumstances have changed" rather than "recently laid off" when touching base with Apple again. But yes, definitely get on unemployment sooner rather than later to help smooth the transition between jobs and buy you some time to put out more applications in case Apple doesn't work out.
posted by helloimjennsco at 6:46 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]

I applied for unemployment three+ weeks ago and I'm still waiting. I wish I'd applied the day I got fired instead of dragging my feet!
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:28 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]

The problem is, I think I'm still technically an employee at my former organization — my administrative leave ends today (I believe), then I'll be using up my vacation time for the next month or so, then switching over to severance pay. I'll leave payroll officially in January, but until then, I'll be paid as if I was still a full-time employee (same pay). Based on that, shouldn't I wait until January to file unemployment, as that's when I'd be off the payroll and having used up all my leave? I hope that makes sense, and sorry for the threadsit.
posted by thoughtful_analyst at 8:09 AM on November 12

Check with your state's unemployment office. Go visit in person if needed. Good chance you are eligible as you are actively looking and available.
posted by Sophont at 8:47 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]

My experience is more with Apple engineering/corporate, but Apple's hiring system and the personnel involved have always been a disaster area. Expect to have to reapply, apply for a different job/location, call friends at Apple, deal with odd situations, basically do whatever it takes to shepherd the process through.
posted by w0mbat at 9:05 AM on November 12

No, unemployment can kick in "merely" for a big enough loss of hours, not just literally being unemployed. I don't know how your situation specifically would play out, but there's nothing to be gained by assuming you need to wait. And, in plenty of states, you'd be due that vacation time as a lump sum anyway, so it's not even necessarily like they're doing you a favor by doling it out as paychecks.
posted by teremala at 10:43 AM on November 12

The reason they're doling it out as paychecks/payroll is because that way, I can keep my health insurance longer. If I elected to take the vacation and severance pay in a lump pay process instead, I'd lose my insurance right there and then.
posted by thoughtful_analyst at 12:54 PM on November 12

When I applied in New York State, the online form let you say how long you were gonna be getting payouts. Your payments would begin after that point, but applying now will give them time to confirm it all with your employer before then. If you wait until the payments stop it may still take them weeks to OK your benefits.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:07 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]

Regarding other jobs, it's a numbers game. Just keep trying. If you're talking about places like Starbucks, most likely the issue isn't your resume but whether you walked in on a day that the manager was ready to hire someone. The holidays are coming up so it's a good time to hit up retail places and possibly also UPS (I think they do holiday hiring just a bit earlier).
posted by salvia at 3:08 PM on November 14

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