Discovered myself in situation I did not anticipate. I worked as embedded, constrained system developer for about decade and a half, to be blunt I got laid off and can't find job.

I do not know what to blame, while my official skillset is pretty one dimensional (c/cpp, embedded assembly risc/arm intel assembly, fpga, dsp, platform specific toolset, debugging) it didn't stop me from staying current, I kept my skills current learned go, rust, python and other big names that are relevant or about to become relevant, maintain my diverse github repo with variety of small to moderate projects in different languages, which I include in CV.

Before sending application I always check company values and background, basically customise my CV by per application basis. I tried every trick in the book, "trimming" experience, including only necesary skills needed for job, removing photo, removing graduation year but nothing works, even after jumping through every flaming hoop, test, trivia check and phone call I usually fail last interview (in person or videocall).

While I knew layoff would be hard for me because of narrow specialisation, I kept learning new stuff specifically for this case, to soften being hit by bus. Never imagined that it would be this hard.

How can I improve my chances to get hired ?

What is the cause of my lack of success during interview ?

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    Sorry for your situation, but we can't really tell you what you're doing wrong. What feedback are you getting as to why you are failing the final interviews? Sep 7, 2020 at 12:53
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    Kilisi, I can't, im too old for physical labor, but too young to retire. I tried to apply for supermarket cashier and similar positions but to no avail. Im too qualified or old according to interviewers. I am desperate at this point, even if I got low end job, which i try actively, it can't sustain me, my family and my failing body for long time for sure.
    – 8-bit guy
    Sep 7, 2020 at 13:10
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    How old are you OP ? This may be important factor to get relevant answer. Sep 7, 2020 at 13:28
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    Where are you located?
    – user
    Sep 7, 2020 at 13:34
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    @8-bitguy I don't think that we can answer this, and the sympathy is probably reason for low amount of closed votes so far. Because your situation sucks, and I feel bad for you - especially as you've even tried to go for the bottom of the barrel jobs with little luck. The one thing I can recommend is to simply ignore the recruitment pipe. If you are desperate for the job at local supermarket, go there and be a pest until someone will see you and tells you in the face that they won't hire you. You got little to lose as you got the spare time, and you already do not have the job.
    – Aida Paul
    Sep 7, 2020 at 13:52

3 Answers 3


You have relevant skills, the problem is nobody is hiring at the moment. With the global pandemic causing recessions and anticipated economic shocks from events like brexit and the US presidential elections companies are putting off taking on new staff at the moment.

Depending on where you are these issues be lessened in the next few months or they could get much worse. Broadening your skill set may help but also beware of spamming keywords in your CV and on job sites. When companies have many applicants they can select the one who appears to have a lot of experience in the particular field they want, so having broad but shallow experience isn't always helpful.

As well as the usual job sites it can help to get on LinkedIn and make connections with recruiters. Get your CV in their databases. Don't be afraid to look nationwide or even abroad (very easy in the EU, but if you are British beware of brexit related problems). You have an opportunity to take those roles remotely at the moment, perhaps with a promise to look in to relocating later (by which time the job market may have recovered).

  • If you are British, it's not a problem if you move to the EU this year (December 2020), after that it's more difficult.
    – gnasher729
    Sep 9, 2020 at 11:37
  • @gnasher729 unfortunately many EU countries have not put in place good schemes for securing British citizen's rights after brexit and many employers are reluctant to take that risk when they have other applicants from within the EU. It's possible but we are already suffering from the effects of brexit.
    – user
    Sep 9, 2020 at 14:51

You might not be doing anything wrong. From 2008 to 2013, I couldn't find much work and ran through a lot of savings.

It helps to broaden your search. When companies are not hiring, they are bringing in freelancers and temporary workers. You might want to talk to contract houses as they might have opportunities you can't find. You might try bidding on jobs on freelancer sites. Yes, you might be bidding against people from around the world. But, it can be a very good way to see what people are hiring for today.

I have found work on Upwork and Craigslist but it is a lot of hard sifting through mud to find one or two gems.


You are pushing for wrong field, at your age (assuming you are in 40s maybe even 50+) you really want job that allows you to relax and use your wisdom. In other words you should apply for management, working as coder will be very taxing, both mentally and physically. I quit coding at 25 and couldn't be happier, It is young mans game after all. Sleepless nights, drinking liters of coffee, sore eyes and carpal tunnel, I do not want to go back there, especially not at my age. My wrists still ache by the way.

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    But there are some of us who don't wish to have anything to do with management, and are still writing code at over twice the age at which you gave up. I would find management far more stressful than coding.
    – Simon B
    Sep 7, 2020 at 19:48
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    @Simon Not necesarily bad choice, however you will have to compete with younger people who are more fit. Maybe I gave up early, but what would I win by holding till 30 ? 40 ? And what about 50 ? As I aged, realization came to me that it's better to be a fox and leave fighting to wolves. Sep 7, 2020 at 19:54
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    -1 This is not a good answer. It's much more difficult to change role in this way than it is to climb the ladder inside an organisation; what relevant experience can he put on his CV? Also, 25yo is when you really start to be a decent coder, when you've got a few years depth and breadth of experience. I work with people in their fifties and sixties who have been coding forever, keep their skills up-to-date and are just as productive as the youngsters Sep 8, 2020 at 19:03
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    good trolling. Obviously not true: SW engineering jobs come in many different flavours, high stress and high pay, little stress and high pay, low stress and low pay, and high stress and low pay. No need to quit before retirement. Sep 9, 2020 at 11:11
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    Strange enough, I have no sleepless nights, don't drink liters of coffee, don't have sore eyes and don't have carpal tunnel, and don't work overtime.
    – gnasher729
    Sep 9, 2020 at 11:39

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