person speaking pointing to caption '500 job applications 499 declines/ignored/ghosted 1 interview 0 offers' (l) person typing on laptop with papers on desk (c) person speaking (r)

fizkes/Shutterstock @hksmash/TikTok (Licensed)

‘This job market is really tough’: Laid-off worker says he’s applied to 500 jobs in 60 days—and has received 0 offers

’40 hours a week on LinkedIn.’


Phil West


A Los Angeles-based TikToker claims to have applied for 500 jobs after pledging he’d get a job in 60 days following a layoff in November. He’s still looking—and in danger of needing to move out of his apartment.

Creator @HKSmash has generated more than 231,000 views with the video in just one day on the platform.

In the clip, he starts by stitching a previous video of himself declaring, “I’m giving myself 60 days” to find a new job after being laid off in November. He now reveals that it’s been 60 days and the job hunt has not gone as well as he’d hoped.

@hksmash #stitch with @hksmash ♬ original sound – HKsmash

@HKsmash then details what happened.

“I’ve applied to over 500 jobs,” he says. “499 of those jobs have either automatically declined me or ghosted me. I did, however, have one interview, and as of last week, I was denied for that role.”

He then described the lengths he was going to, noting his schedule included “40 hours a week on LinkedIn, networking, building my resume, rewriting my resume, working with coaches and recruiters.”

But, alas, he concludes, “This job market is really tough and it just didn’t work out for me,” before wondering “What’s going to happen next?” He then confides to the audience that he’ll likely have to vacate his current apartment.

The video got a wide range of reactions from commenters, some of which led the creator to comment, “The assumptions in these comments are hilarious.”

Curiously, one person posited, “I heard you worked for Twitter,” prompting the creator to respond, “From who?” He established in other comments that he previously worked for Meta and WhatsApp.

Some asserted that the job hunting landscape isn’t that bad, with one assessing, “Market isn’t that tough, you just gotta take a lower-end job to get you back on your feet.”

“So you mean settle,” the creator responded.

Another commenter sided with the creator, observing, “Bro I feel you. Got laid off same time as you. 670 applications, stopped counting after 30 interviews, still no job.”

One assumed that it was an issue with how the creator was putting himself out there, saying, “Your resume isn’t optimized if you only got 1 interview out of 500 applications.”

The creator replied, “Not according to my recruiter and career coach ….”

But the racks of sneakers behind the creator caught people’s attention; there’s a good deal of sneaker content on the creator’s TikTok, and some thought that might be a good short-term route to raising funds.

“As a sneaker head, I’d advise you sell shoes, bro,” one offered.

Another suggested, “Maybe sell those shoes you don’t wear.”

That led the creator to retort, “Who says I don’t wear them? Mind your business.”

Yet another remarked, “Bro’s wearing an expensive fitness brand and bitching about not having a job. Cry a river bub.”

The creator came back with, “Bro, you are commenting without knowing how to use TikTok. Relax there, kiddo.”

One offered a change in scenery, saying, “Come to Texas.”

“Thanks, but I’m not welcome in Texas,” the creator responded cryptically.

Where he’ll end up is the possible topic of a future video. But as he did hint, it might be some distance from L.A.—or, as he posted, “I’m gonna miss California.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to the creator via TikTok comment.

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