It’s a little talked about fact that there is rarely anything fun about looking for a job once the initial euphoria of deciding you’re going to go for it has worn off. In part two of our Great Resignation series, we’re looking at ways to cope with the intense pressure a job search can bring.
Looking for a job is pretty much a job in itself: the administration and logistics of keeping track of all your applications and scheduling meetings and interviews can be stressful, especially if you’re still working in another busy role. Then there’s the essential research and preparation you’ll need to do for each interview, the careful crafting of cover letters for every application you send off, and any necessary follow ups to keep on top of. Exhausting!
The other piece of the job search puzzle is that rejection – arguably a big part of any job search – can be a really hard pill to swallow. With the average job hunt in 2021 lasting for an average of 19.3 weeks, or about five months, according to Indeed, it can be difficult to keep your spirits up.
56% say they’ve experienced anxiety or depression due to unemployment
Job hunting depression is absolutely a thing too: the Pew Research Center discovered that 53% of US adults who are job hunting say they’ve felt like they lost a piece of their identity during the process. 56% say they’ve experienced anxiety or depression due to their unemployment, and another 41% say they’ve had more conflicts or arguments than usual with family and friends.
So what can you do to stay on an even keel throughout the process?
Be more Marie Kondo
Organise yourself! Streamlining your approach and treat a search for a new role in the same way you’d treat a work project is a good approach. Browse Jobbio for the latest roles and set up tailored job alerts, which will come straight to your inbox as new jobs matching your criteria are added.
Block out specific time each day in which to work on CVs and cover letters and ensure that you create individualised cover letters for each job you apply for. A cover letter you’ve taken time on that is specific to the role is important – it will show your enthusiasm for the company and job, and will give you an opportunity to explain any gaps in your employment history too.
Tweak your CV for each role as well – many recruiters and hiring managers use applicant tracking software (ATS) to keep track of CVs, so peppering your resume with keywords relevant to the job you’re applying for is a smart tactic, and can help your application get past a first screening.
Celebrate the small things
While your ultimate aim is to get a new job, because you can’t predict when that will happen, it can be easy to lose focus and feel like the whole thing is a bit pointless.
Set yourself up for success by putting in place smaller goals to meet each week or month. These can be things like sending out five CVs each week, applying for three new roles, connecting with a set number of relevant industry professionals on a networking site, or attending a relevant networking event – either online or in person.
And once you’ve done these, congratulate yourself on your progress. It’s all moving the dial in the right direction.
Roll with the punches
To contextualise the job search further, one study estimates that each corporate job advertisement receives 250 applications. Four to six of those applicants are called for an interview, with only one receiving a job offer. This means that 249 applicants face rejection, so it is not you – it is the way the job market works. Your time will come.
Understand too, that especially when it comes to tech interviews which often exceed six rounds, the concept of interview fatigue absolutely exists. A formerly fast process has become a marathon of endurance for candidates and it can be hard to keep momentum in terms of energy and enthusiasm going.
Hopefully, things are changing: Google has examined past interview data and has now decided that four interviews is enough to make a hiring decision with 86% confidence.