Job Hunt Getting You Down?
You’ve been searching for jobs and internships, you’ve kept your CV updated and you’ve written a unique covering letter for each application. You feel like you spend forever scrolling through ads and checking your phone and mailbox. And yet, you’re still looking.
Whatever you do, for most of us – especially those looking for their first job or for a change of career – the dreaded job hunt can feel laborious, never-ending. In fact, stick at it long enough and looking for work can end up feeling like a full-time occupation in itself, with little reward.
So, what can you do it all feels too much? How can you kick this mindset and get yourself back on track? Here are a couple of tips we’ve collected to help you focus.
Keep a job hunt diary
No, it doesn’t have to begin with ‘Dear dairy, today I…’ This is just to help you keep track of what you’re doing, in bullet points etc. A spare notebook will do. Use it to write in whenever you apply anywhere, when you hear back from someone, and when you want to point yourself in the right direction the following day.
When you’re spending your time applying to countless places, it’s easy to lose track of what exactly you’ve done – but keeping a record of this isn’t simply for better your organisational skills; it’s a great way to keep track of what you’ve done, a way to show yourself that, even when it may feel as though it’s come to nothing, you have achieved something.
Take a break
As much as it’s important to stick at it, it’s also important to step back from the hunt and do something else for a bit. Always try to have a side project on the go, something else that will hold your focus for a while – whether it be training for marathon, writing a book, or taking an online course. Job hunting 24/7 will only wear you out and when it comes to interview time you won’t be able to show them your best self, nor answer the question ‘So, what have you been doing over the past few months?’ confidently.
Make sure your CV is up to scratch
Is your CV everything it could be? Or have you been putting off that important edit and update? When you’ve taken the time to create your CV it’s easy to mentally close that door and consider it done, but perhaps it could use a little tweak here and there. Check our advice on how to spot and correct CV Mistakes and then show a friend or career advisor your finished work.
Talk to someone and seek advice
While staying committed and focussed is good, shutting yourself away from everyone and everything isn’t. Being supported and supporting those around is key to healthy relationships and good mental health. Don’t bottle your feelings up, and don’t think that people won’t understand what you’re going through; we’ve all been there. Talking to someone also provides a good opportunity to learn from their past mistakes too.
What are the recruiters looking for exactly? While you may be far more ready and willing than other candidates, could you be missing a requirement that would seal the deal? For example, perhaps the company really wants someone who has prior office experience or has taken a course in SEO and Digital Marketing. While it’s true that sometimes recruiters will still pursue your application without you having ticked every box, it may be worth taking the time to research and discover whether there is anything you could be doing to improve your chances. It also may be worth…
No matter who you are, receiving a rejection letter, call, or email is never nice. However, if you want to reach your end goal, it’s vital you’re ready and willing to learn from past mistakes. Unless, it was an extremely popular position, many recruiters are happy to follow up after an application – and who knows? Maybe they have another position tucked away that may interest you.
Hone in on what you want
While setting up 25 daily email alerts can feel like a positive step, it’s ultimately useless if the jobs coming through aren’t specific enough for you to meet the requirements. For example, if you’re looking for your first job as a copywriter try using words like ‘entry level copywriter’ or ‘copywriting internship’ in your search so you aren’t being sent ‘lead editor’ or ‘head publisher’ roles through instead.
Don’t be hard on yourself
It’s very easy to trick yourself into believing that it’s all your fault or that you’re simple not good enough, but it’s important to remember that the perfect opportunity for you could be right around the corner. You’re putting yourself out there and trying hard and staying committed to bettering your future; you’re doing far more than the people who aren’t bothering to look at all.
Keep it up and stay positive!
Jodie Reed is a BA Creative Writing graduate and writes for Inspiring Interns.