Sometimes looking for work can feel like a full-time job in itself! It might take time and patience to find your perfect match, but it’s important to keep the momentum (and your spirits) up while looking!

How do you beat the job hunting blues? Our latest top tips are here to help you stay on track and keep your sanity while looking for new opportunities!

Figure out what you really want from a new job

It helps a lot if before you even apply for a new role, you have a clear idea around what you actually want from a new job. Narrowing your focus helps to home in on potential opportunities rather than just endlessly scrolling through job boards and losing motivation in the process. Create a list of things you want in a new role – whether it’s a certain salary, location, duties, size or culture, and use that as a base for your search.

Being more targeted with what you want will also help if you’re selected for the next stage in a recruitment process. A common interview question is “where do you see yourself in XX years?” or “why should we hire you?”. These questions can often stump people because they’re so focused on the here and now that they forget the bigger picture. Working things out in your mind around what you want in a job and where you want to go with your career will really help you to not only answer these kinds of questions at an interview, but also to stay focused during your job search.

Make yourself a plan

Since looking for work can feel like a job at times, why not treat it like one? Give yourself some goals and timeframes – maybe you look at job boards for 15 minutes each morning. Perhaps you aim for one application a week (as long as it’s relevant to your skills and experience). Reassess how things are going and adjust to suit as you move along i.e. if you find it’s too mentally draining to look at job boards every day, switch to checking every second or third day instead. Keep a track of what you’ve applied for, make a note of questions you’d have about roles and when you should follow up if you haven’t received an update yet.

Whatever plan you come up with, make sure it’s realistic. Creating lofty goals might sound exciting, but it’s also potentially setting you up to fail. One option is rather than making get a job your current goal, why not scale it back for now and change it to get an interview or make a career plan?

Getting those small wins, even if they don’t lead on to bigger things just yet, can still do wonders for our state of mind when it comes to looking for work. Here’s a great read on how to stay motivated and keep at a goal that’s definitely useful when it comes to job hunting. If you need some help when it comes to setting goals, try using the SMART system to help stay on track.

Take time to freshen up your CV

When it comes to job hunting, there’s lots of things out of your control. The number of other applicants and the experience they bring will always be unknown and impossible to determine. But what you can control is how you present your own application – it’ll be more beneficial to take some time to ensure your CV is looking great and delivers all the relevant information prospective employers are looking for. We have tips on how to create a compelling CV, cover letter and how to get your application noticed for the right reasons that can help!

Do your research and be targeted with job applications

It might be tempting to send off applications to as many job listings as possible hoping for the best. However, it’s quite demoralising to receive rejection at the best of times, so don’t underestimate the effect of this on your own wellbeing when you’re on the job hunt. Your best chance of success is by making your applications targeted to the specific job, as opposed to a one size fits all approach.

How do you make targeted applications? It’s really important to do your research on a role to make sure you’re a good fit before going to the effort of putting together an application. Remember that you don’t have to tick every single box on the job ad in terms of what they’re looking for, but you should only be applying for roles that you’re genuinely interested in and feel you’re a good match for in terms of experience and skills.

Give yourself a break

If you feel like you’re getting nowhere with your job search, it might be a good idea to pause and take a break from looking and applying for a while. Of course, how long a break you take will be dependent on your circumstances; but even if your job search is urgent, taking a couple of days off can make a big difference.

If you’re feeling really jaded by the job-hunting process, you’re likely projecting those feelings whether you intend to or not. The best way to keep the positivity going is by taking it easy on yourself. Don’t forget that there is also financial support available for jobseekers too if you’re not currently working – click here for more details.

If you’re not working, consider doing some volunteer work in the interim – one because it will give you something to put your mind to, and two because volunteering can lead to other opportunities.

Talk it through

Keeping your frustrations bottled up can be a fast track to burning yourself out. Talking things through with friends, family or people in your network can help bring perspective, fresh ideas or inspiration and sometimes even new opportunities and connections that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise. We all know the old adage that a problem shared is a problem halved, so don’t underestimate the value of sharing your struggles with those around you, you never know what can come from it!

The job-hunting journey can be different for everyone, so the best piece of advice is to be kind to yourself, seek help when you need it and don’t feel like you have to go through it alone. The right job is out there for you, it just might take some time, effort and patience to find it!

On the hunt? Visit our Jobs page to see our current vacancies.

Good luck,
Kirsty and Nikki

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