How to push through job rejection disappointment

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It's a very challenging time for job seekers, with 84% of those out of work suffering a mental health dip due to their job search (Photo: Adobe Stock)

A study commissioned by communications giant BT to launch its Stand Out Skills initiative to help build confidence among those out of work found 84% of the region’s unemployed suffered a dip in their mental wellbeing due to their job search.

It showed the average jobseeker in the East of England had unsuccessfully applied for 14 different roles over the past 12 months.

Of those, 44% said they had experienced decreased motivation, while 45% said they suffered lower self-esteem and morale and a further 44% lost self-confidence.

Just 21% of the region’s jobseekers in the survey were confident that their CV and covering letter would stand out while even fewer (14%) believed in their ability to impress and leave a lasting impression in an interview.

Half in the region said they struggled to find resources which could help them in their job search, including how to improve their CV and job interview technique.

A total of 45% keep their job applications secret in case they are rejected and a further 40% being concerned about what family or friends will think of the rejection, the survey found.

Nel Woolcott, recruitment partner at Peterborough-based Anne Corder Recruitment, said: "I think we have to recognise that it is a very challenging time for job seekers – the key is to treat the job search as a routine and create a daily approach to handling the job search."

Her tips are:

  • Identify where roles that you might be interested in are likely to be advertising and set up an alert
  • Review all adverts to ensure that your application meets the desired criteria and highlight this in your CV
  • Mirror the language of the job advert within your application – demonstrating understanding of the role criteria and creating a feeling of fit
  • Keep an excel spreadsheet detailing the applications that you have made so you can track responses
  • Be as active as possible on LinkedIn – make sure your profile is set to "seeking new opportunities" and be clear in your profile that you are looking for work, and what you are interested in. Comment on, and share content – if possible generate your own content to improve your profile.

She continued: "It is undoubtedly a difficult time for job seekers and looking after your mental health is key – creating and sticking to a routine is really important to stay on top of your job search."

BT has teamed up with experts and celebrities – including TV presenter Anita Rani, comedian Iain Stirling and drag queen Divina De Campo who are backing the campaign – to offer free resources and advice to people seeking work from where to start and showing their best self to standing out when applying and in interviews.

Hannah Cornick, head of digital impact and sustainability at BT, said: "The global pandemic has had far-reaching consequences for the job market, and it’s only natural that jobseekers’ confidence will have been affected. BT remains more committed than ever to its Skills for Tomorrow programme, and to ensuring that people have the skills they need to flourish in an increasingly digital world. 

"This is why we have launched Stand Out Skills, to help those looking for work build their confidence by providing them with the necessary tools and resources they need to get ahead of the competition and stand out in their job search."