The struggle is real: Your job hunting stresses and how to handle them

Job hunting is rarely fun and you can run into a number of frustrations along the way. CV-Library's Laura Slingo tells you how to beat them.
Laura Slingo
Laura Slingo
job stress

This post was written by CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job board with a database of 12 million CVs. Here, Laura Slingo talks about the job hunting stresses you need to look out for and how to beat them.

Job hunting is rarely fun, and CV-Library’s latest research confirms this as 62.7% of UK professionals say they dislike looking for a job, with this figure rising to 69.9% amongst 18-24 year olds. But while the struggle is real, it doesn’t have to be permanent. Here are your top job hunting stresses and how to handle them to ensure a smoother search.

Lack of response from recruiters

job hunting

The nation’s biggest job search bugbear is a lack of response from recruiters, receiving 56.9% of the vote.

To be honest, we can’t blame you. Responding to someone when they greet you, saying thanks to the kind person that held the door for you, providing a status update on your job application: all basic forms of politeness.

However, recruiters are extremely busy people handling thousands of applications and active job hunters every week. Therefore, as you can imagine, it’s particularly difficult to drop each and every candidate a quick update.

As a rule of thumb, if you don’t hear back from a recruiter or employer after submitting an application, you can assume you haven’t made it through to the next stage. Sorry, folks. As you progress through the application process though, the recruiter should keep you informed in a timely manner the whole way through.

If you do find that a recruiter or potential employer has gone off the radar, it’s worth trying to regain contact. Simply dig out the job description to find the name of the recruiter handling the vacancy and drop them an email enquiring.

If that brings you little joy, try a more direct approach and connect with them on LinkedIn. Not only will this dispel your application worries, but you’ll gain brownie points for showing how proactive you are.


Long application processes

job hunting

Our latest research also revealed that long application processes are a stress inducer for 48.8% of the nation. Unfortunately, there’s not always a huge amount that can be done regarding the length of a job application as recruiters need detail. More than anything, this ensures that you’ll be picked out for roles that are a great match for you, ensuring long-term job satisfaction.

Rest assured that job boards, recruitment agencies and employers alike are doing everything they can to ensure a quick and painless application process.  For example, many are investing in Application Tracking Systems (ATSs).  To ensure that you don’t have to continuously input all your details into every single application, ATSs simply copy your details across from the job board, agency or job searching app you’ve signed up to.  Simples.

Tailoring your CV and cover letter to the role

job hunting

30.2% of UK workers ranked tailoring CVs and cover letters to roles as a pet hate. While we know it can take a fair amount of time to tailor each document to the application, we promise this is a process that ensures you have the best chances of making it to the interview stage. In fact, here’s what our managing director, Lee Biggins, had to say on the subject:

“While it can be all too easy to fire out a generic CV, I can’t stress enough the importance of tweaking your profile for each different role you apply for. The job market is competitive and if you want to stand-out from the crowd, you need to consider the recruiter scanning through your CV at the other end, and think about how they will view your skills and experience.

“For example, if a job requires knowledge in a certain area, try and demonstrate how you have excelled in this previously. A potential employer wants to know what you can bring to the table in their company so try and keep your cover letter concise by using a short opening paragraph to introduce yourself and follow this up with a clear layout demonstrating why you’re best suited for the role. Ultimately, this will boost your chances of bagging yourself that dream job.”

Now that’s expert advice.

Finding a role in your local area

job hunting

For 20% of the nation, finding a role in their local area was a top job searching bugbear. Unfortunately, there isn’t always a way to move the suitable jobs closer to home. If one in four UK workers would move jobs for better mobile coverage, you can imagine just how many more may move locations for a job they liked.

But there’s no need to rush for the removals van just yet.

To make sure you’re not missing out on any jobs near you, you need to make sure you’re carrying out your search correctly using Boolean. Before you scrunch your eyebrows in confusion, Boolean searching is easy to carry out and it’s likely you’ve used it before during university.

The purpose of a Boolean search is to achieve the most specific search possible. By combining keywords and phrases with the Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT, “speech marks” and (brackets), you’re able to limit, widen or define your search. Therefore, it’s perfect for retrieving jobs in your location – or industry for that matter!

Most searches will contain one of the following Boolean operators:

AND: e.g. Sales AND London. This will retrieve jobs containing both keywords sales and London.

OR: e.g. London OR Westminster. This will retrieve jobs containing one of the keywords entered.

NOT: e.g. London NOT Sales. This will retrieve any jobs containing the keyword London but not if they also mention Sales.

“…” speech marks: e.g. “Sales Assistant”. This will retrieve jobs containing the key phrase Sales Assistant. To be used with multiple-word search terms forming a key phrase. Words must appear together in the right order for the key phrase to be identified in a job.

(…) brackets: e.g. London AND (Sales OR Marketing). This will retrieve jobs that have London and either Marketing or Sales. Jobs will match if they contain London and one of the keywords contained in the brackets.

By using a Boolean search in this way, specifically regarding locations, you’re more likely to find a job that’s in your local area.

If you’re struggling with your job search, it’s clear to see that you’re not alone. However, there are several ways you can ease your stresses – just remain proactive and keep the prospect of a long, fulfilling career in sight and before long your job search will be over.


About the author: Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.

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