How to look after your mental health while looking for a job

In the week that we mark World Mental Health Day, we wanted to look at how to look after your mental health while looking for a job.

Looking for a job can undoubtedly be stressful. Tailoring your CV and getting the cover letter just right for each application you make can be challenging. Then there is the added uncertainty of whether your application has been successful and waiting to hear back. It’s easy to see how this can all have an impact on your mental health.

Here are some tips to help you take one step at a time and to manage your mental health while looking for a job:

Manage your expectations. If you have applied for a few roles and not heard back, remember that sometimes the application process could take weeks. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that all the companies you apply to will respond to your application, usually due to the volume of applications that they receive. Try not to take it personally, taking an objective approach to looking for a job will help keep your emotions in check.

Be proactive. If after a couple of weeks, you still haven’t heard back, contact the recruiter by phone or email for an update. Even if your application was not successful, you will have the opportunity to get valuable feedback. It will also help put your mind at rest. Most recruiters would agree that it reflects well on a candidate if they get back in touch as it shows initiative and enthusiasm.

Take a break. Sending as many applications as possible may seem like a good strategy, but you should take the time to work on each one. Research each role and tailor your application to the job description. It’s better to send one well-crafted CV than dozens of irrelevant ones. Otherwise, you’ll likely get more frustrated by the lack of responses, not to mention feeling burnt out by the whole process. And remember to take regular breaks.

Ask for help. Looking for work doesn’t have to be a lonely experience; you will likely know people who are in or have been in the same situation. Asking someone to look at your CV and give honest feedback can be really useful. Our recruitment consultants at RecruitAbility would also be happy to help with this.

There are also organisations who can help. Your local Jobcentre can provide advice on finding a new role and assist you to apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance if you’re struggling financially. The Job Help website provides support to help you get job ready and find work. It is also worth looking at your local council website for employment support.

Don’t give up. Looking for a job always takes time, every application that you send is an opportunity you can learn from. Whether it’s learning which roles are better suited to your skills, or making small adjustments to your strategy based on feedback from companies or friends. Take each day as it comes, things will get better.

If you feel you need some help with your mental health, here are some useful contacts:

Samaritans – 116 123

Mind - 0300 123 3393

Anxiety UK – 03444 775 774

Posted on Friday Oct 13