How To Prevent Burnout During Your Job Search

With some good time management, self-discipline, and a lot of self-care, you can get through your job search without experiencing burnout.

How To Prevent Burnout During Your Job Search

Burnout isn’t only for professionals who feel overworked. People who are on the job hunt can also find themselves experiencing burnout, especially if they’ve been at it for a long time. Students navigating the job search might find themselves tired of submitting applications, and as a result, end up mass applying to jobs they aren’t the right fit for or even submitting lackluster cover letters and application responses. Or worse, they might get so overwhelmed that they end up procrastinating for months and scrambling to apply when the time comes.

Don’t let this happen to you!

With some good time management, self-discipline, and a lot of self-care, you can get through your job search without experiencing burnout. Here’s how.

Pick one day a week and allocate a set amount of time you will spend on your search and related tasks

When you’re searching for a new job, it can be tempting to spend every waking minute applying to jobs, constantly refreshing a job listings page, or sending out LinkedIn messages to everyone in your network as you try to get a foot in the door. Obsessing over the job search is one of the fastest ways to reach burnout. Instead, dedicate a set amount of time to the job search each week. Maybe you spend 6:00 p.m. from 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays applying to jobs. This will help you to focus your attention for a shorter period of time and get “in the zone.” Remember to stay organized so you can ensure you use your time wisely

Think about the big picture

Do you find yourself applying to any job with the title “marketing coordinator” or “human resources assistant”? Type each of these keywords into Google, and you’ll find more than 200 million results. Not the most efficient way to search for a job!

Instead, take a step back and think big picture about what you want out of your career before diving back into the search in case you need to readjust your approach. This might mean homing in on a specific industry, a city, or a company size. Perhaps you really want to work for a startup, or you’d prefer to enter a leadership development program that exposes you to different areas of a business. Or maybe you want to work in a finance department for a nonprofit. With a little soul-searching, you might find that you will be much more targeted in where you want to go.

Diversify your search

Don’t keep trying the same tactics over and over. Rather than log into the same job sites every day, try different platforms (like RippleMatch!) or new job listing sites that are specific to your industry. If you are conducting most of your job search online, sign up for a few career fairs instead to get some face time with recruiters, or attend company info sessions hosted at your university’s career center or online. If you have your heart set on a specific company, you should also try more targeted approaches like going on informational interviews with current employees – LinkedIn and your alumni database are some of the best resources for finding potential connections for informational interviews.

Take a break

Are you still feeling stressed and finding yourself repeating the same lines over and over again in your cover letter? Or has the “Easy Apply” button on LinkedIn Jobs become increasingly more appealing? It’s probably time to take a breather. Giving yourself a week or two off from the job search can help you reset and stave off fatigue. Prioritize your self-care, read a good book, and get some exercise in order to take your mind off the job hunt. Be sure to set a specific date to get back onto your schedule.

Talk to loved ones about the parts of the search that stress you out

Don’t bottle up or minimize the stress you might feel. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed during the job search, but don’t let it reach a boiling point. Talk to a friend, a family member, a teacher, or someone else you trust in order to release some of the tension you’ve been feeling. You’ll probably also find that you’re not alone; most people have experienced stress due to a job search at some point in their lives, and talking things out can help you feel better.

Ask for feedback

If you’ve been applying and applying without feeling like you’re getting anywhere, it might be time to ask for some help. Sign up for an appointment with a career counselor at your school to review your resume or perform a mock interview. You can also draw upon RippleMatch’s online resources offering advice for resumes and interviews to see if there are ways you can refine your application materials to increase your chances of getting that job.

Make sure your job search profiles are complete so recruiters can find you, too

Job searches are a two-way street. At the same time that you are researching companies and applying for jobs, recruiters are also seeking talented candidates. Increase the chances of a recruiter reaching out to you by optimizing your LinkedIn profile and setting up a profile on RippleMatch. That doesn’t mean you should take a passive approach to your job search, but it will ensure that you are maximizing the chance of companies finding you, too.

Remember, every job application you send in should be uniquely crafted to suit that company and underscore why you are the best fit for the job. If it becomes challenging to give that level of care to each application or you find yourself just going through the motions, it’s probably time to reevaluate your job search strategy so that you can avoid burnout and continue to put your best foot forward.

Janine Perri

This article was written by Janine Perri for RippleMatch. Sign up for RippleMatch to automate your job or internship search. Once you complete a free profile, RippleMatch surfaces great job opportunities and matches you directly with recruiters that want to talk with you.

By Troy Hopkins
Troy Hopkins Director, Undergraduate Career Counseling Troy Hopkins