Top tips for overcoming job search fatigue (infographic)

Searching for a job at the best of times can be exhausting, we all know that. But looking for a new opportunity during a global pandemic when there are so many people in the same boat is that much more difficult and tiring. Jobs are out there, but competition is fierce and the many hours spent fruitlessly applying for them can take their toll on your mental and physical health.

A sign of the impact Covid-19 has made on the jobs market can be seen with the news that the average length of unemployment for Americans has gone up from 20 weeks in November 2019 to 23 weeks in November 2020. Those extra weeks matter, because long-term unemployment means more likelihood of obesity, diabetes and asthma as well as depression.

Of course, the main stress around searching for a new job is a financial one with the need to replace lost income, so it’s no wonder unemployed people are exhausting themselves working all hours firing off applications and updating their resumes. But knowing the impact this can have, has created a guide with tips for how to avoid job search fatigue:

Set yourself limits

When you’re out of work, you have both the motivation and the time to spend hours looking for and applying for jobs. It can be tempting to spend your usual working day doing it, but this can be counterproductive. If you’re feeling burned-out you won’t have the energy to be effective when applying for jobs, so will be less likely to be successful, so it’s much more sensible to limit your searching to 1-3 hours a day. Set yourself a regular routine with a start time, end time and regular breaks to stay fresh.

Give yourself rewards

As well as setting yourself a routine and avoiding overworking, you can also be kind to yourself in other ways. You might not think you need motivation to try and find yourself a new job, but after too many disappointments it can take a lot of willpower to keep on going. This is when rewarding yourself can be a powerful tool for both self care and motivation. If money is a cause of worry, these rewards can be as simple as going for a walk and listening to your favorite podcast or cooking yourself your favorite meal.


Being unemployed is lonely. Even if you have a spouse or partner who supports you, they cannot know what you are going through, especially if you aren’t telling them. Shutting yourself and your fears off from friends and family might feel like a coping mechanism but opening up and talking is much healthier for you and for them. If you don’t feel able to share your feelings with them, you can find online counseling at sites like and

Get some exercise

Long days spent hunched over a computer applying for jobs can take its toll on your physical health as well as your mental wellbeing. What your body will need to help you work out the stress is some regular exercises and these will have the added benefit of boosting your self-esteem at the time when you need it most of all. If you don’t enjoy running and haven’t been able to get to the gym in lockdown, you can find home workouts at or

Try positive affirmations

Struggling with the rejections and setbacks that are a part of applying for jobs can be hard on your ability to stay positive. It’s all too easy to fall into negative thinking and self-sabotaging beliefs that diminish both your confidence and your chances of success. This is where affirmations can help. Replacing these negative thoughts with positive beliefs like ‘I will make it through this tough time’ really can have an effect on your mindset, so why not give it a try?

Eat healthily

With long-term unemployment linked to obesity, it’s crucial to watch what you eat while job hunting. The temptation can be there to comfort-eat while your spirits are low and your motivation is at rock bottom, but this is the worst thing you can do in the circumstances and will only add to your fatigue. Research has shown that you should be aiming for seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day, so why not use this time to get into better eating habits?

Put things in perspective

One of the most tiring things about job hunting is the overwhelming feeling that it has taken over your life. Of course having a job is important and if you haven’t got one, looking for one feels like the most important thing, but there’s more to life than a job hunt. Losing a sense of your identity is a big risk factor for depression and related illnesses, so it’s essential that you spend at least one day a week focusing on yourself and your passions outside of work. You’re more than just your job search and keeping your creative juices flowing by having a side project like a podcast, a blog or photography can help engage your brain and boost your confidence.

Boost your chances while avoiding fatigue

There are several ways you can optimize your job search while also ensuring that you avoid job search fatigue. Getting a job search buddy can help keep you accountable for sticking to it, while also keeping you from getting lonely. Developing your skill set with online courses helps to build your confidence, keep your mind off the search and also make you more employable. The same can be said for volunteering, which will also boost your self-esteem and help you do your bit for your local community.

Looking for a new job during a global pandemic is often a thankless and lonely task, so it’s no wonder that people end up suffering from job search fatigue, which can have deadly consequences. By following these tips you can make sure that you stay fresh and ready to keep on applying for jobs without it taking over your life and leaving you exhausted and defeated. You can do this.

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