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Five Tips To Improve Your Job Search Confidence

Woman at desk

Looking for a new job can be a challenging time. You’re putting yourself in a position where you may be rejected, but it’s essential to maintain a positive outlook during the process. So how do you keep your head when it’s easier than ever to let it drop? Here are five simple ways to maintain your confidence during a job search.

Looking for work is work

Finding the perfect role takes time, so you should treat your search like a job in itself. Set your alarm and make a point of getting up early to make a start, and change out of your pyjamas and put on a fresh set of clothes. If I work from home, I’ll often change into work trousers and a shirt, so I’m in ‘work’ mode. It’s amazing how less distracted you become when you’ve dressed the part.

Spend a couple of hours on your applications, then break for lunch. Take an hour away from your computer screen to recharge, before going back to it for another burst of focussed time. Those hours of concentrated ‘work’ time will be far more productive and allow you to relax guilt-free in the evening.

Find a hobby

Try and fill your downtime with a new hobby. Whether it’s learning something new or exercising, it can benefit you in many ways beyond just mentally. Learning a new skill will impress potential employers, even if the skill itself is irrelevant, it shows that you are keen to increase your knowledge.

There may be ways to transfer this into volunteer work, too. Many local clubs and organisations need extra hands to help carry out daily tasks, which will help to cover gaps in your CV. Find somewhere that matches your interest and get in touch with them. I find it’s quite easy to overlook a period of unemployment when a candidate can explain something they’ve done in that time.

Time off

Don’t let your search take over your entire life. Once you’re working, you’ll be entitled to days off and, the same goes for your career search. Taking a day off during the week to go grab a coffee, or catch up with some friends, isn’t a bad thing. Tyne and Wear is blessed with great (and affordable) days out; even if it’s just a walk along the seafront, it’s easy to take advantage of this.

Due to the fast pace of the industry I work with, we often require candidates to attend job interviews at short notice, so it’s important that you’re relaxed and in the right frame of mind. Time away from the process is the best way to achieve this.


It may sound easy to say, but I think it’s essential to maintain a positive outlook. You will almost certainly get rejections, so don’t get downhearted when they arrive. Try and get feedback to find out where you could have improved, but use this only as a learning aid rather than a dwelling point.

If you have negative people around you in your life, remove them from your circle so that you don’t get caught up in that. Don’t communicate with them, don’t surround yourself with bad vibes, and you’ll be surprised how positive your general outlook becomes.

You are not a job seeker

Make sure your mindset is positive, too. Don’t think of yourself as a job seeker, think of yourself as somebody qualified to do that role who is just looking for a new position. Spend time reading up on the industry and familiarise yourself with it as much as possible so that you already feel like an insider rather than somebody trying to get their foot in the door. It never fails to impress me when someone who has never worked in the industry has done their research and can talk to me confidently about what they’ve learned.

These are, in my opinion, some of the simplest changes you can make that will have the biggest impact. Follow these five tips and you’ll be surprised at how productive—and successful—your search will become. You’ll also free up a lot more time to spend on yourself. Happy hunting!


This blog post has been written by James McDonagh, Director EMEA at Frank Recruitment Group. Frank Recruitment Group have been working with our Employer Engagement team and feature on our trusted employer database

James joined the company in 2010 after studying politics and philosophy at Durham University, and oversees both the Newcastle and Warsaw offices.

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