New research from TopCV, the world’s largest CV-writing service, reveals that nearly half (43 per cent) of job seekers with five years of experience or less, are currently feeling disheartened about their job-search prospects.

Their negative sentiment has risen monthly since May 2021 — a stark contrast to those who have more experience, who reported feeling increasingly optimistic in recent months. In fact, 71 per cent of respondents with six or more years of experience said they felt positive about their career trajectory.

Between 1st April 2020 and 30th July 2021, TopCV asked over 48,000 active UK job seekers to describe how they felt about their job search.

During the second UK lockdown, optimism amongst those with less experience dropped most dramatically — and has still not fully recovered in the 10 months since.

Amanda Augustine, careers expert at TopCV, commented: ‘‘Whether you’ve been looking for work for four months or 14 months, it can be easy to slip into job-search despair when most of your job applications go unanswered. While many of the factors that can lead to job-search frustration are beyond your control, there are steps you can take to make your search as efficient and painless as possible.’’

If you’re looking to make your job search a positive experience, Amanda has some tips:

  • Break down the job-search process: While an effective job search starts with a clear and specific goal, it’s important to create a plan that breaks down this goal into smaller, more manageable steps so you’re less likely to become overwhelmed by the process.
  • Prepare for the ‘hiring bots’: Did you know that 75 per cent of online applications don’t make it past an employer’s recruitment software (known as an applicant tracking system)? Improve your CV’s chances of making it past this ‘hiring bot’ by using a simple format with clearly marked headers, avoid images and custom fonts, and incorporate key terms found in the job advert.
  • Customise each job application: If you want to be impressive in a competitive jobs market, tailoring your CV to every role is vital. Before you apply for a position, compare your CV to the job advert to make certain your qualifications are clearly displayed and your CV is optimised with the proper key words.
  • Give your digital brand a makeover: Google your name, as it appears on your CV, and review the results to ensure there’s nothing that’s damaging your chances of landing the job. Update or create at least one professional account, such as LinkedIn, to match the information found on your CV, and change the account name or increase the security setting on personal profiles you want disassociated with your job search.
  • Make networking a priority: When you’re looking for work, networking can help you uncover opportunities you won’t find online, gain valuable insight into potential employers, and land the all-powerful referral. Make it a goal to start reconnecting with friends, classmates, former professors and employers, meeting new people in your desired industry or field, and conducting informational interviews.