Jobseekers: How to Persevere in a Tough Job Market

Written by Kaylyn Ryan | June 6, 2023

Understanding the job market and refreshing your search

Whether you’re a part of the recent wave of tech layoffs or whether you’ve been searching for your next career opportunity, navigating the current job market can feel overwhelming. Between The Great Resignation, the influx of “quiet quitting”, and post-covid shifts, there are currently 10.7 million Americans looking for employment according to a study by Zippia.

When searching through job postings on LinkedIn, Indeed, and other sites designed for hiring, you may feel exhausted when met with rejection or worse: no answer at all.

If you’re experiencing doubt, fear, or isolation in your job hunt, let this article guide you in reframing your thinking and refreshing your search.

I've submitted a handful of applications—why am I getting rejected?

You’ve polished your resume, updated your LinkedIn profile, and you’ve applied to some roles that interest you. You’ve taken all the right steps but haven’t received an interview or an offer.

First, there are many factors that go into staffing a role. Perhaps the hiring manager made an internal hire. Or maybe the applicant tracking software (ATS) couldn’t properly parse your resume. Or perhaps the role was closed due to financial restrictions or organizational restructuring. Many of the reasons for being rejected are outside of the jobseeker’s control and you are not alone in these frustrations. Zippia found that on average, it takes 21 to 80 applications to get one job offer.

We are our own worst critics. Self-doubt and comparison can be an easy path to go down. However, remain persistent and be open to exploring different opportunities, industries, companies, or even different roles within your professional scope. Everyone has their own timeline.

Why does it feel like my search is taking so long?

Whether you’ve been laid off, are unhappy in your current role, or are simply looking for a career change, it’s important to take some time and mentally prepare for the journey.

The average length of time it takes to find a job in 2023 is five months (Zippia). While financial stress or professional unfulfillment may prompt you to make an immediate career change, don't hold yourself to arbitrary timelines or impossible standards. Be sure to financially and emotionally budget for this timeframe.

I'm feeling burned out. What do I do?

Don't be afraid to pause your search and regroup–even if only for a few days

Take a moment to step away from the screen. Remember: the rejection you face in your professional life is not personal. As mentioned previously, there are a myriad of reasons a hiring team may not select you for a certain position—many of which are outside of a jobseeker's control.

Reflect on your personal and professional accomplishments. Reflect on the value you know you bring.

Reevaluate your resume, LinkedIn profile, and interview preparation

Did you know that a whopping 75% of online applications get rejected by ATS simply by the way they are formatted? (Zippia). Opt for a clean, simplistic format with a healthy balance of text and white space. A popular, ATS-friendly resume format is Harvard College’s bullet point resume.

Tailor your accomplishments and work history to the role you are applying for. Quantify your contributions and format them into bullet points using strong, concise language. Indeed published an article that gives some examples on how to do this.

Once you’ve revised your resume, add some of your standout accomplishments to your LinkedIn profile and rewrite your header with this guide from HubSpot. Your header is the first thing recruiters and hiring managers see when assessing your profile.

After sprucing up your resume and LinkedIn page, sit down for some interview prep. The average company interviews around 6 to 10 people for an open position, so it’s important to be prepared and self-aware (Zippia). Videocall a friend and have them ask some industry-specific questions. Record yourself and watch it back. Did you answer the questions in full? Were you distracted? Did you seem caught off guard by any of the questions?

Reach out to your network

85% of all jobs are filled through networking (Zippia). Reach out to friends, family, previous bosses, colleagues, and your social media networks and let them know you’re searching for career opportunities.

Don’t have a wide network? That’s alright! Start to build one. Attend free industry events or join online and in-person communities.

Create a job search schedule and a boundary

Applying to jobs can feel like a job in itself. Are you applying to jobs sporadically? Or are you investing too much time? Set a schedule. Dedicate a few hours a couple days per week for your search and try not to go over or under that limit.

The length of your job hunt doesn't define you. Rejections aren’t a reflection of your value. A resume isn’t a summary of your entire life. Setting a schedule and maintaining a boundary between your search and your personal life is essential for supporting your mental health.

If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to Kaylyn at or send us a general message here on our site!

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