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Jobseekers face onslaught of rejections during the coronavirus pandemic

The average jobseeker unsuccessfully applied for 16 different roles over the past 12 months, according to a new BT survey.

It found an overwhelming majority of jobseekers have been negatively affected by their search for work over the past year – a factor worth considering for HR when recruiting new starters.

Four in five (81%) of those looking for a job attributed a downturn in their mental wellbeing to their job search.

When asked how rejections and the job search had affected them specifically, 45% of jobseekers responded that they had experienced decreased motivation, whilst 38% highlighted lower self-esteem and morale and a further 44% a reduction in self-confidence.

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BT’s research also highlighted how this lack of confidence persists throughout the various stages of the job search.

Just 22% said they are confident that their CV and covering letter will stand out when compared with fellow candidates, while even fewer (21%) believed in their ability to impress and leave a lasting impression in an interview.

Hannah Cornick, head of digital impact and sustainability (consumer), BT, said: “The global pandemic has had far-reaching consequences for the job market, and it’s only natural that jobseekers’ confidence will have been affected.”

Added to the difficulties jobseekers already face, the research also found that almost half (48%) admitted to struggling to find resources which could help them in their job search, including how to improve their CV and job interview technique.

Addressing growing gaps in the workforce, Cornick highlighted the importance of the right skills when applying for jobs in 2021.

“It’s essential to ensure that people have the skills they need to flourish in an increasingly digital world,” she said.

BT has launched Stand Out Skills a free programme of webinars, activities and tips to help those looking for work build their confidence.

The survey was conducted between 18 December 2020 and 5 January 2021. The sample comprised 2,000 UK jobseekers aged 18 and over, both employed and unemployed.