Are you currently unemployed and patiently waiting for an interview to come your way? There are hundreds of people up and down the country who have recently been made redundant, so you're not alone. When you're looking for a job, the days can quickly turn into weeks and months with very little progress being made. All of a sudden, you might get three interviews in one week!

Job hunting is unpredictable, and at times, can seem like a neverending struggle with no end in sight. You might start getting job search anxiety, maybe even feelings of depression. It really can be hard to stay positive, especially if things aren't going your way, but don't worry, we've got a whole host of top tips to help you stay positive during your job hunt. 

1. Create Structure & Routine

Being unemployed and having the freedom to sleep in until 2 pm every day might seem like a luxury at first, but we can assure you that the novelty wears off. Your mental health will start to decline if your life has no structure or routine, and this is one of the main reasons that people struggle to stay positive during their job hunt. We'd recommend creating a plan for each day & sticking to it.

2. Take Advantage of Resources

As a job seeker, you should always be on the lookout for resources that will help you secure your dream job faster. Here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we offer advice to candidates including CV advice & tips, interview advice and much more. Looking at resources like this will make you feel more prepared & confident - boosting your mood and helping you stay motivated. 

3. Set Realistic Goals

Rather than allowing one week to roll into the next, you should set small achievable goals and reward yourself when you complete them. This will help prevent you from falling into a negative cycle. These shouldn't be unrealistic goals, they should be things like:

  • Sending out 30 CVs to relevant job postings
  • Contacting at least 1 recruitment agency
  • Adding 5 new things to your portfolio

4. Look for Volunteer Opportunities

Negativity during your job hunt might stem from boredom, after all, there's only so much sitting at home and looking at jobs that one person can take. A good way to break up your week, get out of the house and feel like you're contributing to society is to look for volunteer opportunities. Animal sanctuaries, charity shops and lots of other stores are on the lookout for an extra pair of hands - so why not help them out?

5. Remember Your Achievements

People get so wrapped up in their job search that they forget to reflect on the positive things they've already achieved. Just because you're unemployed right now, doesn't mean that unemployment defines you. Think about the hard work you put into your qualifications, your family and so on. You're doing a great job.

6. Learn a New Skill

With a little extra time on your hands, why don't you try to improve your CV with some additional skills? There are all kinds of online courses (some of which you can do for free) that will make your CV stand out from the crowd. Potential employers like to see that you've been proactive, and learning a new skill will make you feel accomplished. It's a boost for your morale as well as your CV!

7. Develop a Portfolio

Nowadays, employees like to see examples of your work, whether that's a printed portfolio or a digital space that you've created. Of course, you won't need a portfolio for every kind of job, but creating a collection of the work your proud of can help to boost your mood while you're looking for jobs.

Reflecting on past work can also help to unearth potential job avenues that you might not have considered yet. For example, you might realise that you really enjoyed the university project which saw you working in a research laboratory - this might then inspire you to broaden your job search.

8. Avoid Dwelling on Jobs

If you're applying for jobs and either, not hearing back or getting lots of rejection emails, try not to take it too personally. Companies have hundreds and hundreds of applicants for most roles, so there's always going to be people who feel like they missed out. Try not to dwell on jobs that you didn't get, just pick yourself up and focus on the other great job opportunities that are out there. 

9. Seek Help

If you can feel yourself becoming depressed and frustrated during your job hunt, then it might be time to seek help from others. First and foremost, speak to your GP if your mental health is suffering, they can help talk through your feelings and may even prescribe you something. For help with your job search, you can get in touch with a recruitment company to help speed the process up.

Recruitment companies like HRS are designed to take the pressure of the job hunt out of your hands. We have specialists who dedicate all of their time to placing people in their dream roles. All you need to do is get in touch with us, and we'll help you through the rest. 

Get in Touch Now >

10. Don't Give Up!

The most important thing to remember is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As long as you keep trying and working towards getting your dream job, it will eventually happen. Do your best to stay focused, stay positive and stay motivated.

If you're currently looking for jobs in the science and technology industries, we can help. Take a look at our current vacancies now!

Current Vacancies >

What does overqualified mean?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word overqualified means 'having qualifications that exceed the requirements of a particular job'. Now, when it comes to job searching, you may find that employers use being 'overqualified' as a reason to reject you for a position that you've applied for, which can sometimes be a kick in the teeth. You've got the experience of working several years in an industry with plenty of know-how, but somehow, this is seen as a disadvantage and a barrier to securing your next role. So, what can you do to overcome your overqualification? Let's find out!

 

Be clear and direct

The first thing you need to do is to address your experience mismatch from the get-go. When applying for certain roles, be clear in your cover letter that you acknowledge that you have certain skills and abilities above what is expected, but you are looking for an additional type of challenge. By not addressing the so-called 'elephant in the room' you may be encouraging your potential hiring manager to question why you are applying. The main thing for you to do is focus on your interest in the role or company. The hiring firm will be more likely to take a chance on you if you talk about why you're so passionate about working there rather than the fact the job requires less travel or offers more money.

 

Be flexible on your salary

One of the many barriers that possessing a wealth of knowledge and experience can bring is the notion that you will want a commensurate wage. In many cases, hiring firms will not increase the advertised salary just because you have extra experience or industry know-how. So, be prepared to be flexible on the salary you earn and to take a pay-cut if you want a job you could have taken several years ago. Never make it seem like the position is beneath you.

 

Sell yourself

When discussing your previous experience with recruiters and hiring managers, ensure you portray it in a positive way where you can use it to benefit the organisation in question. Think about what your years of experience can bring to the position, even if the company hiring isn't looking for it. Instead of seeing yourself as being 'overqualified', view yourself as being 'highly qualified' with something extra that you can offer. Emphasise that you are perfectly capable of carrying out the position and that your wealth of qualifications and experience means you can accept greater responsibility in a shorter amount of time than it would take to train someone else.

 

Emphasise your long-term goals

One of the many assumptions that hiring managers make when they see an overqualified candidate applying for a position within their firm is that they only want to be there on a temporary basis until a more senior position is available elsewhere. This is one of the most common barriers that individuals face when they are deemed to be overqualified. The quickest and most effective way to squash this assumption is to emphasise and reiterate your longevity and desire to stay for the long haul. Again, you can use your cover letter as a great avenue to reinforce this and explain why you're applying for the position. You can be upfront during the interview and let them know that you understand that this may be a concern but that it's one that they need not worry about.

 

Tweak your CV

When there is an imbalance between the skills you have to offer and what is required in a position, a hiring manager can sometimes assume that the role is beneath you. A great way to counteract this assumption is to tweak your CV in a way that mirrors the job description. Now, we're not telling you to lie. Simply display that you are more than capable of taking on tasks you might otherwise assign to others and list them on your resume. This will give the hiring organisation confidence in your abilities and that you can be of value.

 

So, if you find yourself in a position where you are deemed 'overqualified', follow these simple steps to give yourself a better chance of securing that position. For more career advice, be sure to keep an eye on the Hyper Recruitment blog and follow us across our socials.

More from the HRS blog >   Follow us on Twitter >

Ricky Martin's top 5 tips for working from home

Most of us have found ourselves in the position of having to work from home. For many this will be a new experience. So how do you get the best out of your day, maximise what you are doing and optimise performance while you’re working from home? Here are my five top tips to help.

1. Get up, shower and get changed.

It might sound crazy but it’s really important to put yourself in your normal mindset of work. Set your alarm like you normally would, have a shower and get changed into fresh clothes. There’s no need to be in your full work attire, but don’t stay in your pyjamas, it won’t get you motivated or set for your day. Another positive, you won’t need to commute, saving time. So get up, have your coffee/tea, have your breakfast, get ready and get going.

2. Have dedicated work space.

It’s important to decide on a suitable workspace. If you keep it clean and minimised from distractions, you’ll create the perfect working zone. If you can, ensure it’s bright with plenty of light so you don’t feel too closed in. If your room has a lock, use it and put a sign on the door saying you’re working. It will mean if you have other members in your household, they will have to knock before they come in and disturb you. Keeping the door shut is also a great way to keep pets out.

3. Avoid social media

Unless you’re working in a role which involves social media - avoid it! The more we look at our socials, the more we will become distracted from what we’re actually meant to be doing. I would advise logging out of accounts, Because logging in is a pain, as we don’t always remember the passwords, it will make it harder to log back in. Another good idea to stop pointless browsing, is using an incognito search when you’re searching new web pages. This is an internet browser setting that prevents browsing history and windows you’ve opened before, thus saving more of your precious time.

4. Structure your day

If you don’t make a plan, you will allow yourself to lose concentration and you won’t get the most out of your day. Here are some suggestions; make sure you have a start and end time. Keep this consistent with your normal work pattern. Take your lunch break at the time you normally would. It’s really important to plan some extra breaks throughout your day. When you’re in the office you probably get up and make a hot drink every so often and speak to your colleagues by the water cooler. So make sure you fit those into your day. Set alarms if you need to. When you take a break, make sure you get away from your desk, go into another area of your home, like the living room, maybe watch TV. When you come back to your desk you will feel refreshed and ready to get going again.

5. Have regular people interactions

It can be lonely working from home, especially if this is the first experience. Take advantage of all the great technology that’s available. This could be Microsoft Teams, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype. Speak to your colleagues, have those conversations, pick up your phone and talk. That interaction will make you feel less isolated and lonely.

Good luck to anyone working from home. You might just find you actually get more done! Enjoy!

Watch my YouTube video for more useful tips 

Unemployed

When it comes to knowing what to do when you lose your job, UK workers can commonly find themselves at a bit of a loss.

The shock of losing your primary stream of income can upset the proverbial apple cart significantly, leaving you with quite the pulpy mess to clean up in the aftermath.

If you've been unfortunate enough to find yourself in that situation, don't throw the towel in just yet. There is light at the end of the tunnel...

 

"I've lost my job - what do I do?"

While you may feel like curling up under the covers and shutting yourself away from the world in the wake of losing your job, try to resist the temptation to withdraw into your shell.

It's unlikely you're going to find new employment while you're sat in your SpongeBob undies, eating cereal from the box and watching re-runs of Friends, so try to stay positive and be proactive.

Turn those hard times into a fresh start with these five easy steps to make your journey back to the top that much easier.

 

Get What You Pay For

Claiming unemployment benefits in the UK is a sensitive subject for many, bringing with it the unwarranted negative stigma that commonly surrounds them.

That being said, unemployment benefits are a right every UK citizen is entitled to and you shouldn't feel bad for getting something that your taxes pay for.

What's more, claiming benefits also allows the government to continue paying your National Insurance contributions during your time between jobs.

Depending on your circumstances, you will likely be eligible to apply for either Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or Universal Credit to help contribute towards your living costs.

You may also be able to apply for Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), which comes in the form of a loan and helps pay towards the interest on your mortgage.

 

Budget Wisely

Most recruitment specialists agree that a typical job hunt will take around three months to complete, from the end of the previous employment to the start of the next.

Three months can be a long time to go without an income, particularly if you weren't given any kind severance or redundancy pay-out on your way out the door of your last job.

As such, the importance of budgeting during this time cannot be overstated. Cut back on unnecessary outgoings and try to streamline your spending to the bare minimum.

Paying for an unused gym membership? Cancel it ASAP. Eating out regularly? Brush up on those cooking skills. Smoking your way into debt? Ditch the cigarettes. Etc, etc, etc.

While it may be a shock to the system initially, switching up your living habits will go a long way in ensuring your finances stretch further.

 

Update Your CV

Now that your finances are relatively structured for the weeks ahead, it's time to focus on the task at hand - getting a new job.

Whether you had been in your last job for several years or a matter of months, updating your CV should be your first port of call.

Gaps in employment naturally raise questions with employers so be sure to add your latest working exploits to your working history.

A CV is essentially your own personal shop window for you to display your skills and experience for passing employers, so treat it as such.

Make sure it's presentable, well-constructed and don't waste space superfluously. Ensure it's loaded with key selling points unique to you.

When it comes to applying for specific roles, you may want to tailor your CV for individual jobs by highlighting key skills relevant to particular vacancies. The same applies to your cover letter.

Read the person specification carefully and include key terms and phrases mentioned in the job description. This will help you stand out as a suitable candidate that ticks the necessary boxes.

 

Secure References

During your job hunt, your quest for employment and, more specifically, the application process that comes along with it will likely include requests for professional references.

Depending on how you left your last job, you may want to include a trusted figure from your latest job as a referee. This provides any would-be employers with an up-to-date account of your skills from those that have worked with you most recently.

When choosing a referee, think about what kind of reference they may provide. A co-worker will be able to provide an accurate depiction of your character and work ethic, while a manager may be able to give a better reflection of your achievements and results.

 

Prepare for Interview

Inevitably, your job hunt will eventually call for you to attend an interview at some point down the line. As such, it pays to be prepared.

While the 21st century is more liberal than ever, presentation is still an important factor at interview, so dress to impress. An un-ironed band t-shirt and yesterday's jeans won't cut the mustard.

It's also worth getting your story straight with regards to your last job. The "why did you leave your last job?" question is a common, if not slightly awkward one, so prepare your narrative beforehand.

When you do secure an interview, be sure to do your homework on the company your interviewing for, as well as the role. Lack of preparation is a tell-tale sign of a nonchalant attitude, which is rarely an attribute desired by employers.

 

Read more:

Money

With the new year upon us, many people around the UK will begin making their resolutions for the year ahead. For those with professional aspirations, top of that list will often be securing a pay rise.

Although talking money can be an awkward and uncomfortable process at times, it can be an extremely important and vital part of professional life - particularly when it comes being paid what you're worth.

That being said, identifying exactly how much you are worth isn't always a straightforward process. It's not unusual for employers to want to pay you as little as possible to maximise profits, so they aren't always going to be forthcoming if you are in fact being underpaid.

As such, it's important to be able to recognise this fact for yourself. Luckily, this blog aims to help you do exactly that.

 

Look Around

Perhaps the easiest way of determining whether or not you are being underpaid what you or your position are worth is to simply have a scope around the jobs market and note the typical salaries on offer.

If you search for roles similar to your own, you'll soon be able to gain insight into what the going rate is for a position of your skill level and responsibility. However, it's worth remembering that this method isn't an exact science.

Chances are, there will likely be some form of a discrepancy between your duties and the standard roles listed on job boards and recruitment sites, particularly if you have been in your role for some time and have taken on additional responsibilities along the way.

If this is indeed the case, knowing whether or not you are being paid what you are worth isn't always straight-forward. Luckily, there's an easy way to help identify your eligibility and determine once and for all if you are due a raise…

 

Look Inside

Perhaps the most effective way to gauge whether or not you deserve a pay rise is to take a good hard look at yourself… by placing your own professional skills and personality under the microscope!

An honest and candid approach to appraising the man in the mirror is a fantastic way to uncovering the truth about where you stand in the company pecking order and whether or not you are being paid what's due.

To help you formulate your introspective self-assessment, here are four fundamental questions you may want to ask yourself before you head into your boss's office with an axe to grind and a cross to bear.

 

Are your skills indispensable?

Any worker that is a vital part of the overall machine and a key ingredient in the processes that make the company work can count themselves lucky.

If you hold a skill set that is unlike anyone else's, you have yourself a fundamental USP that is totally individual and specific to you as a person.

Whether you're a salesman with ironclad client relationships established through years of rapport or a creative with your own quirky style that cannot be easily replicated, such skills can be essential to company operations.

However, you don't need to be the best in your field to be seen as indispensable. As is often the case in the working world, experience is seen as a big plus point and tenure can also translate to indispensability.

As the old saying goes, you can't teach experience and anyone that has a storied history with the company and the insider knowledge that goes with it has themselves a solid argument. Long-standing tenure can provide abilities that cannot be taught.

 

Have your contributions made a difference?

Tangible contributions can be one of the strongest arguments in the arsenal of anyone looking to make a valid claim for a pay rise - particularly if they are backed by corresponding facts and figures.

If you have brought in substantial business and were the primary reason for such a deal getting finalised, you will likely have a large bargaining chip to play with.

For example, a salesman with a salary of £25k/annum that brings in £75k of sales will have theoretically paid for his salary three times over, which makes for a solid statistic when it comes to requesting a pay rise.

That being said, contributions don't always need to be measured in pounds and pennies. Your contributions could simply be your continued hard work and ability to help a project reach completion on time and above expectations.

Providing a consistently high level of output and performance can be the best contribution of all and is applicable to virtually any job and department.

 

Are you a positive influence on the company?

In addition to making positive contributions to the bottom line and the business as a whole, being a positive influence on others within the office environment can also be a big contributing factor to your company worth.

Office morale can have a big influence on overall performance and its widely believed that, as a rule, a happy worker is a productive worker. If you are in a position of managerial responsibility and maintain a positive work ethic and upbeat environment within your team, such an influence should be recognised.

While it may not be the overriding factor that swings it in your favour, being a positive influence on the team and those around you can be a great supplementary quality to reinforce your argument and support your case for a pay rise.

 

Are you a key part in the company's future plans?

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, determining whether or not you are a fundamental part of the machine going forward could be your most valid reason of all.

If your presence within the company is vital for the business to achieve its goals in the future, your value within the organisation should be rewarded with the appropriate remuneration.

For example, if the primary project of the year is to be spearheaded, managed or set up by you, it's fair to say that you are a pretty big part of the company's future plans. Highlight this importance to hammer home your worth and underline your standing in the company.

For more details on salaries and pay rises, why not check out our How to Ask for a Raise blog?

Similarly, you might also be interested in reading our blog on How to Get Promoted.