A July 2023 survey by Insight Global found that 55 percent of unemployed adults actively seeking employment say they are “completely burned out” from the job hunt.
Of the 501 survey respondents, who all voluntarily or involuntarily separated from their full-time role over the last 12 months, said they averaged applying to around 30 jobs and only getting call backs or responses to four of them. Gen-Z reported the highest rate of job hunt burnout—66 percent—among different generations.
“It’s no wonder that so many unemployed Americans are feeling unmotivated—between several years of a volatile job market, headcount reductions, budget cuts, hiring freezes and a total overhaul of the way companies are running their businesses, it can feel downright impossible to get back on track,” said Bert Bean, Insight Global’s CEO.
“There is certainly a lot of work that goes into submitting applications, trying to network, going through interviews, and conducting follow up, only to do it all over again and again.”
Other Job Hunt Survey Findings
Some other findings from the survey include:
- 21 percent of unemployed Millennials feel they are still unemployed because they only apply to remote roles.
- About a quarter of recently unemployed men (26%) said they are still unemployed because the jobs they hear back from are beneath them.
- Over a third of recently unemployed full-time workers (36%) say they would rather drive for a delivery or rideshare service than send out another blast of resumes.
- Just over 25 percent of unemployed full-time workers feel there aren’t any jobs that match their skillset or there is too much competition for available jobs.
- About 2 in 5 recently unemployed workers don’t have a problem or feel no shame in living with parents when trying to find a job.
- 44 percent of Gen Z respondents admit they would rather get a sugar daddy or sugar mommy than send out another blast of resumes.
Advice For Fighting Job Hunt Burnout
Insight Global CEO Bert Bean understands the burnout. “While I know it can feel overwhelming to land an opportunity that gets you out of the unemployment circuit while also fulfilling your professional goals,” he says, he offered some advice for job seekers who are feeling burned out by the job search:
- Rethink remote work : Closing off jobs because they require face time in the office is going to limit job opportunities. Insight Global’s found that an overwhelming majority of new job postings across all industries were for hybrid or fully-in-person roles . “My advice is to be open to either hybrid work opportunities or even those that require full time in the office,” Bean said. “It truly helps with colleague connections and produces a level of productivity that I personally feel is most attainable when you’re together.”
- Stand out in the crowd : Though many job seekers feel there is too much competition for a job or the jobs they find don’t match their skill set, Bean suggests turning this into a positive. “Find a way to stand out in the crowd—maybe it’s creating a digital resume, maybe it’s actually stopping by a company’s office in person for a quick hello, or maybe it’s just not stopping until you hear back,” he said. “I think that those who work hard and do whatever it takes to get their foot in the door will be the ones who will see the most success.”
- Burn the burnout : “I encourage candidates to find small wins and stack them,” Bean said. “Find productive things you can accomplish to help you mentally,” and “help you feel productive and remind you what it feels like to win again.” This doesn’t have to be strictly wins in the job search. Journaling every day, making five LinkedIn connections per day, or completing a physical accomplishment can be wins that fight job hunt burnout.
- Don’t write anything off : Bean stresses the importance of not thinking a job is way beneath you. Many companies offer opportunities like promotions and upskilling , so look past the outlined role and see what else might be possible in the future with that organization, he says.
- Reach for resources : Find resources that can help you brush up your resume, sharpen interview skills, boost your confidence, and connect you with companies and opportunities that are right for you. (Insight Global’s Be the Light Tour is an example.) “Be willing to accept help from professionals and you’ll put yourself in a better position for landing a job,” Bean said.
“It’s important to remember that just like anything, the job market goes in waves and can experience drastic highs and lows,” he finished. “With this in mind, there will be a time when things start to feel a bit less difficult.”
Approach Marketing and Insight Global commissioned Atomik Research to conduct an online survey of 501 recently unemployed adults (within the past 12 months or sooner) who are actively looking for employment. The sample consists of active job seekers throughout the United States who either voluntarily or involuntarily separated from a full-time position within the past 12 months. The margin of error of the sample is +/- 4 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent. Field work took place between July 24 and July 31, 2023. Atomik Research is a creative market research agency.
About Insight Global
Insight Global is an international staffing and services company specializing in sourcing IT, accounting, finance, healthcare, and engineering professionals and delivering service-based solutions to Fortune 1000 clients. With more than 70 office locations throughout the U.S., Canada, and U.K., Insight Global placed more than 50,000 people in jobs in 2022.
In addition to staffing services, Insight Global provides culture consulting, DEI training, specialized healthcare staffing and resources, and an array of client programs through its managed services division, Evergreen. To find out more, visit insightglobal.com.