Hannah Cornick, Head of Digital Impact and Sustainability at BT-64b2ec2f

84% of people in East Midlands say job search negatively affected mental wellbeing

With all parts of the UK starting 2021 in lockdown, a new study has revealed that an overwhelming majority of jobseekers have been negatively affected by their search for work over the past year, with more than four in five (84%) surveyed in the East Midlands attributing a downturn in their mental wellbeing to their job search.

The research, commissioned by BT to launch Stand Out Skills, also showed that the average jobseeker in the East Midlands has unsuccessfully applied for 16 different roles over the past 12 months.

When asked how rejections and the job search had affected them specifically, 51% of jobseekers in the East Midlands responded that they had experienced decreased motivation, while 36% highlighted lower self-esteem and morale and a further 54% a reduction in self-confidence. 

BT’s research also highlighted how this lack of confidence persists throughout the various stages of the job search. Just 16% of those surveyed in the East Midlands are confident that their CV and covering letter will stand out when compared to fellow candidates, while a similar number (17%) believe in their ability to impress and leave a lasting impression in an interview.

This has led to jobseekers hiding details of their job search from their closest friends and family, with 46% keeping job applications secret in case they are rejected and a further 48% being concerned about what family or friends will think of the rejection.

Added to the difficulties jobseekers already face, the research also went on to show that more than a half (51%) of people surveyed in the East Midlands admitted to struggling to find resources which could help them in their job search, including how to improve their CV and job interview technique.

As part of BT Skills for Tomorrow, which aims to help 10 million people in the UK make the most of life in the digital world, BT has launched Stand Out Skills. This initiative provides jobseekers of all ages with free and unmissable tips, resources and advice to support them in building their confidence and help them stand out in the job search. BT has teamed up with experts and celebrities including TV presenter Anita Rani, Comedian Iain Stirling and Drag Queen Divina De Campo to release free resources and advice across different stages of the job search – from where to start and showing your best self to standing out when applying and in interviews.

Hannah Cornick, Head of Digital Impact and Sustainability at 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. BT remains more committed than ever to its Skills for Tomorrow programme, and to ensuring that people have the skills they need to flourish in an increasingly digital world. This is why we have launched Stand Out Skills, to help those looking for work build their confidence by providing them with the necessary tools and resources they need to get ahead of the competition and stand out in their job search.”

BT Skills for Tomorrow is designed to help everyone – from school children and teachers, parents and families, businesses and jobseekers, to those lacking basic digital skills. Working in partnership with a range of the UK’s leading digital skills, enterprise and community organisations, BT has created and collated some of the best advice, information and support, in one easy to navigate place.

More on BT Skills for Tomorrow and Stand Out Skills can be found here: BT.com/StandOutSkills