Crisis saps morale of region’s jobless, study finds

Iain Stirling attending the ITV Gala held at the London Palladium. Picture date: Thursday November 9

Comedian Iain Stirling is supporting a BT campaign to help jobless people to find work amid the coronavirus pandemic - Credit: Ian West/PA

Four fifths of the East of England’s jobseekers says they are grappling with mental issues as the rejections pile up.

A study commissioned by communications giant BT to launch its Stand Out Skills initiative to help build confidence among those out of work found 84% of the region’s unemployed suffered a dip in their mental wellbeing due to their job search.

It showed the average jobseeker in the East of England had unsuccessfully applied for 14 different roles over the past 12 months.

Of those, 44% said they had experienced decreased motivation, while 45% said they suffered lower self-esteem and morale and a further 44% lost self-confidence.

Just 21% of the region’s jobseekers in the survey were confident that their CV and covering letter would stand out while even fewer (14%) believed in their ability to impress and leave a lasting impression in an interview.


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Half in the region said they struggled to find resources which could help them in their job search, including how to improve their CV and job interview technique.

A total of 45% keep their job applications secret in case they are rejected and a further 40% being concerned about what family or friends will think of the rejection, the survey found.

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BT has teamed up with experts and celebrities — including TV presenter Anita Rani, comedian Iain Stirling and drag queen Divina De Campo who are backing the campaign — to offer free resources and advice to people seeking work from where to start and showing their best self to standing out when applying and in interviews.

Comedian and Love Island narrator Mr Stirling said it was important to grab people’s attention right from the start.

“Having an employer sit up and take note of your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile is the first step towards getting ahead of your competition. Words have the power to leave a lasting impact on an audience, so it’s important that you choose the right ones,” he said.

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.”

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