The average jobseeker has unsuccessfully applied for 16 different roles during the pandemic, dampening confidence and leading to people lying to loved ones.

A survey of 2,000 employed and unemployed adults currently looking for a job found eight in 10 have attributed a downturn in their mental wellbeing to the search for a new role.

Of these, 45 per cent feel their motivation has been damaged by the process, while 38 per cent said their self-esteem and morale were hit as a result.

And another 44 per cent have also seen their confidence levels nosedive thanks to their search for a new job.

The dampening in confidence has resulted in 28 per cent lying to friends or family members about how many roles they have applied for.

More than half (57 per cent) keep quiet in fear they may get rejected later in the process, while 49 per cent worry what their loved ones might think if they didn’t get the job.

The research, commissioned by BT Skills for Tomorrow, revealed just 21 per cent feel confident in their ability to stand out and impress employers in an interview.

While only 22 per cent think their CV and covering letter will get the notice of prospective employers over other applicants.

As a result of these knockbacks, more than a third think their friends and family purposely avoid asking how their job search has been going because they know they won’t get a positive answer.

BT has teamed up with experts and celebrities including comedian and Love Island narrator Iain Sterling, journalist and presenter Anita Rani, and drag queen Divina de Campo, to launch Stand Out Skills, providing jobseekers of all ages with free tips, resources and advice to help them build their confidence and stand out in their job search.

Iain Stirling said: “As a stand-up comedian I know it’s important to grab people’s attention right from the start, and the same goes for your job application.

“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.

“That’s why I’m delighted to be involved in the BT Stand Out Skills campaign, to help people nail those job applications and present themselves in the best way on LinkedIn so that they can land their dream job.”

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found that of the respondents who were on LinkedIn, almost 63 per cent have used the network to apply for a job over the past 12 months.

This resulted in them checking their account four times per day to see if they had had a response.

And one in 10 of those even admitted to anxiously browsing LinkedIn for updates from their work toilet.

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

“BT, however, remains more committed than ever to its Skills for Tomorrow programme, and to ensuring that people have the digital skills they need to flourish in an increasingly virtual 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 the job search.”

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