For every 30 jobs that job seekers apply to, on average, they hear back from only four. Research shows that more than half of recently unemployed full-time employees experience job search burnout. 

Job hunting can take a toll on your mental health, as it is long, time-consuming, and sometimes, discouraging. Today, people even host job acceptance parties to celebrate the end of the grueling job hunt. It also can become expensive, as job seekers may hire job coaches and take online courses to build their skills set. 

Here’s how to break up the job hunt and reset after a drawn-out process.

Take a Break

To recover from job search burnout, Lashaunique Plummer, a global HR business and operations leader and founder of Balangize, encourages job seekers to set time for breaks. If you feel yourself reaching a point of burnout, it’s okay to walk away for a couple of days or weeks. You should even take a longer sabbatical, if you are able to. Your time away from the job search might include exercise, journaling, time with friends and exploring nature. Lean into wellness practices that energize you.

“It’s important to find time to rest and recover in your job search because the last thing you want to do is go into your new job burnt out,” Plummers told 21Ninety. “You’re not setting yourself up for success.” 

Set Time Limits 

Many job seekers joke about the process being like a full-time job. However, the search should not take 40 hours a week. It’s important to streamline the process and make the best use of your time.

“I actually teach my clients that they should only be in the job search four hours a week,” Plummer said. “One hour is for applying for roles, one for networking, and one to two hours is for interview prep.”

Plummer encouraged job seekers to think about how they can scale back on the time they spend searching for and applying to jobs. She explained that it’s actually more important to be intentional about minimizing your time job searching and having a life outside of the process. 

“It’s going to keep you fresh and sharp, and it will ensure that you are ready to go when you do land a job,” she said. 

Create a More Strategic Plan

Plummer explained that many job seekers are applying to any and every job, thinking it will increase their chances. In reality, it decreases their chances of hearing back because they are dividing their attention and energy on job applications that do not align with their experience or their passions. This ultimately leads to job search burnout.

“People are wasting time doing things that don’t matter,” she said. “A lot of the things job seekers are spending their time on are just fluff.”

Connect With Your Network

Whether it’s old colleagues, managers, professors or teachers, leaning into your network can help you reset after job search burnout. While you can utilize your network for job referrals, don’t forget about human connection. Simply reaching out to a former colleague for coffee or for a catch up can be a great tool. Ask them questions about what has worked for them and how they’ve reached where they are.

Reconsider Job Search Rules 

In the modern job search, there are so many voices in the career coaching space and so many steps to follow to find success. It’s no surprise that so many people are experiencing burnout. 

Plummer wants to debunk the new job search trend that you have to have an active on LinkedIn. A candidate may do a LinkedIn Learning, take a course or feel pressure to post and comment all the time. 

“The truth is hiring managers don’t care whether you are active on LinkedIn,” she said. “They simply care that your profile is up-to-date and accurately paints a picture of who you are as a job candidate.”