5 Ways to De-Stress Your Job Search

Searching for a new job can be incredibly stressful for most people, but you don’t have to do it alone. We have 5 easy steps to follow while job searching to keep you calm, focused and productive during your job search.

1: Focus on your breathing

Our bodies respond to stress in many ways and knowing how your body reacts to stress can be a game changer in terms of how to react to it. When we’re stressed, our bodies tense up, our breathing changes, our minds go from 0 to 60 and it’s difficult to focus.

Taking deep breaths reminds our bodies how we feel when we are stress-free and relaxed. Incorporate deep breathing exercises when you’re job searching to relieve some of the stress that your body builds up. After practicing some techniques, you’ll be able to refocus and be more productive during the time you set aside to plan what comes next. Check out this article from Michigan Medicine on Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation for specific techniques you can use to realign yourself during your job search.

2: Maintain a positive attitude

It can be difficult to always think, “On the bright side…”, but it is crucial to maintain this kind of positive attitude during your job search. We may have negative thoughts flying around in our minds telling us things like, “There are so many better candidates than me” or “I’m not good at interviewing” - these thoughts can manifest themselves in how you approach your job search and how you talk about yourself during interviews.

Try to refocus the energy in these thoughts by changing “There are so many better candidates than me” to “There’s a competitive applicant pool, and I believe that my experiences, skills and qualities can help me stand out in these ways” and change “I’m not good at interviewing” to “Interviewing is difficult for me, but if I do company research and practice out-loud a couple times, my answers will sound more polished and help me feel more confident”. Confidence changes an interviewer's perspective on you as a candidate so always be sure to lead with your strengths during interviews.

3: Find what fulfills to you

Understanding what you care about and want out of your next experience can help you focus on what brings you fulfillment in your career. Use our Preferences & Perks worksheet to help you identify what the necessities are for your next role and what the cherry on top of that necessity-filled sundae is.

4: Organizing your job search


  • Resume writing is something that most people have difficulties with because there are so many resources with a lot of conflicting or subjective advice. We created a Resume Writing guide that gives you specific advice for each section on your resume. Our recommendations come from experience with recruiting trends, hiring managers, and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

  • The ATS is a system that reviews your resume for keywords and skills to provide recruiters with insight on which candidates would be the best fit for the job. Unfortunately, most ATS have issues extracting text from complex resume formatting so it’s really important that your resume is easy to read. This means that you are not only writing your resume from the recruiter and hiring manager, you’re also writing it for the ATS. Following our Resume Writing tips will ensure that your resume is tailored and easy to read for the ATS.


  • Networking is something that most people avoid during their job search, but it really can make a difference between you being seen in the applicant pool or not. To make networking more approachable, set aside some time each month to network either in person or virtually. Our clients have found success networking on social media sites such as LinkedIn, as well as at events found on Eventbrite or Meetup. When approaching a networking conversation, have some talking pointers in mind and come prepared with questions to ask. Be aware that the further along you are in your career, the more networking matters so be sure to keep your network up to date and to check-in with them regularly even when you aren’t job searching. Check out this article on networking through Career Conversations.


  • Most of us have had the experience of completely forgetting about a specific job that we applied for when we get an invitation for a first round interview. This can leave us feeling nervous and prevent us from bringing our best selves forward during that first conversation with the employer. To avoid this messy situation, use our Applications & Interviews tracker to keep an up-to-date list of the roles you’ve applied for so you’re prepared for a conversation at any time.

Step 5: Get support

Job searching brings up a lot of stress and anxiety for most people and having a strong support system can make this process much easier. Many people find support from their network, friends, family, career coaches, and therapists. Let your support system know that you’re job searching, what kind of roles you are looking for and don’t be shy to celebrate the wins and process the difficulties along the way. Happy Onion career coaches are here to not only support you, but to guide you through this entire process so don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment when you need us.

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