It’s no secret that job searching is stressful. In fact, if someone were to complete a job search without experiencing any stress, we’d be totally shocked. It’s nearly impossible to be stress-free in any situation in which your future is on the line – and that’s totally okay! Science has proven that small to intermediate amounts of stress are beneficial to our endeavors, and are necessary for task completion. However, large levels of stress can have negative effects on our physical and mental health – and they can take away from our productivity.

So what does that mean? Being too stressed out because of your job search can actually reduce the chances of success of that search. But how does one combat the stress that comes with job searching? Well, it would be impossible (and hardly beneficial) to eliminate all stress; however if you find yourself experiencing one or more of these symptoms, your stress levels may be too high.

Symptoms of stress and anxiety to look for:

  1. Headaches – Perhaps you’ve attributed nightly headaches to spending long hours staring at your computer screen. However, if you’re experiencing frequent headaches or migraines, it may be a sign of serious stress.
  2. Insomnia – Sometimes we find ourselves awake late at night consciously worrying about our job search. However, it’s also common to experience insomnia due to subconscious stress. You don’t have to be actively worrying about something for it to disrupt your sleep. So chances are, if you’re stressed out while you’re awake, you’re probably stressed out while you’re asleep, too.
  3. Sore jaw – Grinding our teeth at night is a common symptom of stress, but it’s often hard to catch because we’re asleep when we’re doing it. If you find yourself aching when you chew, however, grinding may be your issue (not to mention it could make your headaches worse).
  4. Moodiness – Sure, you may be moody because you’re worried about your job search, but excessive moodiness may also be a symptom of stress. If your relationships with your significant other, friends, and/or family members are suffering due to your moodiness, it may be a bigger problem than you realize.
  5. Feeling overwhelmed – While the 20 open tabs on your Internet browser may be overwhelming, your job search shouldn’t make you feel like your head is spinning. If you’re feeling overwhelmed to the point of discouragement, you may be much too stressed.

If you read any (or all) of those symptoms and thought, “Yep, sounds like me!” it may be time to take a step back and reassess your job search. But don’t worry – we’re here to help.

Here are some things you may want to change (or stop completely) in order to stay healthy and productive during your job search:

Stressing about the format of your resume: One page or two pages – ah, that is the eternal question. While some hiring managers prefer one page, others will not be deterred by two. The takeaway? Don’t spend hours changing your font size to reach one page. If two pages is necessary, then two pages it is.

Stressing while you wait for a response: Yes, we know how much you want to receive a request for an interview just minutes after you submit your application, but we also know that’s probably not going to happen. So, if you’re constantly refreshing your inbox or obsessively checking for missed calls, stop! If you are going to hear back from a company, it will happen – regardless of how many times you check to see if it already has. Plus, putting yourself down if you think that response isn’t coming (e.g. “No wonder why I didn’t get an interview, I’m a terrible applicant!”) will only hurt you in the long run.

Stressing about the interview: Believe us, pronouncing the hiring manager’s last name incorrectly will not reduce your chances of getting the job, so stop researching proper pronunciation on Google – over, and over again. Also, while being aware of recent news or activity by the company is super helpful for an interview, knowing the year of its foundation is not. Prepare, but don’t over-prepare.

Overall, knowing some quick and easy ways to reduce stress can be helpful in riding the job search roller coaster. For example, exercise and meditation can be helpful and important for maintaining a healthy body and mind. Organization can also be a huge help – check out this blog post to see how using Rake can help you better organize your job search. Say hello to success and goodbye to stress!