Has it been years since you have applied for a job and the mere thought of sending out resumes and submitting applications is causing you stress? If you are feeling like application anxiety is threatening to derail your chances of landing a job, face it head on and take the necessary steps to stop it in its tracks. Don’t become debilitated by the worries and doubts that accompany the job search; instead, use the following steps to overcome those feelings and confidently navigate the application process.


Step 1: Make a list

At the very beginning of the application process, make a list. Think of it as your list of “to-dos” before starting to apply for jobs. Include updating your resume, writing a cover letter, as well as editing your list of references to avoid making several revisions mid application. In addition to being better prepared and streamlining the process, crossing items off of a list creates a sense of accomplishment and alleviates stress.

Step 2: Eliminate stressors

Before you start looking for a job, eliminate as many stressors as possible. Since many stressors involve finances, do everything in your power to keep your current job until you have a new job lined up. Financial security will help you to avoid stressing about how you are going to pay your bills as you are applying for jobs.

Step 3: Give yourself options

Putting all of your eggs in one basket and limiting yourself to only one industry, area or position during your job search can cause you unneeded stress and anxiety. Leaving yourself open to opportunities that are slightly outside of your comfort zone will give you more options and less stress in the long run. After all, isn’t it better to see what’s out there?

Step 4: Don’t procrastinate

While there are different reasons for procrastinating, the end result is the same: feeling rushed, stressed and anxious. Rather than subjecting yourself to the anxiety that procrastination inevitably brings, form a plan and a schedule for your job search and hold yourself accountable.

Step 5: Ask for help

If you are feeling insecure about your cover letter, application, or resume, ask for help. One place that offers assistance is Business Talent Solutions, where candidates can receive expert advice from a recruiter with years of experience. Sometimes it takes a second set of eyes to calm your nerves and give you the peace of mind that you are on the right track.

Step 6: Submit and move on

Once you have submitted an application, don’t sit around waiting for the phone to ring. Instead, make a note on your calendar to follow up and don’t think about your application until that time. Use the time that you would typically spend stressing and waiting to hear back to submit more applications and continue your job search.


The key to managing application anxiety is to get ahead of it before it starts threatening your focus and chances of landing the job that you want. Use these steps, and many deep breaths, to help you through the process with as little stress as possible.