Not Getting Enough Sleep Can Really Hamper Your Job Search

Between updating your resume and attending networking events, looking for a new job can be stressful. If you’re deep in the job hunt and find that you’re not getting hired, it may not have to do with your work experience. The real culprit could be sleep deprivation. While this may seem a little silly to associate not getting a job with poor sleep habits, getting a good night’s rest can actually make more of a difference in your job search than you think. Here are five ways that not getting enough sleep can affect your job search along with tips to get better sleep.

You’re Moody

People who are sleep-deprived are more stressed, angry and mentally exhausted than those who get a full night’s rest. If you are continuously not getting the amount of sleep that your body needs, chances are other people are taking notice of your attitude. While certain aspects of a job interview are out of our control, such as other candidates being more qualified for the position, coming off as irritable or uninterested during your job interview due to lack of sleep is something that we have total control over. How can you be your best self if you’re groggy and grumpy? Getting an extra hour or two of sleep each night could make all the difference.

Tip: It’s hard to sleep when your mind is racing. Try journaling before bed, focusing specifically on positive events. This will help shift your bedtime thoughts in a more positive direction and relax your mind before bed.

You’re Less Efficient

Have you been staring at the same sentence on your cover letter for the past 30 minutes? Staying up late can have a severe impact on how much you can get done as sleep deprivation impairs your focus, attention, and working memory. This means that you may have to repeat the same task several times and are more likely to make careless mistakes. Researchers say that going to bed early and staying asleep throughout the night are crucial to being your most productive self. If you’re hoping to get job applications out in a timely manner and score those interviews, strive to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

Tip: Make a to-do list of things you need to get done the next day before bed. Prioritize in order of deadline and importance. This will help you wake up feeling refreshed and stay on track throughout the day.

You’re Not As Creative

While creativity may not seem like an important factor in your job search, it is essential in order to stand out from other potential candidates. At some point during the hiring process, regardless of the field you’re going into, you will be asked to show how innovative and out-of-the-box you are as a candidate. Whether it’s by creating a visually appealing resume or putting together unique solutions to mock case studies during an interview, your creativity or lack thereof, can be the difference between getting the job or not. We are not as creative as we’d normally be when we are sleep deprived. And adding sleep deprivation to an already high-pressure situation doesn’t bode well, so making sure you’re well rested can make all the difference.

Tip: Do something manual before bed such as sketching or reading a book. This will help make you feel sleepier before you turn off the lights. Avoid using electronics at least one hour before bed as the light emitted from these devices causes disruptions in the melatonin system.

You’re Most Likely Nursing Other Bad Habits

Sleep deprivation can be linked to things like weight gain, lack of exercise, likelihood to smoke, and more. You’re more likely to let other things slide when you wake up exhausted. This can directly and indirectly affect not only how you go about your job search, but also how much you get done and how you compose yourself in front of potential employers. Getting just an extra few hours of sleep each night could make a dramatic difference in both how you feel about yourself and how you go about your days.

Tips: Avoid eating junk food or drinking caffeine before bed as these bad habits can prolong insomnia. Create a bedtime routine that consists of simple and mindful activities such as meditating or listening to calming music.

Don’t get discouraged if you’re not getting the amount of sleep that your body needs each night. The great thing about your sleep patterns is that you can easily improve them overnight. If you find yourself constantly tossing and turning at night, invest in a comfortable mattress and you will notice an immediate improvement in your quality of sleep, job search, and well being.


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