Recently unemployed US job seekers in the US are experiencing a massive case of job-hunt burnout amid prolonged searches without any offers, according to staffing firm Insight Global.

More than half of recently unemployed adults surveyed, 55%, say they’ve been searching for a new job for so long that they are “completely burnt out,” according to the Insight Global survey. Recently unemployed workers also say they have applied to an average of 30 jobs and have only received an average of four callbacks or responses.

“It’s no wonder that so many unemployed Americans are feeling unmotivated — between several years of a volatile job market, headcount reductions, budget cuts, hiring freezes, and a total overhaul of the way companies are running their businesses, it can feel downright impossible to get back on track,” Insight Global CEO Bert Bean said in a press release.

Gen Z is getting hit the hardest with 66% of this cohort saying they’re burnt out, according to the survey. That’s the highest percentage of any generation.

Some workers are so depleted by the job search that they’re taking other steps to make or save money, according to Insight Global’s survey:

  • 43% said they feel there is no shame or prefer to live at home with their parents.
  • The same percentage, 43%, said they would rather create an Etsy business or resell thrift items than send out another blast of résumés.
  • More than a third, 36%, would rather drive for a delivery or rideshare service than continue what appears to be a fruitless search.
  • Some Gen Z job seekers — 44% — would rather get a “sugar daddy” or “sugar mommy.”

Insight Global’s survey took place in July and included 501 recently unemployed adults who had been unemployed for 12 months or less and who were actively seeking employment.

Hollywood productions and promotional tours around the world have been put on indefinite hold as actors join writers on the picket lines as they seek new contracts with studios and streaming services.

Late-night talk shows and many television productions were put on long-term hiatus due to the writer's strike, movie tentpoles, some in mid-production, have shut down too from Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” sequel to “Deadpool 3,” and studios are also pushing some of their completed films into 2024 as well.

On Thursday, Warner Bros. reshuffled several films, notably moving “Dune 2” from November to March 2024. The studio also shifted the release date of a “Lord of the Rings” movie that will now arrive in theaters in December 2024.

Here’s a selected look at shows and films in suspension.

“1923” — Paramount+

“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight” — HBO

“Abbott Elementary” — ABC

“American Dad” — Fox

“American Horror Story” — FX

“Big Mouth” — Netflix

“Billions” — Showtime

“The Chi” — Showtime

“Cobra Kai” — Netflix

“Daredevil: Born Again” — Disney+

“Duster” — Max

“Emily in Paris” — Netflix

“Family Guy” — Fox

“FBI: Most Wanted” — CBS

“Grey’s Anatomy” — ABC

“Hacks” — Max

“The Last of Us” — HBO

“Law & Order” — NBC

“Metropolis” — Apple TV+

“Penguin” — Max

“Severance” — Apple TV+

“The Sex Lives of College Girls” — Max

“Stranger Things” — Netflix

“The Summer I Turned Pretty” — Prime Video

“Yellowjackets” — Showtime

“Deadpool 3” — Disney/Marvel (originally set for May 3, 2024)

“Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part II” — Paramount (originally set for June 28, 2024)

“Beetlejuice 2” — Warner Bros (originally set for Sept. 6, 2024)

“Gladiator 2” — Paramount (originally set for Nov. 24, 2024)

“Wicked” — Universal (originally set for Nov. 27, 2024)

Untitled Karate Kid film — Sony (now Dec. 13, 2024)

“Blade” — Disney (now Feb. 14, 2025)

“G20” — (TBD)

“Lilo & Stitch” — Disney (TBD)

“Mortal Kombat 2”— Warner Bros. (TBD)

“Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse” — Sony (TBD)

Untitled Brad Pitt F1 Film — Apple (TBD)

“Venom 3” — Sony (TBD)

“Challengers” – MGM/Amazon (now April 26, 2024)

“Dune: Part Two”- Warner Bros. (now March 15, 2024)

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” – Sony (now March 29, 2024)

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” – Warner Bros. (now April 12, 2024)

“Kraven the Hunter” – Sony (now Aug. 30, 2024)

“The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim” – Warner Bros (now Dec. 13, 2024)

“Poor Things” — Searchlight Pictures (now Dec. 8)

“Problemista” — A24 (TBD)

“They Listen” — Sony (TBD)

Untitled Dirty Dancing Sequel – Lionsgate (now 2025)

“White Bird” – Lionsgate (now Winter 2023)

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — ABC

“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” — HBO

“Late Night With Seth Myers” — NBC

“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” — CBS

“Saturday Night Live” — NBC

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” — NBC

“How important are cover letters?” wondered Ashley after hiring a resume writer and realizing most jobs also required to send a cover letter. This is probably the #1 question candidates ask when applying for a job. Many jobs have the cover letter as optional, but it leaves job seekers wondering if they should send it and how much they should customize it.

The simple answer is that it is very important if you want to stand out from the crowd. A well-crafted letter of interest can set you apart from the competition in today's cut-throat job market. Whether you're seeking a new opportunity, changing your career path, or simply striving to make a lasting impression, mastering the art of writing a captivating letter of interest can be a game-changer.

Understanding the Purpose of a Letter of Interest

A letter of interest is a crucial tool for expressing your interest in a specific position, company, or industry, even when there's no formal job opening. The ultimate goal is to leave a lasting impression and position yourself as a valuable asset to the organization. A well-written letter of interest can be highly effective in uncovering unadvertised opportunities and showcasing your proactive initiative.

Although a resume summarizes your skills and experience, a cover letter provides a detailed account of your desire for a specific job and an opportunity to showcase your personality. You can think of the cover letter as the marriage between the prospective job description and your resume: your chance to show your interviewer how well your skills match the job right before the interview.

Sometimes cover letters are optional, but they are always a good way to tailor your experience to the specific job. While it may seem daunting to create a cover letter for every role you apply to, it can force you to be very specific and focused on the job you want to avoid overworking and spreading yourself too thin in the job search. Having a clear understanding of your goals can greatly simplify writing a cover letter.

Writing an outstanding statement of interest

1. Start with Research: Research the company, its values, mission, and recent achievements. This knowledge will enable you to tailor your letter to the organization's needs and demonstrate your genuine interest.

2. Make Your Opening Engaging: Capture the reader's attention with a relevant anecdote, striking industry statistic, or thought-provoking question.

3. Showcase Your Value: Highlight your skills, experiences, and accomplishments that align with the company's requirements. Be specific and focus on how you can contribute to their success.

4. Customize Your Letter: It is important to avoid using generic templates when writing a cover letter. Instead, tailor your letter to the specific company and job you are interested in. This will show your dedication and help you stand out. Elainy Mata emphasizes in Harvard Business Review the importance of writing only one page and, of course, having a template to start, but always tailoring it to make it sound like you and to make it sound like it is only for them.

5. Express Enthusiasm: Clearly state your interest in the organization and the role you're targeting. Convey your passion for the industry and your excitement about the potential to contribute.

6. Highlight Cultural Fit: Emphasize your alignment with the company's culture and values. This demonstrates that you've done your homework and can seamlessly integrate into their team.

7. Address Needs and Challenges: Address specific challenges the company might be facing and briefly propose how your skills could help tackle those issues.

8. Maintain a Professional Tone: Make sure to maintain a formal and professional tone throughout the letter and proofread for grammar and spelling errors to demonstrate attention to detail.

How to craft a cover letter when switching careers

If you are changing careers, crafting a new cover letter can be challenging. Upwork recommends including in the cover letter the following: your transferable skills, why you are switching careers, your expression of interest/excitement in the company, and a powerful closing paragraph.

Crafting a compelling expression of interest

Crafting a compelling Expression of Interest (EOI) is crucial to make your application stand out. These five tips can help you create an EOI that resonates with the hiring company:

  • Identify your unique strengths and experiences that differentiate you from other candidates.
  • Quantify your achievements whenever possible.
  • Strike a balance between confidence and humility.
  • Mention any relevant connections within the company.
  • Conclude your letter with a call to action.

In the ever-evolving job market, a compelling letter of interest can open doors you never knew existed. By meticulously researching the company, tailoring your letter, and effectively showcasing your value, you can leave a lasting impression that sparks curiosity and potential collaboration. Remember, a well-crafted letter of interest is not just a document; it's your foot in the door to a world of career possibilities.

Despite the previous expectation that job-hopping would result in a significant pay increase, recent data suggests that this may no longer be the case. The job market has cooled down, and companies have become more cautious with hiring, leading to a decrease in signing bonuses and high salaries for new hires. According to data from payroll provider Gusto, wages for new recruits are now 5% lower than they were in July 2022 for the same roles. This decline is especially noticeable in tech and administrative positions, with nearly half of the surveyed employers reporting reduced pay for recent job openings.

Interestingly, while companies are cutting new hires' salaries, job seekers' wage expectations have reached record highs. A survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York revealed that job seekers' average "reservation wage" (the lowest pay they are willing to accept to switch jobs) reached $78,645 in July 2023, an 8% increase from the previous year. This trend suggests that job seekers are requesting higher compensation despite the current market conditions.

One job seeker, Matt Dalrymple, who has applied for over 50 sales jobs since his previous employer filed for bankruptcy, has noticed a decline in job salaries by around $10,000 compared to six months ago. He also observed that hiring managers are less eager to discuss pay during job interviews compared to previous years. Dalrymple believes that his negotiating power may have diminished due to concerns about inflation and the possibility of a recession.

While persistent inflation plays a role in the disconnect between companies and new hires, other factors contribute to this situation as well. The job market is still recovering from the impact of remote work and the "great resignation," which has led to lasting effects. Liz Wilke, a principal economist at Gusto, explains that the recent decline in pay for new hires is a normalization from the previous two years when pay increases were significant.

Julia Pollak, the chief economist at ZipRecruiter, adds that the employee-employer disconnect around compensation has been fueled by a difference in expectations. Job seekers have adjusted their salary expectations based on the "great resignation," while employers are trying to return to pre-pandemic practices. Offering hiring bonuses and higher salaries might have been a short-term strategy to attract talent, but it is not sustainable in the long run.

Additionally, the decrease in competition for talent has made companies less aggressive in their initial offers. Ron Seifert, a senior client partner at staffing firm Korn Ferry, emphasizes that the dogfight for computer scientists and software engineers has subsided, as companies no longer feel pressured to match offers from big tech firms. Moreover, the fear of a possible recession or downturn has caused many companies to slow down their hiring process and carefully manage their expenditures. In June, job openings fell by 738,000 to 9.58 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Overall, the combination of various factors such as cautious hiring practices, lower competition, and recession fears has influenced new hires' pay. Job seekers' high wage expectations indicate their concerns about potential downturns and the need for greater compensation to take on the associated risks.  

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