Sitting around waiting for a job application is up there on the list of Crappest Things To Do alongside taking the bins out, cleaning some bins and having someone throw you into a bin. Luckily, we’ve come up with five things you can do to help ease the pain – along with the help of Courtney Lockyer from O2 who has a fair bit of experience waiting to hear back from potential employers.

Photoshop a picture of yourself so you have four heads, three eyes and one very long leg

Not only will this amuse you (Three eyes! One leg!), but you’ll also be adding to your skillset. Alright, unless you’re a graphic designer or journalist, it’ll mainly be to amuse you – but Photoshop is a valid skill to add to your CV and, let’s be honest, the more little tricks you’ve got up your sleeve, the better. “I would Photoshop myself as a centaur or give myself a Lord Voldemort nose. Basically, anything Harry Potter related,” remembers Courtney. “If you think about it, even if you don’t get the job, you’ll have a collection of awesome images that you can send off with your next job application.” Plus, you’ll be able to create really cool infographic-y CVs, because Photoshop isn’t just for extra eyes. It’s forever.

Organise three kick-ass interview outfits

A natty suit. A pencil skirt you haven’t worn in years because you think it makes you look way too professional for an unemployed person. Figuring out a great outfit to wear for your interview is both practical and motivational – plus it gets you thinking positively, which is hard when waiting to hear back from a job application. Make sure you check the little details, though, and don’t accidentally turn up in your housemate’s slogan tee shirt that reads “Town Drunk” (I did this).

Sort out your social media profiles

Oh yawn – am I right guys? Guys. But seriously, spending an hour or so tidying up your Facebook profile isn’t a bad idea – cover photos are always visible to everyone, and you have to go through and individually make photo albums private. So that employer you sent your application to might be looking at that time in June 2009 you dressed up as a blueberry and poured four pints over your own face, etc. “I started off fairly adamant that my Facebook posts and Twitter feeds are a reflection of my personality and that if any future employer looked at them and thought that was a reason not to give me a job, then it was their loss. So naïve!” says Courtney. “Actually looking at my profiles, all they really said about me was that I watched a lot of TV, enjoy the odd day drink and get a little bit sweary. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, I’m super proud of my bad language. But it probably doesn’t make a great first impression.” Take a look here and here for hassle-free ways to clean up your social media act.

Apply for something else

Yeah, yeah, you can’t face it – but focusing your energy on another job application will mean that a) you’re not sitting around worrying about the first one and b) you’re reminded of just how many other opportunities there are in the world. If it’s a negative response, you’ve always got more options!

Go do some exercise… or not

While obviously going for a brisk jog is going to boost your endorphins, you’re either a brisk jog person or decidedly not one. Whatever your bag, though, make sure you don’t beat yourself up for doing it. “Going for a run is probably the best suggestion, but realistically I would probably just binge-watch a TV show on Netflix. Whilst it’s not what most people consider ‘productive’, if you do get the job then your days of staying in bed all day and watching TV are going to be pretty limited,” says the mega positive, mega wise Courtney. It’s true – the main problem with unemployment is the horrible cycle of “Oh god I’ve done nothing today I’m such a loser I’ve just stayed in bed” thoughts when a large percentage of the population are sitting in an office desperate to be doing what you just did. Accept, and enjoy it. But make sure you don’t just lie in bed – at least stick Netflix on.

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