Latest Your stories Confidence is Key My mental health really suffers when I don’t have the structure and focus that being employed provides, so when I was made redundant I was worried that if I remained unemployed I might spiral into a worse condition and find it increasingly hard to find a job. Although I'd been working for many years, I had no up-to-date experience of applying for jobs and was very anxious about the process, so I needed all the help I could get! Somebody told me about the Hartlepool Employment Service and helped get me referred to their individual support sessions. They took me back to basics to make sure I got every stage of the application process just right, guiding me through updating my CV and writing cover letters. They also coached me on how to complete online job applications, as this was something I’d never done before. I got some useful advice on how to create a good first impression at interviews, including how to dress – something I’d not given much thought to before, but it really helped me to look professional and stand out from the crowd. What I found most helpful were the interview role-plays which the service provided. They gave me constructive feedback on my interview technique and I came away with loads of useful tips and tricks. Thanks to the role-plays, I was so much less nervous when I went for real interviews, as I felt I’d had a chance to prepare and it wasn’t so unfamiliar. One thing I’d learned was to use the words from the job description and person specification during the interview, and I really feel this was the ‘X factor’ that gave me the edge over other interviewees. As a result, I was successful in getting another job quite quickly. I’m really enjoying working full-time, and my mental health has benefited from it as well. I would strongly recommend the service to anybody wishing to find employment, because above all else the personalised service instils you with the ‘golden ingredient’ – confidence! Find out more about our Employment Support services This case study is from a real client of MHM, but the photo has been staged by an actor to protect their privacy.