Looking for a job and dating are similar in a lot of ways.
This is what came to mind this morning as I sat in a room full of about two hundred people all waiting to take the same examination for a highly coveted position offering great pay and amazing benefits. I started feeling a little panicked thinking about all of the competition I was up against, and soon began a game of mental sparring began while sizing up the people around me.
Funny thing is that I’ve found myself doing the same thing lately online, where I would view profiles of the women in my area with similar traits just to see what I was up against. This is an interesting experience because there were some who were clearly at the bottom of the barrel, some were average and men may find appealing while others were serious competition the same way I imagined some of those applicants were this morning.
Here are a few ways the job search is so similar to dating:
Plenty of Applicants > Plenty of Profiles
There are millions of people looking to make that next career move and with the number of singles increasing year after year, it’s no surprise the competition is pretty stiff. Just as a recruiter would eliminate you purely based on inexperience or a lack of a particular skill, there’s someone with about ten filters set up making it impossible for you to even come up on their viewing radar.
Reading Through Resumes > Browsing Dating Profiles
A job resume is supposed to paint the picture of a candidate for a recruiter who doesn’t have time to waste just as the profile and “About Me” is going give a potential date a little insight into who you are, so take your time and remember – details are everything.
Let’s say you’re the type who likes to keep people guessing or you’re just plain lazy writing things like “Just ask”, chances are you’ll be one of the first to get glanced over or rejected when making contact. The dating profile should be offering some insight on your background (education, lifestyle…), and include some of your hobbies and you better believe that grammar matters.
If you’re a bit of a lunatic, we may pick up on that as well based on what you’ve written but just as with the resume’- you can’t always believe what you read because people will fudge the truth to get where they want to be. No one wants to waste their time, so once people realize how important this initial introduction can be, maybe some will put forth a little more effort to ensure it is the best representation possible.
Telephone Interviews > First Conversation
I can’t stress enough how important that first telephone call is after you’ve exchanged numbers with someone and it should be treated just like that verbal interview from a prospective employer.
You should know that this call can quite possibly eliminate you from the competition so get ready for the call and get those vocal chords warmed up, be sure there aren’t any noisy or crazy distractions around and be prepared to have a conversation. Depending on the type of person you have on the other line, will determine if you’re being critiqued for your voice, speaking style and you better believe there are tons of grammar fanatics looking for enunciation.
In-Person Interview > First Date
Just as you may have nailed the telephone interview, you have successfully passed that oral test and have made it to the next round – the first date.
The time has come to show and tell and you better be ready to deliver since everything you’ve put online including photos and details, are being matched with your word over the phone, and someone is anxious to put all of the pieces together. Would you show up to your interview late, dressed sloppy, with messy hair, dirty nails and smelly breath? Hopefully not and if there’s even a sliver of interest in the person you’re meeting, you sure as hell better come with your a-game because there aren’t any second chances to make a good first impression.
No Call Back > No Call Back
Finally, the time for the job interview has come and gone and you’re feeling like a million bucks because other than a few details about your experience you could have added at the end, there’s no doubt in your mind that you nailed it.
Then the unthinkable happens – you get that “Thank you, but…” email or worse, nothing at all. The same thing happens after a date that (in your eyes) went pretty well and then when the texts and calls stop coming, you’re trying to figure out what went wrong. This happened to me a few weeks ago after a Starbucks meet up and while I was totally put together looking really cute and was able to carry on a lively conversation, the dude didn’t reply to my messages afterwards. I got the hint and while the no call back rarely happens to me, I was still feeling some kind of way. Rejected.
Employers have to sift through plenty of muck to find the right candidate and singles are navigating through a lot of profiles trying to weed out those who may not be the best fit. It’s good to understand the importance of your dating profile because it paints the picture of who you are and remember – there’s only one chance to make a good first impression.
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