I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend. I hope it was positively memorable and special in whatever way you were hoping for. And, I hope you were able to spend it with loved ones, whether that was a spouse, significant other, or close friend.
If you have been single in the last two years, you will probably agree with me when I say that dating has really changed. And, frankly, it hasn’t changed for the better. I tell my married friends, “If you’re unhappy – work it out. Dating is not what you remember.”
Job seeking can be much the same way. It requires much more work, many more interviews, attention to personal brand, and even then, things can go wrong.
Here are five of the top things that are very similar between dating and searching for a job. I hope you enjoy!
- Defining your personal brand is the first step. Your image is important. Dates often judge you on things that are sometimes tough to think about, like your appearance and your clothes. Online dates especially will take note when you making spelling mistakes, when your grammar is off, or when your profile photo is ugly or out of date. Have you ever heard of someone dropping a Tinder match because they used “your” instead of “you’re” in a text message? It happens in dating, and it happens in job searching. Take the time to be sure you’re representing yourself in a way you are comfortable with. Employers aren’t just looking for the smartest person. That’s hard to measure. They are looking for someone who represents themselves well.
- Knowing your target market will bring you closer to success. When it comes to dating, there’s a good chance you have a type in mind that you prefer. When you create an online profile, you’ll look to include photos or information that might appeal to the kind of person you’re trying to attract. For example, if you are a man looking to attract women, you might play it safe and not post a photo filled with dead animals you recently captured on a hunting trip. The same concept applies to potential employers. Pay attention to the type of company you want to work for, and the type of employee they are targeting. Tailor your presentation to meet their needs. Remember, you’re there to sell yourself.
- You must perfect your pitch. A first date (especially one that started on one of those ‘swiping’ sites) almost always starts out with a question along the lines of, “Tell me about yourself” (because frankly, you know very little when you’re matched). Typically, you share personal information, such as where you grew up, what your hobbies are, and maybe a little about your family. Most likely, you don’t share all of your negative personal baggage right then. You’re giving a high level view of who you are and what you’re about. The same thing goes for a job interview — except instead of sharing personal information, you share career information. Think of specific things like your work experience and educational background that the employer might want to know more about.
- You probably won’t marry the first person you date. This sounds obvious, right? You have probably never been to a first date, just hoping and praying the person is going to want to marry you. That would be nuts! You need to get to know them a little first, right? Well, the same thing goes for a potential employer. If you know nothing about them, why would you hope that they’d hire you? You’ll be spending eight to ten hours a day with them for years. Rather than focus on your fear of rejection, take the time to get to know the company in the same way they’re getting to know you.
- If your first date doesn’t want a second one, there’s a chance they will just stop calling. This is one of the biggest changes in dating that has come along with the internet. It is really rare that anyone will directly say, “You know, I really enjoyed our first date together, but I don’t think we’re a great match.” If you’ve gotten this sort of feedback, consider yourself lucky. Instead, a date will stop texting, answering the phone, and returning e-mails. Heck, they may even defriend you on Facebook. That’s the new signal that they’re not interested. And, it’s also the approach many companies are taking. The same way this is frustrating to daters, it’s incredibly frustrating to job seekers. You’ve taken the time to update your resume, you’ve written a create cover letter, you snuck out of work two or three times. Then, boom — nothing! The company doesn’t let you know that you weren’t picked, and they certainly don’t let you know why. It’s such a disrespectful way to end a date — and an interview.
Again, I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. This e-mail was meant to bring a little humor to the process we’ve all been a part of — whether dating or job seeking.
Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.