Think job search is a drag? You’re not alone. Maybe it’s time you looked at it differently.
Dating, despite having its ups and downs, can actually be a fun activity. Funny enough, dating and job searching are pretty similar in their nature.
And, although we can’t promise you writing a cover letter that begins with, “Hi, I’m Joe. I like long walks on the beach, candlelight dinners, and, most of all, finding different and creative ways to market healthcare products…” will catch the heart of your dream employer, we can give you some advice on how to change your job search perspective. Here are five common factors between job search and dating:
1. You Need Chemistry
When you start dating someone, you generally know right away whether or not they will be apart of your life. Why is this? Chemistry.
“You need to have chemistry with that person,” says Vicky Oliver, author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions. “It’s essential.”
You also need to have chemistry with your potential employer.
“You want to find a common bond,” she says.
So, how to you do that? Be observant. If you see photos on the wall, things in their office, and so on, ask about them. You only have a short window of time to impress your potential employer, you need to be able to show them you are worthy of a second date – er, interview.
2. You Need To Be Picky (But Not Too Picky)
Although it’s important to narrow down your preferences, you can’t be too picky. As the old saying goes, “No one is perfect.” This applies to employers, too.
“If you set your sights too broadly, you might find yourself actually overwhelmed by options,” says Gayle Laakmann McDowell, author of The Google Resume. “But if you are too picky, you might never get any choices. It’s important to strike a happy middle ground between being selective and being too open, or you’ll waste everyone’s time.”
3. It’s Not All About The Looks
In high school, many girls are attracted to the star of the football team. Stereotypically, he’s good looking, popular, and successful. However, he’s not the right person for every girl.
This same concept applies to job seekers – many people are attracted to jobs with the “hot” companies, only to find out they aren’t the best fit for them.
“This leads job seekers to take roles that might not be a great fit for them, simply because the company is well known,” McDowell. “There is, of course, value in having a strong brand name on your resume, but if the role isn’t the right fit, you may wind up miserable. I’ve seen a lot of candidates who really want to be programmers take a testing role at a big name tech company, just to get in the door. The problem is that, three years down the road, they’re still stuck in a role they never even wanted.”
4. You Have To Make Them Want More
After a first date, you need to persuade that person to continue to date you. This same idea can be applied to job search.
As a job seeker, you need to persuade the employer to give you a shot at the job. Even when the interview is over, Oliver stresses the importance of sending a thank you note. Not only is it courteous, but it also gives you another chance to connect with the employer.
Thank you notes are a way to continue the conversation with your potential employer. She suggests bringing up a question didn’t get answered during the interview.
“No matter how well the interview goes,” Oliver says, “you need to thank that person.”
5. You Can’t Rush Into It
“You don’t need to commit to a relationship after your first date, and you don’t need to accept an offer as soon as you get it,” says McDowell. “Take your time. Think things through. Is this really what you want?”
McDowell says you may even want to “date around” – that is, interview with some other companies to see what else is out there.
This post was originally published on an earlier date.
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