Was it love at first sight? Do you think you’ve found “the one?” Do you picture yourself growing old together? If so, then you may very well have found… your “dream employer.” Okay, okay, relating your job search to the search for a soul-mate may be a little farfetched. However, if you stop and think about it, job seeking is actually very similar to dating in several respects. Here are seven ways that the two correlate:
1. First Impressions Matter
Have you ever been on a first date that just went wrong from the very start? Maybe the other party wasn’t well-dressed or didn’t have good hygiene or showed up late. Whatever the case may have been, they didn’t make a good first impression – which means your relationship may have been dead on arrival.
It’s the same with looking for a new job. First impressions are everything. You want to put your best foot forward for any prospective employer, and that applies to every type of communication that’s exchanged between you and the company – including emails, phone calls, and (obviously) interviews.
Dress the part. Smile a lot. Be friendly. A good first impression can go a long way toward landing you that dream job you’ve always wanted.
2. Thoughtful Questions Are a Must
We all know of “me-monsters.” You know: those people who are always bragging about their latest business accomplishment, or charitable donation, or victory on the golf course. But for all of their talk, me-monsters have one important thing in common: they make for lousy dates.
The point is, don’t be a me-monster. Sure, you can talk about your skills and qualifications – but spend some time asking your potential employer about their needs, their values, their goals. Show your interest in the company. Make it clear that you want any partnership to be a good fit for both parties. Your thoughtfulness will make an impact – and ensure that you don’t get stranded at the bar when it’s time to dance!
3. Authenticity is Key
As mentioned earlier, first impressions are important; but don’t be the date that tries to hide who they are just to make a good first impression. When job seeking, be real with your interviewer. Know yourself, know your goals, and be honest about what you’re looking for. Get specific about what you value in terms of opportunities for advancement, schedule flexibility, salary, benefits, and so on.
Even if your goals don’t seem to jive with the employer’s needs, it’s better to realize that a relationship won’t work at the very start than to live with regrets for months (or years) down the road. If the company you’re considering won’t work with your personal or professional goals, then it’s time to put them in the “friend zone” and move on with your life.
4. Know and Show What You Bring to the Table
Any healthy relationship is a two-way street: both parties bring something of value to the table. When you’re dating someone, don’t you appreciate it when they think about what they can give you, instead of only what they can take from you? In the same way, you always want to highlight what you can bring to the table when interviewing with a potential employer. They’ll appreciate it, and your own confidence will increase, too.
5. Honesty is the Best Policy
Honesty really is the best policy – in life, in love, and in job seeking. For example, in the later stages of the interview process, you should definitely be upfront with your prospective employer about other opportunities you’re pursuing. If you have other job offers on the table, it would only be fair to let the company know in advance.
There’s no need to play “hard to get.” As the hiring process gets more serious, ask more serious questions. Act like a professional, even with multiple offers in front of you. In the end, no matter what decision you make, you won’t burn any bridges behind you – and that could make a huge difference if you reapply with one of those employers in the future!
6. Good Communication Is an Invaluable Asset
Okay. Your first couple of dates went really well, and you’re beginning to think that this relationship has some serious potential. And then… total silence. No calls, no emails, not even a short text. That’s right: you’ve been “ghosted” – and that really stinks.
Don’t be that person with a potential employer. No one likes to be ghosted, not even companies. Keep the lines of communication open, and follow up with your contact at the organization if the hiring process seems to be stalled. And if you receive a request for more information from a prospective employer, or even a job offer, don’t ignore it (even if you’ve decided that the company’s not the right fit for you). Develop a reputation as a good communicator, and who knows, your reputation may precede you into your next interview.
7. There Are a Lot of Fish in the Sea
Dating can be a lot of fun, and it can result in a lifelong relationship built on mutual trust. On the other hand, disappointment is always a possibility when you put yourself out there. Still, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you; it just means you haven’t found the right person yet.
In the same way, don’t get down on yourself if you don’t land a job you really wanted. The good news is, there are plenty of “fish in the sea” right now, in this wide-open candidate’s market. If you want to “catch” an awesome position, you just need to know where the right fish are! It’s a matter of quality over quantity. Sooner or later, you’re bound to find the right position, with the right company, for the right salary.
If you want an experienced “wingman” for your job-seeking expedition, then you can’t do much better than our team at The Doyle Group. Be sure to check out the resources we offer. You can count on us to help you find that “dream employer” you’ve been looking for!