Job Searching Is The New Online Dating

Joe Schwendt • Aug 10, 2017 9:00:00 AM

"Dating is pressure and tension. What is a date, really, but a job interview that lasts all night?" - Jerry Seinfeld, stand-up comedian

From first impressions and profile pics to glossing over baggage and ghosting, there are many parallels between online dating and finding a job online these days. 

Here are just a few ways that you can improve your chances at landing a great job (and a romantic partner). 

Upload a Great Profile Picture

In the online dating world, you're not going to get very many views on your profile if you don't include a photo. If you do include a photo, it's weird if you're taking a bathroom selfie, or if you're pictured with an ex-girlfriend. 

In the world of online job searches, there's a big difference between not uploading a photo on LinkedIn, adding one that's not very professional, and adding one that will impress recruiters. Here's what that difference looks like:

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Below are a few good rules of thumb for presenting yourself in a professional way using your LinkedIn profile photo:

AliceQuist-72retouched.jpgDo: Make yourself look personable

Do: Keep it simple from a composition standpoint

Do: Use a recent photo and keep it updated

Do: Get feedback from friends

Don't: Make it a party photo

Don't: Include children, spouses or pets

Don't: Upload a photo with someone else cropped out

Choose A Compelling Headline

In the online dating world, it's useful to provide people browsing your profile with an easily digestible overview of who you are and what you're looking for. 

People typically provide gender, height and location, as well as job title and education level. They also might want to include import information like whether they want to start a family, or whether they are looking for someone with the same religious beliefs. 

In the world of job searches, it's helpful to provide recruiters with a very concise definition of who you are and what you're looking for on your resume and in your online portfolio. Here are some guidelines:

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 12.54.04 PM.pngDo: Describe your greatest strengths

Do: Inject a touch of personality

Do: Be engaging

Do: Get feedback from friends 

Don't: Be too vague

Don't: Be too wordy

Paint A Picture

In the online dating world, you want to give someone a preview of what they'll be getting themselves into if they commit to dating you. You can talk about your values, interesting life experiences, and what you bring to the table in a relationship. 

In the world of online job searches, recruiters want to get a sense of who you are as a person and a professional. 

If it possible to cut a word out, always cut it out..pngDo: Stick to 3-5 short paragraphs

Do: Highlight your top skills

Do: Describe what you're passionate about

Do: Write how you speak, and be approachable

Do: Use action words (what you did, not what you were "responsible for")

Do: Front-load your achievements

Do: Get feedback from friends (sensing a trend here?)

Don't: Use jargon, buzzwords and empty phrases

Don't: Tell your life story

Don't: Go crazy with bullet points

Don't: Mix tenses

KEEPING IT OLD SCHOOL

The parallels between online dating and online job searches continue when you look at how people are finding potential partners and open positions. If you're more of a traditionalist, you're likely to use a dating site or job board that's been established for a while. 

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GETTING MORE CREATIVE

On the flip side, if you're more of an early adopter when it comes to technology, you may download the latest dating apps on the market to expand your chances of finding a mate -- and take a similar approach to your job search by testing out less proven sources of job postings.

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MAKING IT PERSONAL

Some online dating sites are based on the premise of who you know, allowing people to introduce their second or third-degree connections to each other in the hopes that romance will blossom. With the rise of job search apps like ReferralMob, people are also able to introduce new employment opportunities to their network with the tap of a button. 

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DOING YOUR HOMEWORK 

When you're going to meet someone from the Internet for a real-life date, you want to know that they are who they say they are. It's usually fairly easy to gain insights through a quick Google search for their social media accounts. 

It's no secret that recuiters will often do a similar social media background check to ensure that a candidate doesn't present any glaring red flags that would damage their odds of landing an interview. 

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OTHER SIMILARITIES BETWEEN ONLINE DATING AND JOB SEARCHES

The Prevalence of Ghosting

  • The person you've been on a few dates with shows a lack of commitment and doesn't respond to texts.
  • You apply to a job and never receive a response (positive or negative) from a recruiter.

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The Heavy Emphasis on Networking

  • Your friends and work colleagues are some of your best assets for meeting someone new, either through mutual friends or in a wingman capacity.
  • They also can keep their eyes and ears open for new job opportunities and provide a character reference if necessary.

The Importance of Communication

  • When you're upfront with your expectations at the beginning of a relationship, you avoid nasty surprises and dealbreakers down the line.
  • In a business setting, it's best to confront difficult topics (like high employee turnover or product churn) in an interview so new employees don't quit after a couple months. 

WHAT'S YOUR NEXT MOVE?

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