When you think about your last date and your most recent job interview, do the two experiences seem eerily similar? There are the nervous jitters, choosing what to wear and, of course, wondering if the experience is going to meet your expectations. Job hunting can be a lot like dating. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. You need to get out there
Clearly, your dream date isn’t going to suddenly arrive at your doorstep and shout, “I’m here!” It usually takes some effort to meet people. A job search also requires persistence, consistency and a positive attitude. It’s not enough just to send out the occasional resume. Instead, come up with a system and stick to it. Networking should also become part of your daily job-hunting routine.
2. Do your research
Before you meet up with someone from a dating app, do you Google them beforehand? According to a survey by Statista, 40% of people Google their date before meeting in person, while 44% scroll their matches’ social feeds. In that same vein, learn as much as you can about the company prior to the interview. Review the corporate website, talk to people that work there, explore news articles and follow the company on social media. That way, you will be up to date on any breaking news that could be relevant to the position you are interested in.
3. Put your best foot forward
As they say, first impressions are everything. When you go on a date, most of us think about showing up on time and dressing the part. It’s the same with job hunting. Bring only the essentials, put the cell phone away and be on your best behavior!
4. Body language is important
Just like in the dating world, body language is a key component of job hunting. A social psychologist and professor at Harvard Business School, Amy Cuddy, found that tiny tweaks in the way you hold your body can significantly impact the outcomes of events in your life. Just two minutes in a power pose before your interview can make you more confident, calm and even more likely to get hired. Whether it’s facial expressions, gestures or eye contact, non-verbal cues can make the difference between getting a job offer or being shown out the door.
5. Trust your gut
While it’s important to analyze any job offers you receive, there’s nothing like trusting your instincts. Does the job look great on paper, but you still feel that something is off or too good to be true? If you experience a negative physical sensation when you think about the new role, it’s usually a sign to stay away. While a bit of anxiety is normal when it comes to job hunting, feeling desperate or panicked is not.
6. Authenticity is important
Dating involves looking for people that have the same values and appreciate you for who you are. Job hunting is the same way. Make sure a prospective employer shares your values. If not, you could be destined for unhappiness. You should also feel like the company culture encourages authenticity. After all, we spend most of our lives at work. If you can’t be yourself, then what’s the point?
7. Don’t settle for less than you’re worth
One of the best lines comes from the movie Thelma and Louise when Susan Sarandon’s character says, “You get what you settle for.” Whether you are dating or preparing for an interview, know your value. In terms of salary, your market value is what you should earn based on your skills and experience as well as the position and location. Do your research to determine your worth before entering into a salary negotiation. That way, you’ll be more likely to get the title and compensation you deserve.
8. It’s a two-way street
Job hunting and dating are both a two-way street. In other words, it’s not just about you, the candidate, selling yourself to a hiring manager. It’s just as important for the company to sell you on the company and the position. Prepare a list of questions to ask your potential employer about the job, your boss, and the organization. Consider why you want to work for this company. By coming to the table with intelligent questions, you also position yourself as someone who is curious, prepared and interested.
9. Don’t say “yes” immediately
Just like you wouldn’t say “yes” to a person who proposes after the first date, you don’t necessarily want to accept the first job offer that comes along. You’ll be at this job for at least a year, and it could provide a solid foundation for the rest of your career. In addition, you want to make sure the position has fair pay and competitive benefits. Whether or not you have competing offers, you should still ensure that the job is the right one for you.
10. You might need to kiss a few frogs
Job hunting can be a tedious process, so it’s critical to be patient. The hardest part of waiting for a yes is that you have to hear a lot of no’s along the way. The good news is that many no’s can help you hone your interviewing and resilience skills. So, take your time to find the right job. Like dating, you might need to kiss a few frogs before finding your prince.
While the two worlds may seem very different, job hunting is a lot like dating. Now swipe right and go land the job of your dreams!