Have you ever noticed how many parallels there are between dating and job hunting? Both largely take place online, both can be super awkward and both will seriously test your patience and your confidence. There’s even a Tinder for job hunting!
If you’re single and looking for a job, you’ve certainly got your work cut out for you. Luckily, much of the advice you get for dating can also apply to the job hunt, so keep in mind the following tips whether you’re dating, job hunting or both!
1. Don’t Look Too Desperate
Desperation reeks, so don’t stink up the room with your overeager hopelessness. You wouldn’t say “I love you” on a first date, would you? I hope not. Job hunting requires the same sort of finesse and savviness as dating; sometimes playing “hard to get” can make the other party want you even more, so don’t call every five minutes, don’t apply to every available job at the company just to have a chance of working there and most definitely don’t change yourself to try pleasing the hiring manager. By staying confident and true to yourself, you will appear way more attractive, I promise.
2. Don’t Oversell Yourself Too Much
You should always present the best version of yourself when meeting people you hope to establish strong relationships with, but be careful not to present a “too perfect” version of yourself, because relationships built on lies will never last. If you hiked once, five years go, don’t tell your date that you’re an avid hiker. What will you do when they ask you to go on a difficult hike with them this weekend? You can only fake it for so long. Similarly, don’t tell a hiring manager that you’re adept at advanced Excel functionality if you don’t even know how to create a pivot table. What will happen on Day One of your new job when you’re expected to complete incredibly complex tasks on spreadsheets you can’t even read? Always be honest about who you are, because that’s the person they’re going to see after the first date or interview.
3. Don’t Ignore the Red Flags
Did he have a different girl in every picture on his Tinder profile? Was she rude to the waiter at the restaurant? Do they never offer to pay when you go on dates? The more time you spend with a person, the easier it will be to spot red flags and deal breakers. Ignoring these warning signs could lead to a very unhappy and unhealthy relationship, so always pay close attention to the things that bother or worry you. The same can be said for job hunting. Are there lots of negative reviews for the employer on Glassdoor? Did the current employees you interacted with during your interviews seem stressed or unhappy? Is the recruiter responding to your emails at 9pm? These observations are incredibly useful. Ignoring them might lead you to accept a job you will end up hating.
4. Don’t Be a Ghoster
No one likes being ghosted. “Ghosting” occurs when someone suddenly and without explanation disappears by cutting off all communication, but it doesn’t just happen with dating – job applicants (and hiring managers, for that matter) do it all the time. Maybe you’re a few steps into a job application and then you accept an offer for another position. Don’t just stop responding to the other recruiters you’ve been working with – send them a considerate email informing them of your new position, so they can remove you from their list of applicants to contact. You never know who you’ll be interacting with in the future of your career, so don’t burn any bridges along the way by doing something as dumb as disappearing just because you’re too lazy to send an email.
5. Don’t Talk About Yourself Too Much
Ever been on a date where the other person talks about themselves the whole time? It’s awful. Don’t be that person in a job interview. A good interview should be a conversation with equal participation from the interviewer and interviewee. Asking good questions throughout your interview will show that you’re more interested in the job and the company than just in yourself.
6. Don’t Fixate on the Rejections
You swipe right; they swipe left. You had a great time; they never call back. You want to go on a date; they friendzone you. Rejection sucks, but it doesn’t need to consume your life. Wallowing in the pain of being rejected will only extend your suffering, hurt your confidence and prevent you from moving forward. The same goes for job hunting. If you spend all of your energy mourning the jobs you didn’t get, you’ll miss out on the new ones popping up every day. It’s true that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so don’t let the sting of rejection prevent you from applying for new opportunities.
7. Don’t Settle for Less Than You Deserve
“You’re too good for him.” “He doesn’t deserve you!” If you’ve ever been told something like this from a friend, you’ve been given a not-so-subtle reminder of an important rule: Keep your standards high and never settle for less than you deserve. Being single can suck, but it’s better than being in an unhealthy relationship. Being jobless really sucks, and sometimes you don’t have the option of waiting for the perfect opportunity, but you should never settle for something you’re unhappy with. It’s okay to hold onto a job you don’t like so long as you put in the effort to find a better fit somewhere else.
The most important thing to remember when you’re job hunting or dating is to always be true to yourself. A job is just a job; a significant other is just a significant other. If you’re not happy with yourself, you won’t be happy in any job or any relationship, so always remember to put yourself first!