When speed dating and job seeking collide

I’ll have to say that job searching in the 2010s has taken on a bit of a speed-dating persona — or least what I imagine speed dating might be like.

My thought is this, as a job seeker you gather up all your combined knowledge, skills and work experience and groom them into the best-looking presentation you can. It’s that whole first impressions thing. If it works when you’re trying to impress a date, it probably is a good practice when you’re trying to convince an employer to hire you.

Just like you wouldn’t leave the house with dirt on your face or holes in your clothes and expect to get a date, you don’t want to leave typos and grammatical errors in your resume that might undermine your chances of impressing a hiring manager.

And, of course, most people always look better on paper. Just as your stories are always better the first time around when you’re trying to impress a date, the same can be said of what you put down on paper or cyber-space paper on your resume.

Then you ask yourself, “Do I spray and pray sending my resumes to as many job matches as I can find, or do I wait for a select few that are great matches?” Sort of the dating equivalent of trying out a lot of dates versus just asking out the ones that truly interest you.

But just as in dating, there are moments of anxiety involved in the job seeking process. First there’s the whole “Will they call you back thing.” And then there is “I know nothing about this company or the specific job, how will I play the interview.”

At some point along the way when you’re job seeking you gain a certain emotional attachment to the prospective job. It might be because the company or the job has you smitten by looks alone. Or it might be as you spend time interviewing and learning the role that is being hired for you start envisioning yourself doing the job, and before you know it, you’re emotionally invested.

It seems the better the interview, the quicker you get invested in the job. I was never one who was good at the games of dating, so the games of job seeking are a little alien to me as well.

And then there is the waiting game — the toughest part of the process.

You’ve convinced yourself that the job is something you want to do. The first date or dates went well and you’ve bought in. Then you sit by the computer like an anxious teenager waiting for an email that tells you you’re in.

In today’s tight job market, the advantage is in the hands of the one being courted. Companies can be very selective in their thought process. They can pick and choose using factors you know about and often times haven’t even considered.

Having been down the interviewing road many times in the past year, I have come away with few insights, but the one thing I do know is that just when you feel yourself getting emotionally invested in a job, that usually when the rug is about to be pulled out from under you.

Good luck my fellow seekers of employment!

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