Today’s post is a nod to Valentine’s Day, a day that may be the most emotionally charged holiday on the American calendar. If you’re in love and you are loved, Valentine’s Day can feel like the most wonderful day of the year. If you’re single and would prefer not to be, Valentine’s Day can feel lonely and isolating. You may feel the same way about Monday: If you like what you do, you may look forward to Monday. If you don’t, you may dread it!
We see strong parallels between job search and dating: Both are fundamentally awkward processes in which you can make big decisions in a short amount of time – based on first impressions and the answers to a handful of questions.
Many employers make hiring decisions for full-time positions after spending less than two hours with a candidate. Can you imagine deciding to spend 40 hours or more with a person every week – after one date? It’s like deciding to move in with someone you just met!
We created StartWire to help you have an easier experience in your job search. Here are five strategies you can use in your work life – borrow as you see fit if you’d like to adapt for your love life.
- Remember that who you choose to spend your time with is a mutually selective process: You get to choose whether to accept job offers, just as employers get to choose if they want to work with you! As you interview for jobs, take a minute to observe others and assess your environment: Are the people you meet people you can see yourself working with on a daily basis? Do people who work together appear to like each other and get along? Can you see yourself feeling happy doing the type of work they would like you to do?
- When you like someone, it’s okay to tell them. Just as people often respond positively to compliments when dating, saying why you like a company may help you land a job offer. Have you purchased and enjoyed one of the company’s products? Do you admire programs and initiatives they sponsor or the community work they do as volunteers? If you see something, say something – on your cover letter, in a thank you note, or on their Facebook page. Sincere compliments often build good feelings.
- Let your friends know what you’re looking for – and ask for help when you need it. Do you have a skill that comes easily to you – and a strong idea of the type of work environment you’d like to work in? Give people you know a sense of what you’re looking for so that they can help you – especially if you’ve already applied. Getting props from others – and a referral into a job – is a faster way to get hired than doing it alone.
- Until you decide to be exclusive, play the field. Just as employers typically look at more than one candidate for a position, it’s okay for you to look at more than one job. Focusing on only one opportunity at a time can leave you feeling like a swooning seventh grader in the throes of unrequited love. Do you find yourself staring at your phone, checking your email every 15 minutes, and wondering when someone will have the decency to follow-up as days turn into weeks? Sign-up for StartWire’s free service that enables you to get updates on your application status. The service is now available for over 8,200 employers. Then use our Express Apply feature to identify other positions of interest – and apply.
- Get out of the house. Many job seekers find that the simple act of adding a volunteer position to their resume results in more callbacks from potential employers. Attend events related to your field – or areas of interest. The more activities you participate in, the more you’ll meet people who can help you achieve your goals.
These are five strategies that we find useful. Do you have any observations or tips that have worked for you? Share.