If the prospect of finding a job is daunting, consider what you go through to find the perfect partner. A romantic relationship typically starts with the first date and is fraught with many of the same issues you face when you look for the perfect company to work for. Where do I go to meet people (a good company)? What kind of person (company) is best for me?
Considering how you look for a romantic partner may help point the way to finding the right employment match. And considering how much time you may end up spending at work, finding the right fit makes it just as important.
There are lots of different ways to connect. So, what's your style?
Know what you want
Tall, dark, and white collar or wind blown surf-ette, when it comes to a romantic partner we all know what we like without thinking too much about it. We're attracted to people who 'fit' and 'get' us. The same is true about the kind of company you work for. It just may not be quite as intuitive and make take some soul searching to find out what you prefer.
Know where to find it
Ask all of your coupled friends how they met and you'll get just as many answers! There are so many places to look for love - and employers - that you won't go wrong looking at any and all of them. They key is to get out there and look everywhere. There is a reason it's called a job hunt.
Do you know a friend of a friend who works at the company you have your eye on? Get them to introduce you! Networking is one of the oldest and best ways to find your perfect match. It holds the added bonus of having someone connected to vouch for you.
If you don't know anyone associated with your heart's desire, the vast resources of the Internet are only a click away. Just as online dating has come out of the dark corners of the Web to be a legitimate way to meet people, business networking sites are a great way to connect and research companies that you are interested in. And don't forget to scan your local paper as well, your heart's desire may already be under your nose and in your own community!
Putting your best foot forward: The date (interview)
Do you remember the date who showed up late, smelly from the bike ride he/she had taken earlier in the day and who talked only of themselves? Yeah, I don't either. I'm sure he/she was a great person but never got a second date because everything about him or her said, "I don't care." Don't let that happen to you!
Once you have found 'the one,' it's time to show your stuff. The interview is your 'first date' with this company. Present your best possible self by showing up on time, in your most polished and professional outfit and ready to charm. You want this company to know you're into them! Let them know why you would be good together. Similar to a first date, don't hog the conversation. You will be answering questions about yourself, sure, but be as succinct as possible. Shakespeare said it best, "Brevity is the soul of wit."
The Next Day
Follow-up! Would you wait around after a fantastic date with your dream girl to see if she calls you? Don't make your company of choice wait to hear from you. Send an email to follow-up or a handwritten note if that is more your style.
Getting a first date/interview is one thing, getting a call back is another. It may have gone great, but nothing ever comes of it, or you get rejected outright, do what your friends and family always tell you - keep your head up and move on. There are plenty of other fish in the sea. Get back out there and begin again. You'll find the right one out there just waiting for you.
What other things do dating and the job search have in common?
Andy Von Kennel is the co-founder of TruYuu, an online service that helps people present themselves as more than just a resume to employers. You can connect with Andy and the TruYuu team on Facebook and Twitter.