Job Dating

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Job Dating.  Essentially, that’s what it is, isn’t it? As a recruiter, I hear all of the crazy and outrageous things that people do during the job search/interview process. While it all seems like common sense, you’d be surprised at the things people do to sabotage their candidacies for jobs. So, just like you read the Do’s and Don’ts of dating in Glamour and GQ, I’ve decided to break down the job search process in similar, relatable terms that I call… Job Dating.

Who Viewed My Profile?

Online job dating- a necessary evil. If you’re actively looking, you’ve gotta put yourself out there. When you apply online, sometimes you will get a response, sometimes you won’t – but you never know unless you try. A LinkedIn profile with a picture will always (or usually) get you more attention– a profile that isn’t filled out screams either lazy or that you have something to hide. Sometimes companies outside of your “search preferences” will email you. If you’re not interested, respectfully decline. If you are interested, get on it. Transition to phone or in-person ASAP – competition is fierce in cyberspace!

They Want To Meet Me!

Great news- you got the interview. This is your time to shine. That means- put your best foot forward.  Dress the part. Bring copies of your resume – yes, I know you already emailed it to them, but it’s likely buried in an inbox somewhere. Research the company. Ask good questions. Don’t chew gum. Don’t put your iphone on the table during the interview because “you’re waiting for an important call.” Smile. Sit up in your chair and look like you’re engaged in the conversation, even if you’re not as into it as you thought you’d be. If you are into it, find out when you can see them again. Oh, and don’t talk about exes on the first meeting. Save the horror stories about your current/former/crazy/abusive bosses and colleagues for a much, MUCH later time.

They Like Me…I Think…

The first meeting was perfect; chemistry was there, it felt like it could be your “new home,” and you were at your all-time best. Don’t forget to send thank you notes! No, not by text – by email, please – with full words and complete sentences. They want you to come back for more interviews? Great! Make time to be available – I know you’re busy, but be careful of how much of the ‘hard to get” game you play here. You don’t want them to get the wrong idea. Also, this is the time for you to ask questions and gather information. What are your make or breaks?  Can you see yourself working here in six months, a year…or even more? Oh, and just because they are asking you back for more and more interviews doesn’t mean that you’re the only one they are seeing. You still need to be on your game while they decide if you’re “the one.”

Will You Accept This Offer?

By now, you should have a pretty strong gut feeling if this is the job for you. They’ve wined and dined you, and you’ve met the “powers that be,” toured the place and done all of your due diligence. When they offer you the job you’ll be ready to say YES, right?  If not, why?  You’ve gotten this far, so what’s standing in your way of making the commitment?  Remember why you were looking and what you were looking for that led you to this opportunity. If you want the job- accept it right away.  If you don’t – tell them as soon as you know that, too.  They are making a commitment to you and hoping you will make one to them. How you handle this delicate part of the process will speak volumes about you to the company.  Oh, and if you need to negotiate any part of the offer, you should be the one to do it…not your mom, dad or your spouse – YOU.

Of course, nothing is ever cut-and-dry, but with competition so high in this job market, there is little room for error. Companies are seeking out the crème-de-la-crème. Keep it simple, go with your gut, and be honest and upfront—with yourself and the company. Whatever the outcome, be a mensch.  How you handle yourself throughout the entire process is what they will remember most about you.

What words of wisdom can you share about your Job Dating experiences?

1 Comment
  1. Stalk, stalk, stalk! When I was unemployed I would find managers on linkedin then send them a polite message on facebook. 4 out of 5 times they would respond giving me their email address or directing me to the right person. It's important to put yourself out there but to also be proactive. If you want something go get it. Companies will also be impressed by your aggressive approach and they will know how bad you want the job. This is also a way to separate yourself from your competition. It's a tough market out there and although it may be getting better, you still need to have some sort of differentiating factor that sets you apart.

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