Playing the Field: A Dater’s Guide to Job Hunting
What would happen if people began to approach their quest for the perfect job in the same manner in which they approached their quest for Mr. or Ms. Right (or Mr. or Ms. Right Now, as the case may be)?
While we are definitely not suggesting that you should try to meet potential employers in the Idle Hour Pub or try to get a job through an online search engine’s 29 dimensions of compatibility, we do recommend that you employ some of the same social networking techniques for your job search.
1. Get out there and meet people.
We say it all the time: Network, network, network. It’s not something that you don’t already know, and it’s not something that you don’t already do, at least on a social level. While you spend a great deal of time on Facebook and MySpace, you spend some face time with your friends as well. Don’t hide behind a computer expecting a search engine to do all of the work; you may eventually find “the One” that way, but think of all the duds that you have to weed through. Keep in mind, also, that 80% of all jobs are not advertised. Here are a few suggestions to get you out there:
- Go to career fairs and be sure to get business cards.
- Join professional organizations.
- Participate in events through your department. Take advantage of guest speakers.
- Reconnect with old friends and stay connected with alumni.
2. First impressions are important.
When you get ready for that first date with the cutie from your chemistry class, you agonize over what to wear, attempt to calm the butterflies in your tummy, and pray that you have a good hair day. The same care and consideration should be given to that potential employer. You should pick out your outfit the night before; you should even iron it. As in dating, your first impression will be a lasting one. Don’t give an employer a reason to cut short his or her budding “romance” with you.
3. Don’t talk about your “ex” (ex-employer, that is).
You are on a first date, and the conversation keeps coming back to your date’s ex. Ugh. Keep that same bitter feeling of revulsion in mind during a job interview. No one likes to hear about the lovers—or employers—who have come before.
Complaining about a previous employer will not score you points as an effective communicator.
It is a universal truth that people don’t quit their jobs; they quit their bosses, so keep the focus on yourself and not on those unpleasant supervisors in your past.
4. Go in for the “goodnight kiss.”
Okay, we are not suggesting that you kiss your interviewer. But you can experience that same end-of-the-date awkwardness at the end of an interview. You don’t know what to do or what the other person is thinking. Did this person like you well enough to want to see you again? Keep your lips to yourself; instead, reiterate your interest in the job, shake hands, thank the interviewer for his or her time, and ask—in a polite way—what you should expect if the interviewer doesn’t reveal his or her first impressions of you right away.
5. Don’t wait for the employer to call you.
In the dating realm, you expect to wait a few days before you call or you are called. When it comes to job hunting, don’t wait. Within 24 hours of your interview, you should have a handwritten thank- you note in the mail. This step not only is common courtesy, but it also reminds the interviewer of your interview.
6. But don’t stalk the interviewer.
While you want to keep the interviewer aware of your interest and skill set, you don’t want to stalk this person, either. After sending that thank-you note, wait a few days to a week before calling.
Keep in mind that the company to which you are applying is seeing other people, so don’t commit yourself to a monogamous relationship just yet. Be sure to keep your options open and your game face on. Get out there and continue the hunt—the job hunt.
Article topics:job search
We know getting the perfect job can be one tough nut to crack. Luckily, the secret to your success is right here in Troup County, where you’ll find a wide range of career opportunities. And we’re here to serve you with a large helping of job openings, tips and resources. Stay positive - there are plenty of employers out there looking for one smart cookie just like you!
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