Disclaimer: This article could contain inappropriate assumptions, sarcasm and language. If you take offense to any of these, it is probably best if you just stop reading now. No really, stop now; and I apologize to my mother in advance. This is my fun day, in my little world I am having fun with the topic today.
On my list of unpleasant experiences online dating and job searching are certainly ranked up there. As are root canals, surgery without the use of anesthesia, being trapped in a room of three year old on a sugar high, cleaning up dog poop and stomach flu.
I’m a list person, I have lists of everything. To-do, never do again, goals, chores, things for which I am grateful and unpleasant things. The unpleasant things list may just be in my head, but it exists.
I will give online dating the advantage though; when you are job searching the odds of receiving unkind messages, comments and emails from strangers is much less. So in my opinion, online dating is a worse hell.
One girl told me she got an unsolicited, very unkind comment from someone on her dating profile in which they compared her physical appearance to that of man’s best friend. Seriously. No prospective employer sends you back an email similar to, “Just wanted to let you know that there is no way we will be calling you back.”
Before anyone gets all cranky, I know there are many people who met that special someone online. To be fair, many people get jobs though job searching too, but that doesn’t make it a happy experience.
If you want a better response, both the online dating world and LinkedIn recommend you have a photograph of yourself. I am not one that likes pictures of myself so in either case this is a torturous task.
In either case, please for the love of everything holy do not take a selfie in the bathroom! No one, and I repeat this with all the fervor I can muster I pounding on my keyboard, no one wants to see your bathroom mirror or any part of your bathroom! Ever.
A professional headshot is most appropriate for LinkedIn. As far as dress, think of business casual for the most part, on rare occasions the suit and tie is appropriate. For online dating, well, gentlemen if you are over 40 and no longer have that high school football physic then tank tops are not your friend. Ladies, I am going to put this as delicately as I can by quoting a yourcard: dressing immodestly is like rolling around in manure; yes, you will get attention, but mostly from pigs.
It is important to choose just the right picture that will attract the right types of dates and prospective employers.
Too much about you
Oh, the wonderful lies we weave. Nearly every woman I ever hear talk about online dating says the same thing is in almost every male profile: no drama. Is that really necessary? Is there any guy out there that wants drama? Isn’t that an assumed? Isn’t that like saying on your resume that you expect to be paid for the job?
To be fair here, guys, most women tell what they want you to do for them in saying what they like. How you can earn their affection by where you take them and what you do for them rather than what qualities they bring to a potential relationship for you. That is like opening your resume with “I am looking for a job that will allow me to use my skills and advance my career.” It’s not all about you.
Write your profile in your voice, true to you about what you have to offer. There is nothing worse for a prospective employer to receive an outstanding resume, set up an interview and the individual in person/on the phone is a complete dude. It leads to confusion, they wonder which one are you. Similar to proclaiming yourself to be about 6’ tall and works out all the time when in reality you haven’t tipped the scales over 5’8” and your idea of vegetables are potato chips.
Do not lie in your resume. It will be found out. Same with your online dating profile, it will be found out, period. Just do not do it, you lose all credibility no matter what good you have done to that point.
The job posting
Read the damn thing, please. If someone posts that they prefer certain aspects and you either do not have those aspects or are completely contradictory – do not respond. That is like applying for a medical position in which you have no experience but have watched ER, Greys Anatomy or Chicago Hope so you have a pretty good idea about hospitals and you know you can win them over with your stellar personality.
If you do not meet the most basic, core, essential job qualifications please do not waste their time – an employers or potential date. Why set yourself up for rejection? Stop it.
Or the first date in dating. Normally you are not going to get a job offer in the first five minutes of your first interview, just like you are not going to get a marriage proposal in the first five minutes of that first date – if you do, run. This is a process. This is when the person across the table is sizing you up to see if you really are all that you proclaimed to be.
Later in the date and interview they get to the point of determining if you are a good fit for their company or life. This includes assessing things like if you would get along with your coworkers and bosses, would they want to introduce you to the family or would they lie to their friends if they ran into them while you were on a date and try to completely cover the fact that they are there by their own accord.
The instant relationship
If you find that after one date you are not being referred to in a manner of significant other or you received an offer of employment in the first five minutes – you should really evaluate this. Why are they so desperate to hire so quickly without getting to know you? Is there a high turnover rate in that position? You should find out why to evaluate if you want to accept the offer.
Job searching and dating can be fun – if you are interviewing/pursuing the right job or dating the right person. It may take time to find that right person; however, in the meantime, do not diminish yourself to fit the sub standards of what you have found so far. The right job or person is out there and can be found if you:
- Know your value – what do you bring to the table?
- Clearly state your value – how can you bring your value to the benefit of others, demonstrate rather than state; telling me you are a nice person means nothing, prove it.
- Have a baseline of your needs, expectations and goals – if you do not know what you want how can anything fit the bill?
- Be flexible to opportunities that offer these things – even if they are not like jobs you have had or people you have dated in the past
- Remain positive and open – tomorrow is a new day, your perfect mate or job has not been run over by a bus
- Keep trying – there are a lot of toads out there professionally and personally, the more you kiss you are that much closer to the right one
- Network – be seen, meet new people, get to know them from the friend perspective/what you can do for them in a business perspective before you jump to picking out rings or 401(k) options
- Keep your humor – be able to share and laugh about your experiences with a good friend, having wine on hand is good too
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Brand Strategist & Career Coach
Certified Professional Resume Writer