Imagine it now.
Oh, that one looks interesting.
—> Swipe Right.
Nah, on second thought, I’ll pass.
This one is perfect!
→ Job description or a dating profile?
Gotcha, didn’t I?
There are no two ways about it; from online profiles to first dates, recruiter screening calls and deciding on whether to go on that second date (interview), there are a million parallels between dating and job searching.
The Parallels Between Dating and Job Searching
Ask anyone who has pained through the discomfort of a lunch interview, trying to make sure there’s no embarrassing spinach in their teeth. They’ll quickly relay the exact same sentiment as someone nervously awaiting their first drink with a potential life partner: anxiety, nervousness, fear, and my personal favorite (not!) – awkwardness.
Think about it. Even from a process perspective, there are never-ending, uncanny overlaps between job searching and dating:
- Select a potential date (job) from a job board.
- Talk to your network (friends) about potential jobs (partners) that might be a fit for you.
- Navigate a recruiter screening call (first date) down to the opener: Tell me about yourself.
I’ve been out of the dating game for a while, but I still think there are a lot of commonalities between the processes of job searching and dating, as well as the etiquette and the end game.
In job searching, we’re on a quest for that offer, to be the winner of all the other candidates lined up to interview. In the dating world, we want the ring (or we want to give the ring) to pair up, be taken off the market, and say “yes to the dress.”
Whether that’s a job or a dating market, we’re all searching for the same thing: acceptance. To be liked. To be “The One.”
God bless you if you’re both dating and job searching at the same time because that requires some serious guts and a willingness to be vulnerable. It’s also likely you’re on your A-game with both, so maybe you’re not so crazy!
With so many overlaps between dating and job searching, I’d be remiss if I didn’t get into a diatribe of advice on leveraging the similarities to your advantage.
The best part?
I brought a date!
Meet my friend Lewis Stone from Serve Your Date. He and I have partnered to help you navigate your job search and love life!
Keep reading for suggestions on how to communicate better, personally and professionally, while getting yourself on a path to success in all areas of life!
What’s your online presence say about your dating and job search life?
Having an online presence today is a standard. People want to look you up when they read your resume, and after meeting you in person, so it’s critical to think about how you will be perceived.
Build out your profiles so people can learn about you, and be sure they reflect the brand you want to have, personally and professionally. You have a brand whether you know it or not, so it’s best you’re intentional in articulating it the way you want to be seen, regardless of that being on your resume, LinkedIn, or your Bumble headline.
Your dating profile is like your business resume. You need to portray your interests and skills to appeal to the audience who will be the best match for you.
Like I say in job searching, lack of clarity is more detrimental than a bad resume (or a bad dating profile!). Be honest and yourself.
Profile photos are key since we are visual creatures. While you’ve only got a profile photo and a cover photo to work with on LinkedIn, aim for 4 to 7 photos in your dating profiles.
Want an even more nuanced level of refinement for your dating profile? You can thank Lewis for this one…
The Scoop on Dating Profile Pictures
Have your first 1-2 photos be candids. Not posed. A candid allows us to see the “you” when you’re not cheesing for the camera. It evokes authenticity and genuineness.
Your next photo should be posed, but your pose should be intentional. Don’t pose to show you’re “cool.” Pose to emphasize your personality. Are you a goofball or klutzy? Emphasize this. Are you hard-working? Emphasize your determination.
The last 2 photos should be activity photos. Make sure they’re activities you regularly engage in so they know it’s a consistent part of your life. Do you go to the gym? Do you hike? Do you have a weekly game night? Are you an avid gamer? Think about your activities and get photos that coincide.
Your dating profile is like your resume; It helps start a conversation. Most profiles are not oriented toward making conversation easy. In fact, they make it hard. The same goes for LinkedIn.
Be inviting on your profile.
Have you ever seen a profile with two selfie photos and a one-line bio that says, “I like tacos.”
Or a LinkedIn Profile that says “Sales Manager at ABC Company.”
How can that start a real conversation with so little to go off of? How can you spark curiosity when putting yourself in a specific box?
The truth is you can’t. It’s simply not inviting a conversation.
You want your potential matches on dating apps to feel invited to talk with you just like you want to be approachable to recruiters and networkers on LinkedIn.
What Are You Trying to Achieve When Dating (or interviewing)?
Similar to an interview, when you’re on a date, there is a trading of information. This sharing of information happens in two ways: verbally and non-verbally. Much of our communication is spoken in a non-verbal way. We focus on how our date carries themselves, their tone of voice, body language, etc.
Guess what? Your interviewer is doing the same thing!
Some reports suggest that 33% of hiring managers know within 90 seconds of meeting you whether they’ll hire you. You’ve barely had a chance to say anything at that point!
Have a Plan
To get back on the dating topics, Lewis says when he talks with most clients about their upcoming date, they are excited; however, they rarely have a plan of what they will talk about on their date.
They know they will talk about something – but often, they haven’t thought past that obvious fact.
If you go into a date unprepared, you’re likely to be as successful as if you go into an interview unprepared, with no questions to ask – losing out on a second date or interview!
When you have no plan, you’re not ready to learn about your date or the potential job you’re interviewing for. As much as we hate it, interviewing is not about you.
If learning about your date (potential job) is not your first goal, you’re likely more concerned with how you’re coming off. They are thinking about themselves – not the person (interviewer) on the other side of the table.
Be mindful of others.
What is the point of a first date (interview)?
1. Learn enough about this person (job) to determine if you want a second date (interview).
You waste everyone’s time if you spend an hour on a date or interview with no intention of going to the next round. You have done yourself and your date a disservice, so don’t be that “guy.”
Whether it’s a date or an interview, actively engage, not just conversationally, but also by observing how they interact with others, what values they exude, and how they respond to choices you make. This is 110% applicable in a personal or professional situation because interviews require the same due diligence so that you can assess fit.
Lastly, you should know by the end of that first encounter whether you want a second. If you’re unsure whether you want a second date (interview), focus on the other person more. Lean in. Ask more questions. If you’re still curious after parting ways from your date or walking out of the interview, it’s ok to take a second one to continue your investigation.
It’s rare to know all the things immediately in dating and job searching. You’ll often have to collect bread crumbs along the way, and that’s ok. That said, once you know for sure it ain’t your style, move on.
- Get the next date planned. ASAP.
If you don’t quickly get a second date (interview) on the table, you will lose the momentum you’ve been building with this person and your dating life. The same goes for interviews.
You’re in the flow of those conversations; use that to your advantage!
If you lose that momentum, it can be hard to get it back because the focus and excitement of a budding relationship (new job opportunity) go away.
This ultimately makes for less enjoyable dates in the future as you try to re-insert the lost energy and focus from the previous process – even if it’s subconscious.
When you realize you want to see this person (company) again, don’t waste time setting up the following date. Follow up if you have to; it’s okay to be proactive 😉
What’s the follow-up for dating and interviewing?
Speaking of following up!
How do you keep the conversation going after the date?
No one wants to come off too forward, pushy, or needy. As I like to say in the context of interviewing – ride the fine line between annoyance and persistence!
What Does the Expert Say?
Lewis’s favorite way to keep the conversation going after a date is based simply on good manners (which any date likes to see.)
When your date ends, send your date a text asking them, “Hey, let me know you made it home safe.” You should be doing this anyway. You care about your date, don’t you?
This is the same concept….get ready for it – as sending a THANK YOU after an interview. It is simply showing nice manners (and less than 25% of people do it) #standout!
Typically, your date will reply back, so this allows you to continue the conversation seamlessly. A thank-you note to a recruiter keeps a portal of communication open for future follow-ups, so Lewis and I are complete geniuses. If they don’t reply, they likely never were going to reply, and they don’t plan on getting together again. The same goes for that pesky recruiter who ghosted you after the screener. #moveon.
The Feelings of Dating and Interviewing
It might seem completely ridiculous to create an article about how many correlations there are between dating and job searching or interviewing. The thing is, there are!
I make many comparisons in everyday coaching conversations, and my clients and I always laugh at the similarities. You all know I love a good dad joke, so the more outrageous I can make the correlations, the better (in my mind, heh).
It all comes down to this:
Whether dating or job searching, you’re putting yourself out there. You’re selling yourself. You’re trying to connect.
Enjoy the experience and make the most of it.
Those feelings of impressing people and feeling butterflies are a unique occurrence in life, so soak up every minute, let your light shine, and be yourself on both the date and the interview!
Good luck in life and love.
Your friends and coaches,
Angie and Lewis