MATCH(.COM) YOUR WAY TO A NEW JOB!


FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER MATCH(.COM) YOUR WAY TO A NEW JOB!

First impressions matter in dating and job search. I know this all too well as I have moved through dozens of first-date impressions during the seven years following my divorce and before I remarried in 2008.

My husband, Rob, and I met online via Match.com. Besides the first-impression story he wrote in his profile that resonated with my personal needs and priorities for a great mate and life-long partner, the initial photograph Rob sent me was striking—to this day, I call it his glamour shot, as it was obviously posed and snapped by a professional. Rob was decked out in his motorcycle leathers, posing next to his classic Indian motorcycle.

Without hesitation, I responded to his initial ‘resume,’ intrigued by the words he shared and drawn to his handsome picture.

ENTICE INTEREST BY BEING ‘TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE’

As many recruiters and hiring managers may do when reviewing resumes I quickly judged, “He’s too good to be true,” (and beyond that, I thought, if he really looks like his picture, he may be out of my league). But despite that initial feeling of ‘this picture is a bit over the top,’ and in fact in large part ‘because’ of that initial intrigue, I was hooked in. I had nothing to lose by reaching out and affirmatively responding to his gesture to communicate.

We began a series of emails that were engaging, and like a job interview, involved a series of questions and answers. What’s unique and pressing about dating interviews is that you play two roles: both interviewer (company) and interviewee (candidate).

During that time, I ferreted out his real day-to-day physical appearance (he quickly and politely responded to my request for current, non-glamour-shot photographs). A bit relieved he wasn’t a runway model, and in fact, he looked quite attractively normal, I continued the conversation with the hope and optimism that he may be the ‘one’ candidate that would fulfill the job of the-guy-of-my-future.

Within days, we had scheduled a telephone interview, and during this time, our voices and language created new first-impressions. Recently, Rob shared with me that my ability during that first call to hold an intelligent and thoughtful conversation impressed him.

As for Rob, his residual Texas accent, his ability to engage articulately and thoughtfully, his sincere interest in knowing me and his follow-through to place the call in the promised time-frame, met my interview needs and expectations and further attracted me.

DATING, LIKE JOB SEARCH, IS A PROCESS OF INTERVIEWS

Our questions to one another deepened and the answers met my wishes (and apparently his), so we scheduled an in-person interview for drinks at a respectable restaurant. Again, more first impressions were approaching as we scheduled our meet-up,

Our brief in-person interview (remember, it was supposed to be ‘just drinks’) moved into an evening-long conversation replete with laughter, potato skins and chicken fingers.  Like an interview that blossoms into a connection, we politely closed a bit of the distance between one another and signaled our mutual interest.

As he walked me to my car, a second date was planned; and after that, a third date, a fourth, and then Christmas dinner (we began dating just weeks before the holiday!).  The rest, as they say, is history, as our interview dating moved into serious courtship and ultimately marriage.

All of this to say, I continually draw connections between the dating interviewing I experienced over seven years with the job interview process. As such, the following parallels may be illustrated.

1. Job search marketing, like dating, is about being appealing. Be courageous in communicating your allure. Rob’s glamorous picture (combined with his pragmatic, yet best-foot-forward word story) quickly influenced my interest in him as a candidate in my partner search.

2. Job seekers, when building your resume, in addition to writing to your audience’s needs, push your envelope and be courageous. I’ve had many resume clients express initial discomfort with the boldness and bravura of their resume sales message, only later to call or email me that they boosted interviews tenfold and scaled the job search mountain in leaps versus baby steps. Now, more than ever, job seekers need to stand apart and create an appeal.

3. Rob’s profile story (resume) was written in a laid back, direct, ‘real’ tone, focusing on the aspects of his value that would market him – he wrote to his audience’s needs (the audience he wished to attract), and he said no more and no less than needed. As well, he punctuated this profile with a picture that was a bit audacious—he took a calculated marketing risk–that worked!

4. Similarly, writing a resume IS about being YOU and selling your unique value in a tone that is both direct AND value-focused. It IS a marketing tool, and it is written with the reader’s needs top of mind. As well, the resume is no time to be modest—grab the reader’s attention with a presentation that stirs emotions and makes the reader say, “I gotta know more.”

5. Be responsive, polite and persistent. Rob responded to my email response to his initial contact that same day; he also engaged with me via meaningful, thoughtful emails several nights running, maintained a respect for ours/his time (not over-indulging in our new-found interest, placing boundaries and ensuring each communication seemed natural, even though he strategically  responded to make continued positive, authentic impressions). Likewise, in job search, be responsive and engaging, while also applying filters to not saying and doing everything that pops in your mind.

6. He also made himself accessible and reachable with a cell phone number that included a voice mail with HIS voice, and he promptly responded when I called or text-messaged. As we moved past initial interview processes, he quickly removed potential barriers to entry by revealing his home phone number and address.

7. Job seekers, disclosing how you may directly be reached, communicating openly and authentically and being reachable and responsible warms up recruiters, HR and hiring managers versus a nebulous communication strategy.

8. As well, Rob was ever polite and honest without over-revealing (we were dating, remember, not married) and persistent (he initiated follow-up conversations, scheduled our in-person interview and confirmed the meeting the day of). He also asked for the second interview as the first interview was closing.

9. Likewise, job seekers, it is quite acceptable (and necessary) to be persistent in your job search inquiries and conversations, demonstrating interest in the target company; remember, keep it polite, brief and focused on ‘them.’ If you start to feel you are revealing too much about yourself, pull back. If you are under-communicating, push yourself a bit ‘out’ of your reserved zone.

10. Job search is marketing—MARKET you. And the nice thing is, while you’re marketing YOU, you’re focusing on pleasing ‘them’ and filling their needs, so it’s really a process of courtship and you ultimately take the spotlight off of you and place it directly on them.

Bottom line: Proper, persistent and bold online and in-person communications can significantly and positively change the direction of your life and your job search. Interestingly, Rob and I recently were discussing the fact that major decisions in our lives have centered around the Internet: 1. We met on Match.com. 2. We researched and found our sailboat, Seas the Day AND the dock at the lake where our boat resides and where we have expanded our friendship/sailing network by dozens of new, interesting people, via the Internet. 3. We hired our minister to oversee our marriage ceremony via the Internet!

27 Responses to “MATCH(.COM) YOUR WAY TO A NEW JOB!”

  1. Dawn Bugni says:

    Jacqui –

    The job search/dating analogy is one I use frequently. You did a stellar job of paralleling how similar they really are. And I found myself smiling and nodding agreement through your entire story. Very well done.

    Oh, and as the wife of an avid biker, I agree those leathers are difficult to resist. :)

    • careertrend says:

      Thanks Dawn!

      So glad you smiled reading this! And that you ‘got it!’

      Is fun to share a story, even if a bit personal, when I know that it provides value to others.

      … and yes, YES to the motorcycle leathers :)

      Jacqui

  2. Robert says:

    That was fun, Jac. Great job. Love Rob

  3. I’ve heard people compare interviewing for a job to dating many times. But I’ve never read such a great comparision with strong connections within several different aspects to the process. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Jacqui!

    • careertrend says:

      Jeff,
      As always, I appreciate when you stop in and share a comment. Is sure good to know the comparisons/connections resonated with you and your perceptive nature.

      Much obliged!
      Jacqui

  4. carol silvis says:

    You have a unique take on this analogy. Very interesting.

  5. How perfectly this fits. I can’t say the same for how Jake & I “interviewed” each other – he was 25 & I was 27 and both clueless- I won’t go any further here other than to say that sometimes stumbling into things can work, too. But what this show is that in the end, the process of matchmaking is always there even when we don’t know it.

    • careertrend says:

      Rosalind,
      I understand ‘stumbling into’ things (relationships, other partnerships, too, such as employment relationships!) — and how they sometimes ‘can’ work :)

      In mine and Rob’s cases, stumbling into first marriages led to broken marriages, so when he and I dated, a very measured, yet fun and creative approach to dating interviewing was in order. And, knock on wood, the interview process netted longstanding and positive results for us!

      As such, your spot on remark about how, in the end, the process of matchmaking is ‘always there’ resonates … both in dating and job search!

      Thanks for stopping by, Rosalind!

      Jacqui

  6. Jacqui,

    Great post and right on target! As in interviews, you (the candidate) should be interviewing the employer as well. You have to, in order to decide if, indeed, this position and company are the right match for you. Exactly the same as in dating. Nicely done, Jacqui and thanks for sharing! :)

    • careertrend says:

      Hi Lisa!
      So glad you stopped by and enjoyed the post!

      You focus on a VERY good point re: interviewing being a two-way street. Not only will the job seeker be more equipped to make a decision about the job and company if s/he asks meaningful questions, but recruiters, hiring managers, etc. will be impressed by the job seeker’s inquisitiveness and interest.

      Jacqui

  7. sayan1985 says:

    Such comparison should happen more often, will help people a great deal.

  8. Marianna says:

    Jacqui,
    I think the thing that was also attractive to you was something that was not outwardly demonstrated, but that you sensed.

    Rob was and is genuine. Your “radar” picked up on that.

    Deep in our hearts we know “genuine” when we see/hear/feel it. That sense of caring is conveyed through our words, actions and how we make the other person feel.

    Dating – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Everyone can relate and more importantly, remember, and then, apply your wisdom coupled with their experience in their job search strategies.

    Bravo!

  9. careertrend says:

    Marianna,
    Thank you for your astute comment — and you’re right, Rob’s genuineness prevailed throughout our courtship (and beyond into our marriage). I think it would be fair to say it is the heartbeat of our relationship.

    Words + actions = conveying our true feelings about one another (very nicely put!).

    Thank you for commenting, Marianna, and for your understanding of how the complexities of and learnings from dating may be applied to job search strategies.

    Jacqui

  10. Jacqui,

    And meeting the boss is like meeting the parents…beautiful post!

  11. careertrend says:

    LOL – good point, Barbara! I met Rob’s mama just a couple of days before our wedding! What could have been a stressful ‘interview’ was made fun by her down-to-earth nature and positivity. It easily could have been a much more challenging ‘meeting.'(Admittedly, though, I was still a bit nervous and out of my normal comfort zone:)

    So happy you enjoyed the post!

    Jacqui

  12. Karen Swim says:

    Jacqui, congratulations on finding the perfect fit! I love the dating / job search analogy and I also use it but your real life story illustrates it much more beautifully. The bottom line is that it is all relationship building. You have to put yourself out there and be willing to “meet” new people and have a willingness to meet but not commit until you find the right fit. Great, great story with such a delightful ending!

    • careertrend says:

      Karen,
      I’m so glad you liked the story!

      You bring up another good point (and one that may require a new blog posting) re: ‘putting yourself out there and being willing to meet new people, etc.’

      During my dating years, I felt dating was like a part-time job hunt. Some days, it was an adventure, filled with opportunities to meet new people and uncover new delightful findings; other days, it was filled with rejection, disappointment and fatigue. The bottom line, I knew, deep down, that if I kept building new relationships and persisting in my forward-movement the interview process would cease and a right-fit match would result.

      In dating, and job search, I encourage ALL who are in the throes of the match-making game to NEVER, never, ever give up! It only takes ONE great partner or job offer to make the entire ‘hunt’ worthwhile :)

      Jacqui

  13. […] Match(.com) Your Way to a New Job […]

  14. Karen Swim says:

    Jacqui, I would love to read that follow-up post! Looking forward to more of your great advice and insight in 2010!

  15. glhoffman says:

    I love the dating metaphor. Great post, Jacqui.

  16. Meg Montford says:

    Jacqui, having seen you and Rob togeter, I can say that you are a true “Match.com.” Your prose and analogy here is right on. Like others, I, too, have compared dating to job search/interviewing in my writings. It’s amazing how similar the two processes are.

    However, I’m still trying to decipher how initially meeting my future husband in my bathroon speaks to the job search process. (he-he) Of course, his being an independent contractor speaks to how an entrepreneur must always be ready for the unexpected.

  17. careertrend says:

    Meg,
    How fun that you stopped by and commented; particularly since you actually witnessed Rob’s and my wedding nuptials!

    And, I love your comment about how you and Gary met! Great point about how an entrepreneur should always be ‘ready for the unexpected!’ — true to the spirit of how you think and operate with your longstanding career coaching business venture, Abilities Enhanced (www.abilitiesenhanced.com)!

  18. […] for those willing to put themselves out there. As Karen Swim eloquently commented on my original Match.com post, “The bottom line is that it is all relationship building. You have to put yourself out there and […]

  19. […] for those willing to put themselves out there. As Karen Swim eloquently commented on my original Match.com post, “The bottom line is that it is all relationship building. You have to put yourself out there […]

Leave a Reply

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree