Your Job Search: A Love Story

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Four years ago this week, on December 8, 2006, after responding to a simple, virtual ‘wink’ from Rob (aka,, a life-changing relationship commenced. Amidst thousands of profiles, Rob selected my dating resume and lightly and proactively reached out to me.

According to DatingSitesReviews, in the past year 17% of people who married met on a dating site. Similarly, many employer and employee relationships also are kindled online, and those numbers are increasing.

Akin to other online, social media and job search venues, facilitates courtship conversations for those willing to put themselves out there. As Karen Swim eloquently commented on my original post, “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.”

And so we did. Similar to job search and interview prep, after our initial, artfully and honestly created resumes (profiles) were shared, we extended the conversation through email.  Our intent was an engaging, thorough, yet enticingly and strategically edited communications exchange that would serve to both fulfill curiosities while also whetting the appetite for more.

To paint a picture for you (and with Rob’s permission), I share one of his early emails with me, as we danced around the possibility of an in-real-life (IRL) meeting.

I share his complete email (versus a snippet), including the little details, to show you both his willingness to engage across both the everyday, simple things as well as the more intimate feelings one experiences when looking for, connecting with and buying into a romantic and possible life partner. This combination is integral in creating a hook that virtually compels an in-person meeting and furthers the courtship.

Similarly, in job search, individuals willing to dive a bit deeper and knit a message that pulls threads of their past and present through the fabric of their target reader’s (hiring manager, recruiter, etc.) cloth, will boost the emotional appeal of the message, and thus opportunities for career courtship success. Ultimately, too, the choice to proceed more deeply into the interview process and perhaps even an employment marriage, increases.

Here goes. Note from MustangRob (e.g., mustangrodevot78) via!

Dec. 8, 2006

I’m off on Thursdays and Sundays so Wednesdays and Saturdays are usually when I go out if I do. Saturdays are usually pretty busy for me at work and I don’t like being tired and off my game if you know what I mean. So Fridays I tend to take it easy or at the very least make it an early nite.

My first name is Rob. My password was just Mustangrob; the site gave me this one. Mustang because that’s what I drive. I’ve owned several old and new, so I’m kinda into them.

Ummm, how would I show my romantic side? I think a first date should just be fun, the romance should be saved until everyone agrees that’s what they want; does that make sense? I mean, I don’t want to bring flowers to you just to find out you’re a flower hater!! ha ha. But walking around the Plaza just holding hands is romance to me. Especially if the hand you’re holding enjoys being there. Getting close under a street lamp for that first kiss after a great nite of dinner, laughter and some good music who wouldn’t like that? Ok your turn I really want to know what makes you happy and your own idea of romance.

As well, I’ll share two interview-cinching emails that swiftly led to my initial in-real-life meet-up with Rob and a meeting follow-up note that fortified my feelings. Consider this: are your career communication messages creative, yet real, pragmatic, yet appealing?

In this email, Rob responds to my questions: What makes you happiest … and what are you most passionate about?

Dec. 9, 2006

It’s really quite simple for me. I want to be missed when I’m not around. I don’t want to crowd the person I’m with and like you I want to look across the room and know she will be looking back at me mouthing something sweet because she really means it and can hardly wait to get me to herself again. I am passionate about my cars and my work. And I am passionate about my  relationships, pals or my lover or my family, and I call a lot of people family that I am not kin to by blood. This has been great, but I really must bid you goodnight sweet dreams and lets really consider a get together, k?

And this email blended a bit of humility, a dash of music and a dollop of flattery. It also was a follow-up to our first phone conversation.

Dec. 9, 2006

Very nice. We will surely get along where the music is concerned. I’m also a closet ABBA lover shhh our little secret, ok? By the way I looked at your pics again. NICE!! Well I’m headed to bed so, can I look forward to a response to the pics I send tomorrow sometime in the next few days? Even if you don’t like them will you let me know you got them? I’d appreciate it. Thanx for talking tonite. I really enjoyed it. Stay happy and don’t ever stop smiling, you do a great job of it –Rob

Finally, this one-liner lightly and magically pushed my post-first-date buttons. I suspected our relationship would sustain.

Dec. 15, 2006

Hey sweety, I’m headed to bed and so have a great night and I’ll talk to you later. So how are we doing on this “clicking thing?”

Simply put – both dating and job search are about ‘putting yourself out there’ and being enticing! Words, their context, their nuance, their romance, their lilt and their pragmatism all combine to raise an eyebrow and make a heart skip a beat and compel a reader to take action, to pick up the phone and call or even to accept a call from the inviting party. The ultimate goal, therefore, is finding the right-fit partner for longer-term engagement!
We appreciate this story being cross posted on The Matrix Wall.

24 Responses to “Your Job Search: A Love Story”

  1. Karen Swim says:

    I can’t remember the last time I grinned from ear to ear from the first sentence to the last of a blog post but today I did. Reading this not only gave me warm feelings but brings sharply into focus that at the center of it all we are people dealing with people. It’s so easy to get focused on ideals and goals and miss that every encounter – whether pitching for a job, date, new client, story, or car – is an opportunity to connect with another human being. This is beautiful illustration of what happens when we open up and let others in, thank you so much for sharing it!

    • Master Resume Writer says:

      Hi Karen,
      What a lovely comment!

      You continue to extend the conversation and the message; thank you!

      In particular, this resonates: “It’s so easy to get focused on ideals and goals and miss that every encounter – whether pitching for a job, date, new client, story, or car – is an opportunity to connect with another human being.” <-- LOVE that (EVERY encounter, for sure); and true that it is easy (and natural) for us to get focused in on ideals and goals and "miss" these opportunities. Sometimes we must move outside our comfort zone and as you say, "open up and let others in!" Many thanks for your value-add words, and for being part of this journey with me (and Rob). Jacqui

  2. Dawn Bugni says:

    Jacqui (and Rob) –

    I LOVE your love story.

    What a great post and marvelous real-life parallel to the entire hiring process. The “job search is like dating” analogy is one I use frequently to get clients to understand the subjective nature of the process and how important it is to entice dialogue and interest and not dump every shred of detail out on the first meeting. Enough information to pique interest is enough at any point in the process.

    I can see how Rob wooed you with his sweet, sincere wonderfulness. I’m a bit more enamored of him myself right now. 🙂

    • Master Resume Writer says:

      Hi Dawn,
      Always enjoy when you visit!

      So true regarding the “subjective nature of the job search process!” … and yes, well put regarding not dumping every shred of detail out initially (sometimes nerves compel over-talking, but with practice and forethought, I think restraint can be demonstrated ; )

      Woo-ing is right – Rob was quite effective (obviously) in enticing me with his words (and sincerity!).

      Appreciate your affirming and invigorating remarks!


  3. Karen Bice says:

    Hi Jacqui,

    Very interesting post! I happened to catch it when I went to my jobsearch daily. It’s amazing that relationships started from meeting on the internet are now just part of the norm. I can see where the job search can be looked at in the same way as it is a dance too. You just have to know the steps. Thanks for sharing how you and your husband met!

    • Hi Karen,
      “Knowing the dance” = good point! It seems learning the steps and then combining them for a smooth dance “flow” is a process (at least for me!).

      Many thanks for stopping by here, Karen. You’re welcome any time!


  4. Hi Jacqui – I’ve met you in person and liked you before that… and met Rob via his great posts here and feel I would like him in person too… Hearing this story just makes me smile. I slipped back to the older post and skimmed it, but I love your honesty in sharing something so personal and it really does fit the job search. I wish you and Rob every blessing forever!

    • Morning Julie,
      Glad to make you smile! We were a bit nervous to ‘put ourselves out there’ at first, but fitting it to the job search did feel like a natural outcome.

      Your warm blessings are most appreciated!


  5. Rosa Vargas says:

    Hi Jacqui,

    I gave myself a few hours today before commenting because I just had no words when I first read the post. I still don’t. But, I will say that I teared up when I read your post, liked you even more than I already did, and almost “fell” for Rob (but chose not to since you are such a good friend, you know. Oh. Yes. And I have a hubby too. LOL!)

    So true; it is all about the connections. Online is a medium. People/Job seekers should never discount it as “just” a tool. What matters is the person behind it and the value they convey through it. Your value is always evident to us (career pros), job seekers, and your hubby, obviously.

    Beautiful and eloquently written post!

    • Greetings Rosa,
      What a sweet comment. I must admit revisiting these dating emails evoked sentimental memories for both Rob and me.

      You’re making “me” smile now with your almost “fell” for Rob comment – LOL; Rob will be more incorrigible than ever now!

      I SO agree re: online as a medium and never “just” a tool! The people and their value = key. Right on!

      Thanks so much!


  6. This is a wonderful analogy, Jacqui! The similarities to something familiar help job seekers to better understand how to approach the job hunt.

    On a personal note, reading about the beginnings of your relationship with Rob is so sweet 🙂 I love hearing about how people got together!

    • Hi Melissa,
      Super to see your smiling face here!

      Good point about tying similarities to what’s “familiar” to assist job seekers in approaching the job hunt. I know connections like that often help ME to move past uncomfortable unfamiliarity.

      Thanks for your comment re: the personal aspect of this post, as well.


  7. DorleeM says:

    Hi Jacqui,

    What a beautiful post… I love how open and authentic both you and Rob are.

    Your beginning was very moving and made me wish that someone out there would make a movie based on your story!

    In general, you leave me a bit in awe of your writing talent – you describe and tie in personal events from your life with pearls of career wisdom in such an eloquent manner.

    I can only imagine what a resume would look like in your hands!

    • Master Resume Writer says:

      So nice to receive your note, Dorlee! … and your kind words. A movie! Wow! You’ve left me speechless (and usually, my fingertips are not at a loss for words ; )

      Many thanks for the ‘pearls of career wisdom’ comment and the remark regarding resumes. I truly have a passion for writing career stories, especially when I hear later that the client has soared to a new level of career satisfaction with a little boost from me.

      Moreover, I continually am excited to witness your social work career movement and learnings. Your passion for and commitment to the patients you serve truly emanates from your blog:

      Many continued years of career success, Dorlee!


  8. DorleeM says:

    Thank you so much, Jacqui, for your very kind words and sentiments!

    Now, you have left me rather speechless 🙂

    With much appreciation and warmth,

  9. […] for the safe delivery of ship and crew. This experience would serve him well aboard the Spray. Relationships he had built along the way also became important to his quest. For without them, the story may […]

  10. Dawn Lennon says:

    All I can say is ahhhhh! If anyone doubts the power of words to change our lives, they need to read your lovely post. My favorite thought is your line: “Words, their context, their nuance, their romance, their lilt and their pragmatism all combine to raise an eyebrow and make a heart skip a beat and compel a reader to take action, to pick up the phone and call or even to accept a call from the inviting party.”

    You’re so right…it’s words used well that make all the difference in any relationship, negotiation, job interview, or connection. Thanks for sharing such a special time and for giving it breadth. ~Dawn

  11. Master Resume Writer says:

    The ‘power of words.’ Thank you for that, Dawn!

    Your words always are a gift to me – a gift with depth and breadth!


  12. Ayleen Nazario says:

    Ahh, how refreshing to realize mixing a bit of personal with professional can go a long way. As a young 2nd year college student aspiring to be in a professional setting sooner rather than later, it can be a little intimidating to put yourself out there with minimal experience. Especially in the industry of high-end sales and fashion. But through this post I learned that being completely professional, seemingly robotic, is not the way we ATTRACT and SUSTAIN relationships with others. Adding openness, honesty and natural human interaction, who could resist someone with great work ethic as well!

    Thanks for sharing this intimate story!

  13. Master Resume Writer says:

    So nice of you to share your perspective as a college student. It sounds like you are doing your good ‘due diligence’ in preparing for the next step of your career.

    And, thank you for your kind remarks and take-aways. I agree that we can reveal as much through open, natural human interaction as with the professional demeanor – they go hand in hand!

    All the best to you as you pursue your path in high-end sales and fashion!


  14. What a fresh & creative post with such a personal theme, Jacqui! LOVE how you so cleverly related your wonderful love story to how job seekers are involved in a sort of romance/love story themselves.

    You’re always so inspiring (and in completely unexpected, fresh ways!) and have blessed me so deeply in the past few weeks as we’ve gotten to know one another even better! Hey! New friendships are a type of love story too! xo

    • Samantha,
      I felt added joy reading your enthusiastic words. Thank you for that ‘gift!’

      It was such fun revisiting this period of my relationship with Rob, and I am just so pleased he was willing for me to publish his personal emails for the ‘public’ to see.

      I am glad you found this unexpected and fresh, as that is often such a challenge in writing, don’t you think? I feel the same way when imbibing your incredible blog posts, articles and other written conversations! You are intelligent, uplifting, confident, fun, humble and fresh in how you frame your rich stories!

      Our friendship ‘love story’ is so exciting, and I feel blessed as well in having met you. We will talk again by Skype, I’m sure – and our in-real-life boating adventure, along with our hubbies, next spring will create new memories for a lifetime, I’m sure 🙂


  15. B.R. says:


    Your story is so wonderful. Having ‘given up’ on internet dating oh-so-long-ago, it is a shining reminder that there are some oysters that have pearls. I used to liken the process to shopping at TJMaxx or Marshall’s – that you have to wade through a lot of racks to discover that one spectacular ‘find.’ I love that you hit the jackpot.

    The many times we’ve spoken, corresponded, I always hear your love and admiration for Rob shining through, and seeing this part of the story, I see why you fell so deeply!!

    Maybe I’ll even consider a return to the electronic singles’ cafe…. maybe!!

    Wishing you a wonderful holiday season, and continued ‘good writes,’ as it truly is your gift.

    All the best,

    • Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Master Resume Writer says:

      What a nice ‘gift’ in my blog. Thank you for your favorable and kind commentary!

      I, too, was about to give up on the value of Internet dating when one of my sisters suggested I return to Match (I was using another site at the time), and within a few months, ‘voila,’ I met Rob.

      Your analogy to shopping at T.J.Maxx or Marshalls is spot on! Knowing you as I do, your determination, eye for spotting quality and joie de vivre combine to make this a perfect fit for you, should you decide to return to the ‘electronic singles’ cafe’! You’ve got the smile and smarts – any guy will be more than lucky to have an opportunity to woo you!

      In the meantime, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happiest of New Years to you!


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