Dating and finding a job share many similarities. When you think about all the time and effort you invest in finding the right partner, wouldn't it make sense that finding the right job is just as time consuming?
At the heart of every hiring decision is the feeling that you're someone the hiring manager would like to work with. Employ these dating rules to your job search and see how you can woo your next employer.
1. Know what you're looking for in a partner. What are the qualities and characteristics of the right manager for you? What are the skills and talents you enjoy using most? What corporate culture do you want? Remember, it isn't always about the money.
2. Make dating a priority. Dating means networking. Your chances of meeting Mr. or Ms. Right if you don't leave your house are slim—he or she won't come knocking on your door. Similarly, you never know where you'll meet that special someone who can introduce you to a potential job opportunity. Get out there and meet a lot of people to find the right fit.
3. Don't jump the gun. Talking about a job too early in the networking process, or discussing salary and benefits in the first conversation is like talking about what you want to name your children on the first date. Learn about the other person and the company before you jump into these areas.
4. Don't bad mouth your ex. Talking about failed relationships while dating isn't a best practice. No one likes to hear about your dirty laundry, no matter how poorly you may have been treated. Likewise, do not trash your past employer or manager, ever.
5. Drama queens/kings seldom rule. During networking and interviews, leave the drama and emotions out of the conversation. Likewise, disclosing too much personal information too early can be a turn off. Be very aware of the stories you tell and what impression you're leaving.
6. Mind your manners. Good manners include thank you messages and treating others politely. And please turn your cell phone off before the meeting/interview. Also pick up an etiquette handbook to avoid future gaffes.
7. Persistent vs. pest. There is a fine line between being persistent versus being a pest. Peppering people with emails or phone calls demanding updates or requests is usually a turn off. Show interest but don't cross the line of being annoying or desperate.
8. Talk less, listen more. Give the other person the floor and let them talk about themselves. Most people like to talk about themselves and in doing so, end up liking you. Know when to keep your mouth shut and listen.
9. Have a positive personality. Smiling goes a long way to show you're approachable. Talk about the good things in the world and remember to be nice to others.
10. Look beyond the surface. As the saying goes, beauty is only skin deep. The same is true for a potential job opportunity and manager. Gently probe to learn more about what the job really entails and how your potential manager leads.
11. Don't be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve. If you're truly interested in an opportunity, let everyone know, including the interviewers. If they don't know you like the opportunity, they may move on to someone who they do know is interested.
12. Pay attention to your instincts. Don't ignore your intuition. Sure you need a job, but you want the right one. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
13. Hold out. Don't accept an offer on the spot. This is a major decision and you should take some time to think about it before committing.
It is amazing how many similarities there are between finding a job and dating. What you may know from experience is that they both take time and effort to produce the results you want.
Hannah Morgan is a speaker and author providing no-nonsense career advice; she guides job seekers and helps them navigate today's treacherous job search terrain. Hannah shares information about the latest trends, such as reputation management, social networking strategies, and other effective search techniques on her blog, Career Sherpa.