The pandemic is proving to be a pretty difficult time all around for people. Remote work and learning environments, less social interaction, increased overwhelm in monotonous environments, and the complete loss of work/life balance. Not to mention, it’s made the interview process virtually impossible for those of us on the job hunt. (Pun very much intended.) Everything is digital. And everything is different.
Even before COVID-19 hit, most application processes were being handled digitally. While we see the benefits of having a more equal playing field in the accessibility of jobs to the public — where applicants can come from different regions, backgrounds, and levels of expertise — there are some nuances to this technological world that remind us more of online dating than the run-of-the-mill job hunt. Here are 6 ways the online job hunt is like life on dating apps, just in case you were wondering.
1. Carefully curated profile
When you first open an account on a dating app, you have to make sure to optimize your information so that people will be interested at first glance. Where an ill-advised or poor photo quality might deter someone from talking to you, often redemption can be achieved with a witty line, a memorable quote, or saying something memorable in the bio section. Make sure to meticulously craft your application profiles and job site profiles like you do your dating app information, spending time with every aspect.
2. Regular updates
We cannot stress this enough, but you need to maintain your digital presence. At any point, a potential employer could be exploring your public job search profile or reading through some old material you sent in for an application. Make sure to update your headshot on relevant job search engines and sites at least every 3 years. You don’t want to hop onto a Zoom interview and make everyone question if they’ve been catfished. This includes the maintenance and upkeep of all milestones, skills, awards, and pivots.
3. Dial down the group snapshots
Just like too many group photos in a dating profile, talking about group projects or highlighting other peoples’ success in your application material could get really confusing, really fast. Be sure to bring your A-game with your resume, profile, portfolio, and more by bringing your achievements to the forefront, and dazzling them with your passion and commitment, the same way you’re front and center in the dating game.
4. Follow up if you’re interested
HR reps have a lot on their plates, and sometimes those in charge of hiring drop the ball. Having experienced this more times than I can count, I can tell you for certain that in this digital, fast-paced age where there are more resumes to sift through and candidates to consider, it is important to follow up.
If you haven’t heard back to schedule an interview within 3 days of when you provided your schedule information, nudge your contact to find out if there is anything you need to do in terms of next steps, and if you need to send along additional availability. You would send a text or private message through a dating app if you were craving a little bit of your interest’s attention. Treat this the same.
Remind them why they want to hire you by demonstrating your open communication style, adoration for the company or position, and willingness to dive into the work. (With a contract first, of course.) You don’t need to come across as eager to jump into their inbox with excitement for what they have to offer. Following up is following through, and no online dating experience went well without a little follow-through.
5. Seek outside advice
Just like using a dating app, you’ll want to ask your friends for help. Except not all of your friends understand your big ideas and career goals the way they can help you scour the city for Mr. Right. This is where The Ladders comes in with Apply4Me. Unlike “Easy Apply” applications, Apply4Me really does move from tapping a button to receiving a confirmation — it actually is easy. You just set up your application once and then everything is smooth sailing from there. The Apply4Me team reviews all of your application material to make sure there are no outstanding errors and optimizes your information. Now you can feel confident about every application you send out, and you don’t have to make the job hunt a full-time focus.
6. You’ll still probably get ghosted
Even if you follow up and jump through hoops, multiple job interviews, writing tests, and more, it is way easier for a hiring manager to completely ghost you. Yep. Often, after investing hours of my life into interviews with C-Suite members and pitching specific, attainable goals for a company, I never hear from them again. With great technology comes great responsibility. The sooner you realize you aren’t every hiring manager’s priority – the same way you come to realize you aren’t every date’s cup of tea – the sooner you’ll be willing to assert yourself when ideal career opportunities arise.