It recently occurred to me that finding the right job, in some ways, is very much like dating.
The whole point of dating (well, for most anyway) is to find the person that is just right for you – the one worthy to commit the rest of your life to in soppy eternal Hollywood bliss.
Job hunting, for the most part, has the same aims. If we’re honest, deep down most of us don’t really want to get just any job that pays; no, what we really want is to be fulfilled in our work lives just as in our relationships.
Admittedly, making this happen isn’t always easy; in fact, the right job it can seem an impossible dream when you’ve been job hunting for a while with no success. Just like dating (disclaimer: I’m no expert in this arena), at this stage of the process it can be tempting to just discard your dream and settle for anything you can get.
If that’s where you are right now, don’t give up hope! You may still be able to have a fairytale ending to your work life saga by applying these 10 dating dos and don’ts in your job hunting:
1. DO be yourself
Regardless of how badly you want to land a job, it’s important to be honest in your CV, cover letter, application form and at the interview because, if not for anything else, being yourself is the only way you can find work you’re truly suited for. Trust is the foundation of all good relationships therefore don’t mislead your potential employer (or suitor) by inventing a personality you don’t have or experience you don’t possess.
2. DO make an effort
When it comes to creating your CV, filling out an application form, or going for that interview, do make the effort to look and sound as good as you possibly can so you can stand out in today’s crowded job market. Job hunting is hard work and unless you’re prepared to put in the effort, you won’t be able to reap the rewarding fruit of a fulfilled work life.
3. DO make yourself available
If you are actively looking for a job, make this clear on your CV and on your social media profiles. It’s good to include things you’ve been doing whilst job hunting, but don’t pack in so much activities that it appears that you’re too busy for work! This is especially relevant if you’re freelancing or running a part time business on the side while looking for full time work. The employer needs to know, without question, that you’re ready and available should they wish to hire you today.
4. DON’T be too open
Being open and available is good….but don’t be too open. Keep your CV concise and only include information that is directly relevant to your application or in support of your career aspirations.
5. DON’T go on and on about yourself
Job hunting is a two way process – it’s about you finding the right job, but it’s also about the employer finding the right person to meet their organisational needs. Bear this in mind when putting together your CV, application form or cover letter, and tailor your document with the employer in mind.
6. DON’T “bad mouth” your ex
No matter how bad your last job or employer was, it’s never a good idea to say negative things about your past work to your potential employer in your application, and definitely not face-to-face in an interview. Doing so raises questions about the other side of the story (for example, what did you do to contribute to this so-called bad behaviour from your boss or work environment?), but perhaps more importantly, it makes the employer think that someday you will be bad mouthing them too to another employer, and of course nobody wants to employ a slanderer!
7. DON’T waste time kissing frogs
Applying for jobs randomly with the hope of somehow finding the right fit is a pointless “frog-kissing” exercise and a waste of your valuable time. The more specific you are in your criteria and the more targeted you are in your job search, the better your chances of landing your perfect role.
8. DON’T take rejection personally
Even though we all experience rejection at some point in life, it can be hard to deal with when it happens – especially when you’ve really had your heart set on a dream job that doesn’t materialise. In these circumstances, it’s important to remember that being rejected for a job is not the same as being rejected as a person so don’t take it personally.
9. DON’T give up on Mr/Mrs Right
Regardless of how hard the journey gets, do your best to stay positive along the way because, as clichéd as it may sound, our attitude in the situations we face plays a huge part in how things turn out……Besides, in these soppy Hollywood rom-coms, the hero is usually delayed fighting off some “baddie” somewhere but no matter how long the delay, they eventually show up to save the day! So don’t give up on Mr/Mrs right – your dream job is right around the corner.
10. DO make sure you’re able to commit
Finally, when you do find your dream job, it’s important that you go ahead and commit to being and giving your best for the duration of your career (no matter how long or short this may be). No, it’s not a prison sentence, but the right role is a great opportunity for you to contribute to society in a meaningful way and to also receive the added benefit of a sense of purpose, personal achievement, and of course, the happily ever after of fairytales.
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- 10 key job hunting lessons I’ve learnt from going back to work (mildredtalabi.com)
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