Job hunting shares many similarities to dating. Your goal is to find a good match and to impress the other party. Dom Bokich, career expert and author of Your Dream Job: Use Dating Secrets to Get Hired and Build a Career You Love offers valuable advice on finding a job using dating skills.
1. How can applicants appear irresistible to their dream employers?
Just like in dating, having a solid online profile will make an applicant more attractive and LinkedIn is the place to be seen. Once a job-seeker has an interview, doing research on the organization and the interviewers will make them seem very interested in the company. Also, having several stories of work and school successes will make an applicant shine. Coming up with these “go-to” stories ahead of time helps introverted people (like me) feel more confident in what they will say during the interview. At the interview, handing out extra copies of your resume is like a nice accessory. It takes the attention of the interviewee, which can relax them as opposed to everyone staring at them when the interview begins.
2. With all the competition for attention online, how can job-seekers get noticed by employers and recruiters on social media?
In dating and the job search, having a good profile picture is key. The difference in the job search is that your LinkedIn pic should be professional and not of you holding a puppy. Next, asking a professor or work supervisor to write a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile builds trust and credibility with future employers. Once a job seeker has a solid LinkedIn profile, they can feel comfortable reaching out to employees at their favorite employer through LinkedIn, corporate Facebook pages, and through Twitter. I know someone who got a very solid job offer just by tweeting and impressing the VP at a huge PR company. Social media is fantastic for connecting with employers and for doing research about organizations.
3. What’s your advice for new grads trying to find a full-time job?
The job search can be summarized in one word: networking. Between 30%-50% of all jobs are found through referrals (depending on the source). That amounts to millions of jobs never appearing online. Talk to all of your contacts, professors, and alumni. Tell them what you are looking for and ask to speak to their contacts. Also, once you put all of your school and work experience into LinkedIn, you will be alerted to People You May Know and Jobs You May Be Interested In. LinkedIn makes it easier to find job opportunities.
4. What are some secrets of hiring managers that job-seekers should know?
Hiring managers hate it when you don’t research their organization. Just 5 minutes of reading on a company’s mission, values, and history can make an applicant seem like a rockstar. Also, hiring managers hope you are “the one.” This should allow a job-seeker to relax and be themselves.
5. Applicants (especially new grads) often make embarrassing mistakes during the job search. What are some big mistakes job-seekers should avoid?
Leave the club gear and Coachella clothes at home. Yes, you may have awesome style, but come to the interview dressed professional. Don’t be a stalker and approach a hiring manager at the gym, grocery store, or in the parking lot. A male applicant once approached me at the health club wearing a bathing suit after they swam laps in the pool. Not cool. I’d also recommend not being too casual. Signing your cover letter “Keep it real playa” probably won’t get you the job.
6. Do you have any inspiring success stories to encourage job-seekers?
I know several people who dressed up and hand delivered a resume, cover letter, and letters of recommendation to their dream employer. Most of them received interviews and several were hired. Being nice to the receptionist helped all of them!
I know a person who volunteered at a food bank and was able to network with an executive. He later received an incredible job offer from the executive’s organization. I actually know several people who have volunteered at their dream employer and who went on to get job offers.
There was a new grad applicant who brought in one of their impressive school research projects. The HR director extended a job offer because she could predict that the applicant would do that type of good work at her organization.
For more advice, check out Mr. Bokich’s new book, Your Dream Job: Use Dating Secrets to Get Hired and Build a Career You Love.