Filed under Columns

Dating the Job Search

Rachel MarshallJob searching might be worse than dating.

With just about a month left of college, I still can’t say I have a job after I graduate. And I am definitely not the only one. I have fellow peers in the same boat, and we seem to be paddling hard and going nowhere.

A huge chunk of my time the last four months has been consumed with job searching, which has led to some realizations. There are a lot of parallels between job searching and dating. I feel like finding a job might be more challenging than finding Mr. Right and it seems like the main overall problem is communication.

Just like technology rules relationships, it also has a strong grip on the job market. Now, you are encouraged to make online profiles, like LinkedIn. You want to make it just right to attract potential employers, similarly to Match.com or Tinder.

Similar anxieties occur, too. You send in an application and you don’t hear back. You find yourself thinking maybe the application didn’t go through. You ask, “Is my email working okay? Should I try to follow up? Is it too soon? Should I wait for them to contact me?” Does it sound familiar to the usual, “Maybe the text didn’t go through? Should I text her first?”

Impressing companies is a lot harder when all you have to work with is resumes, online profiles and portfolios. Personalities are more challenging to convey. You can’t actually show it until you get that interview, but even getting to that step is hard enough.

Cover letters are tough because everyone else is probably saying the same generic things as you. One internship I applied for had applicants write a cover letter with a twist, which let us show off our creativity. I actually had fun writing it and wish companies did more of that.

The silence is painful. It resembles when a person you might be interested in sort of falls off the map and you stop hearing from them. You don’t know why or what happened. You want to know what you did wrong and maybe why they aren’t feeling you anymore. It’s the same with jobs. Companies should let us know they at least looked over our information and that they aren’t interested. Nobody likes to be left in the dark.

The saying, “Communication is key” exists for a reason. Employers, please don’t lead us on. If you aren’t interested, let us know. It might hurt a little bit, but like relationships, you just move on and let everything work out on its own time.

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