For millions of Americans, job search and dating have morphed into the same process of posting profiles and photos, snazzy taglines, trolling websites and engaging with strangers. This is more than slightly scary when you think that finding a job or partner are two of the most mission critical activities we pursue as adults.
Looking for love or employment? Finding a job or partner after being downsized or getting divorced is a lot of work.
Trigger Event – You are blindsided and find yourself being escorted out by security carrying a box with a cactus.
Denial – You start drinking during the day. Your friends call it self-medicating, but you refer to it as “your liquid breakfast.”
Depression – You wear nothing but sweatpants for 3 months and people are embarrassed to be seen with you at Del Taco.
Intervention – Friends and family ambush you in your basement because you haven’t worn clothing with a zipper since the summer and you’ve grown lambchop sideburns. And you’re a woman.
Reinvention – You decide to rejoin society and take your sister up on her offer to write your profile text. Because who’s better to come up with white lies than family?
Photoshopping – Your 6 year old nephew photoshops away your chins and you are ready to go.
When you first “get back in the game, ” you apply to jobs online one level above your prior role, or wink at people 10 years younger than you on bumble. All the time saying, “They would be lucky to have me!”
Then after a few months, you become more realistic. You are happy to meet someone who is your age but hasn’t spent time in prison. After a few bad meetings you start doing your research. Most people spend more time researching a new car purchase than their career or potential partner.
Interviewing is like dating. We are all on our best behavior, and it’s all downhill from there. There should be a CarFax for dating and job hunting.
How To Avoid Crazy People When Finding a Job or Dating Online
Seasoned veterans of online dating and finding a job online use this proven assessment process to smoke out crazies:
Phone Screen – You quickly learn that you must do an obligatory phone screen to make sure your potential date or Hiring Manager isn’t insane.
Google Search and Background Verification – Run an online search to make sure that they are legit before you are ever willing to meet them in public. And because you don’t put pants on for just anybody.
The Coffee Date – Nothing is more revealing than an introductory meeting during the day at Starbucks. It’s impossible to hide our sins in the caffeinated glare of a mid-day meet and greet.
The Big Meeting – After you have made it through the google search, phone screen, video interview and coffee date, you are ready to meet live and in person.
My top tips for successfully finding a job or partner online:
Don’t pose with your dog in your profile photo. This goes double if you’re one of those people who put holiday-themed costumes on your pet…or on yourself.
Remember that dates and interviews are auditions for your future. Not therapy sessions.
Don’t talk about your ex. Ever.
Refrain from sending ranty texts or emails to dates or Recruiters. You will get blocked and it’s the quickest way to get on the crazy list.
Try to get your job search and dating advice from successful people with good jobs and marriages. Not from your cousin with a restraining order wearing an ankle bracelet.
Lock down your Facebook. Your personal life must be invisible online. Employers don’t want to know what you are doing for fun especially if it involves you wearing a thong.
Don’t talk about your “really bad divorce.” No one cares.
If you are spelling and grammar challenged, don’t slap together your profile alone. Good oral hygiene AND correct grammar are the cornerstone of every healthy relationship.
Make sure your tagline is upbeat and positive. Do not put “Unemployed” or “Caregiver for spouse who died” as your most recent job or tagline.
Don’t ramble. It’s a phone screen or date, not an interview with Anderson Cooper. Rambling kills your chances of advancing in love and in your career.
Be camera ready. Get used to video interviewing. People want to see you to verify that you aren’t a troll living in your mom’s basement at 48.
Don’t do anything crazy while looking for a job or a partner. Like get plastic surgery or be a defendant on Judge Judy.
And remember this. Whether it’s interviewing or dating, there’s always a checklist.
To ensure that you are ready for the challenge of finding a job online, go to thecareerlauncher.com for more top tips on how to get a job from The Career Launcher. For the dating part, you are on your own.