Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

Job Seeking vs. Online Dating

2009-04-24 08:21:50

Over on LinkedIn Answers a few days ago, a job seeker was obviously frustrated by the interview process and wanted to know why how you *look* when you go to interview for a position is so vitally important when they are evaluating your *skills*? Why are style and appearance so key to the impression you are trying to make?

I've often mused that today's recruiting practices are very much like online dating. Profile matches (daters = candidate and job). Exchange initial contacts (email, phone screens), meet in person to check out the chemistry, then decide from there.

Here is my response:

Say you are single and using online dating sites to meet people. You have three women that all have interesting profiles, write witty emails that really resonate with you, and your phone conversations with each of them have been stimulating and interesting. You are now moving on to the face to face meeting with each of them, consisting of dinner at a nice (but not overly fancy restaurant) and going to an upscale jazz club.

So, your first date is with Wendy. She shows up, looks just like her very cute picture; she's wearing a nice sweater and pair of slacks. She's a bit shy although the has no problem answering your questions and slowly warms up. You have a nice time.

Second date is with Nancy. She shows up looking like an ad for Nike; cross trainers and a white workout hoodie with yoga pants. Conversation is great, lots of smiles and laughs, good chemistry. You get to the jazz bar and are refused entrance because of the dress code.

Finally you meet Lisa. She walks in looking like a supermodel wearing a smart business suit, high heels, every hair is perfectly in place. Dinner is lively, you're completely wowed by her. She gives you all the right cues that she's interested.

So, who would you want to continue to go out with based on an initial online ad, exchanging email, talking on the phone and a live meeting?

Granted this is a fictional metaphor, but every company is looking for a cultural as well as functional fit. The person that is going to get the job needs to be able to sell themselves as well as their skills. If you don't at least make the effort to impress your potential employer, what does that say about how important this opportunity is to you?

He said my answer actually made a lot of sense :)

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