Regardless of age, profession or location, getting a job or internship is a stressful process. There are so many articles and resources out there, like “The 10 Reasons I Ignored Your Resume” and “How to Write a Kick-Ass Cover Letter” that aim to help boost chances of employment. For some, these resources can add to the anxiety of possible unemployment. I am no stranger to this anxiety – as someone transitioning from my senior year in college to employment in the “real world.” However, the job process was truly put into perspective after I received the following advice:
Treat getting a job like picking up a significant other.
What? Let me explain.
The best and possibly strangest advice I have ever received about trying to find a job came from my friend and mentor who said, “Think of it all like you’re trying to get the attention of a guy, you’re both making them (the agency and the guy) fall in love with you.” While at first, it made no sense to me, I began to see how it was actually true. I’m trying to show both the agency (and the guy) why I’m a good match for them.
When writing a resume or cover letter, I should show what makes me a good fit for the agency by highlighting the goals and traits we have in common. The same thing occurs when when trying to pick up a guy or girl. You talk about the things that you have in common and show him or her why you’re a good fit together. It’s all about showing the your best qualities and why it would benefit a relationship. As my mentor put it, “You want to walk away from both encounters with the other person saying, ‘I love that girl!’”
It Should Be a Mutual Relationship
You wouldn’t (or rather, shouldn’t) go after a guy that has a horrible personality or someone that didn’t have similar values to you, so why would you apply for a job at an agency with a less-than-ideal culture and values that don’t make sense to you? You should want the job just as much as they want you to work there and if that’s not the case, it’s probably not meant to be.
What I’ve learned through the process of figuring out post-grad life and employment is to look at the overall picture and think quality, not quantity. It is truly a waste of time to apply to jobs that aren’t your number-one positions, just like it is more rewarding to invest your effort into developing one serious relationship than going on a bunch of terrible first dates.
Job-hunting will never be easy, but with the right approach you can land your dream job (and maybe even your dream date).