Career Cupid: Find Your Bae

By Meagan Solomon

Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and whether you like it, love it or hate it, it tends to give you a certain renewed awareness of your current relationship status.

A recent trip to the beach with friends led to an interesting (and detailed) break down of the current dating scene, in all of its cringey glory. The beach, with all of its relaxing, sandy goodness, also happened to be the ideal spot to get that “perfect profile pic” for their dating apps of choice. So I sat for the greater part of an hour, listening to the trials and tribulations of dating as the impromptu photoshoot took place.

“There are so many people on these apps, but so few match what I’m looking for!”

“I take the time to message someone and then I don’t even get a ‘Hello’ back.”

“The person looked NOTHING like their profile pic.”

“My profile says I’m looking for something serious, so why am I only being contacted by people who want something casual?”

Sitting through their cropping and filtering of each photo, and listening to each dating moan, I couldn’t help drawing parallels to another recent conversation I had with friends about how hard the job hunt is.

“There are so many jobs being advertised, but the job I want is never there!”

“I ticked all of the right boxes in the job description, spent hours writing my cover letter and resume, but never heard anything from the company!”

The two conversations really stuck with me and got me thinking: while I’m no expert in the land of love, I do know a thing or two about job hunting.  So if I could offer my advice on how to master the art of job hunting, perhaps it could translate to the realm of dating? So if you’re unlucky in either area, have no fear as your Career Cupid is here! Here are some of my top tips to landing your next role.

“So many people, so few matches of what I’m looking for” / “The job I want isn’t being advertised.”

Finding the right role, like finding the right partner, takes time and energy.  Having patience to sift through job ads and read the role requirements is a process.  Similar to dating, you’ve got to test the waters of different personalities to find the perfect match.

If you’re not finding what you’re looking for, have a read through of other roles advertised that are similar to the one you’re seeking.  You may be surprised by what’s actually included in the description, as it could be similar to your ideal role.  It may not be the exact title you’re after, but it’s what you’re doing that matters.  You want to look for a role that plays to your strengths, but will also provide you with new challenges and opportunities for growth.  Taking a chance and going for something that you’re unfamiliar with, but have the skillset for is an excellent way to test the waters of a different career path, and potentially uncover some hidden talents up your sleeve.

“I take the time to message someone and then I don’t even get a ‘Hello’ back.” / “I ticked all of the right boxes in the job description, spent hours writing my cover letter and resume and didn’t hear anything!”

Ahhhh… the cursed cover letter.  Pouring blood, sweat and tears into something you think is quite possibly the best piece of written word out there, only to hit Submit and hear nothing.  This is an all too common occurrence.  The job market is competitive – and rightfully so – so only the standout applicants get the call back.  If you’re constantly getting the automated ‘Thank you for applying’ without anything further, it’s time you took a hard look at your application.

Think about this way.  If your online dating profile is generating ZERO hits, I mean nada, none, zilch, what’s the first thing you’re going to do?  You’re going to strip that baby down, give it some love and revamp and filter it to within an inch of its life so that you come out swinging with a huge metaphorical ‘I’m dateable’ sign across your forehead.

Well, NEWSFLASH.  Your CV needs the same amount of love and care.  Start going through your cover letter and resume and look at where you can use the same jargon that the job description is using.  Tailor your resume to be the ideal candidate they are looking for.  Now be careful here – similar to online dating, nobody likes a liar.  Don’t falsify anything or exaggerate your work experience.  Find creative ways to sell your work experience to suit what they are seeking.

On the same thread, be creative in how you sell yourself to any potential new boss. Long gone are the days of the plain old cover letter and Word template resume.  The job market is constantly evolving and so are the platforms that we use to apply for jobs. Research the company, get a feel for their tone of voice and attitude via their website.  If they’ve got an edgier, hipster/start up approach to their work, well get creative and show them how you’re a perfect fit through the presentation of your resume.  Taking chances never hurts.

LinkedIn is the Tinder of the job market

Taking the time to zhoosh up your resume is all well and good but remember, we’re in the age of ‘The Brand’.  What does your brand look like?  Does your cover letter and resume match your online persona?  Don’t make the mistake of giving your CV some love and neglecting your LinkedIn profile.

Take down that old cropped headshot photo of you at the beach and get a professional photo taken.  It’s easy to do, will cost you nothing and you don’t have to filter it as much as your Tinder profile.  The Careers Drop-in Service located on Level 4 of Building 1 has a LinkedIn Profile Photobooth ready and waiting for you to come down and flash your pearly whites.

But it doesn’t stop at the photo.  Update all of your details to mirror those on your resume.  You can include as little or as much as you’d like allowing recruiters to search and find you online.  The best part is that this a two-way street.  While recruiters can look for you, you can actively search and contact recruiters too.  If you want recruiters to be “swiping right” and replying to your messages, get your LinkedIn profile up to scratch.

 

So whether you plan to use these tips for your next job application or to find your next date, the most important thing to remember in all of this is that when you fall, get up and try again.  Yes, it can be a slog.  Yes, it can be difficult.  Yes, it can shake your confidence.  But there is nothing wrong in any of this as it only builds character, strength and gives you some great material to work with when you finally land that interview, and they ask you to “Tell us about a problem you had and how you solved it”.  It’s competitive out there but hard work pays off.  Plus, what employer doesn’t look for a candidate with a bit of resilience?


Meagan is a Sydney-based Events Manager, currently working at UTS Careers. With over 13 years experience in corporate and private events at an international level, she brings a broad depth of knowledge to the Engagement Team.

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Featured image courtesy of Pexels

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