Have you ever thought about the similarities between internet dating and your job search?

With the shift towards ever-more transactional internet dating, and the ever-increasing amounts of data being easily available to everyone, two situations are now occurring regularly in both internet dating and job hunting that are working against the would-be candidate or dater.

The first, is to not get passionate enough about any opportunity in particular. By this I mean that there are so many options out there, you try to cover all bases instead of thinking about what you really are looking for and then going after that.

It becomes a volume game where you think the end goal is to go on as many interviews or dates as possible. This approach prevents you from getting fully behind any particular application, often leading to a lack of preparation, or worse you becoming confused about what you have applied for or who you will be meeting!

We somehow seem to have forgotten that the end game is not to have lots of interviews, but to actually get one good job, and often the way to secure your dream job is to get really passionate and go for it.

The second issue is the opposite of the first and that’s having too much passion. You could question whether this is actually possible, but you can have too much passion if it is unfounded. I expect that we all have a friend who, on seeing some photos and reading a profile on an internet dating site, thought they had found the one! This often leads to a poor first date as it becomes easy to get overly excited and to take it too seriously, rather than letting the date play out.

We often see similar behaviour in candidates – having read a few things about executive recruitment they decide that it’s the career for them. These candidates are easy to spot as they often lack clarity on exactly what working in the industry would entail day-to-day – they have just taken a few key facts, created a fantasy and then fallen in love with that. This is not a solid foundation on which to build a career and it’s also unlikely to get the interviewer on your side.

So in summary, when you are job hunting, really think about what is important to you, what sort of job would likely lead to a fruitful long term relationship. Throw yourself into your search with gusto, research thoroughly, value yourself, and hold a little back until the employer has given you real reasons to love them, reserving your final judgement until after you have both met.