Why Online Dating is Like Applying for a Job

In both cases, your resume/profile and initial letter are the only thing standing between a dream life and rejection. Here's how you can be better at both.

By Meaghan Cameron
Why Online Dating is Like Applying for a Job© iStockphoto/Thinkstock

As I recently answered a witty email from an online dating site while ignoring a boilerplate one, I got to thinking about the similarities between searching for someone to date and looking for a job. In both cases, your resume/profile and initial letter are the only thing standing between a dream life and rejection. Here’s how you can be better at both.

1. Your profile is your resume: Be specific

Who are you, really? You have to be careful here to not over or underdo it. Tell me too much about your quirks and I will think you’re weird. Too little and I won’t care enough to contact you. As you should on your resume, leave out looked over buzzwords and get down to the data. Sure you are a genuine guy who values honesty…I’ve heard that one before. What makes you special?

Advice: Make very apparent the three or four things that you are passionate about so you can attract someone who actually has the same interests. Don’t just say you like to workout. Say you run 25 miles a week or do P90X. Don’t say you like music. Say you like a specific band especially if this means a lot to you. Sorry to say, I don’t date country, but many, many women do!

2. But don’t be too specific

TMI, my friend, is just as taboo in the workplace as in the online dating community. If your profile runs on for five mouse scrolls, has typos or is rambling, you’ll lose me. Anything about your ex will turn me off, period. If you got fired from your last job, you wouldn’t put that on your resume.

Advice: If you are going to get specific, focus on something you know well. On your resume, this would be your most recent job. Maybe you increased sales by 45%. If you grill the best steak in the universe, throw it out there but be prepared to back it up. Steak enthusiasts will apply and smell a lie if you’ve never turned on a grill.

3. Your email is your cover letter

Boilerplate emails that go something like: I really liked your profile and would love to get to know you better or I am applying for the job you posted as are immediately deleted, unless you’re Brad Pitt. And even if you are, we’ll think you’re lying. The people I respond to comment on one or two things in my profile and connect it with something that they do.

Advice: Don’t contact people you don’t think you could be friends with. You wouldn’t apply to a job as an executive chef with no experience in a kitchen. A marathon runner will rarely date a couch potato.

4. Don’t wink

On Match.com at least there is an option to wink. This isn’t the ’50s. If you want to drop a quick line, do so, but follow the rules above. Even on Facebook, poking is so over and so impersonal.

Advice: You wouldn’t be too formal with a hiring manager. Manners go a long way. Be polite and respectful.

5. Don’t get discouraged

Yes you are going to get rejected most of the time when job searching or looking for someone you can stand to be around for more than 5 minutes.

Advice: The best piece of advice is to look for something you want, something you are qualified for and to focus your energy on that. Once that letter is out, let fate take over. Then move on. There are plenty of fish in the sea waiting to match their chemistry with you in perfect (e)harmony.

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  • Your Comments

    • yetanother22

      It makes me sick how women are in the exact same position employers are in which is not to have the luxury of choosing among applicants, but that of choosing among so many. Moreover, it’s not only gorgeous women who enjoy this luxury, but the majority of women who do; only the most repulsive won’t have whole lists of applicants to choose from.
      Worse is that women not only write articles and blogs like this one in which they instruct a man how to appeal to them but I see it on dating website profiles as well. Women will even stipulate that a man’s gramer will have to be perfict. Sheesh. Anything else? Sure, you have high standards, but so does anyone who has the luxury of being picky though she didn’t have to work or pay any dues to be in that position- none other than being born.

    • Eobinna45

      i would like to join this because i really love it and i will be glad if am accepted to this request thanks to you all, and it is the serious one’s i want please

    • http://www.lovestruck.com/ Lovestruck

      There are a lot of similarities. To start with there seem to be increasing amounts of competition for every job (and every single). So you need to be smarter of with your applications (your emails) and stand out just like you need to in the job market. Your CV is much akin to an online dating profile and this carries a lot of weight with potential singles, although not as much as the photos, where the analogy breaks down in my opinion. You could argue this is similar to somewhat of a Face to Face interview however.

    • Vitoria-wang

      maybe

    • Mohammed M Sohaib

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    • http://www.facebook.com/valentin.emeagi1 Valentin Emeagi

      hello

    • Robin

      First i can’t hear anything on these videos, and everything is plugged in!!! I also never tried online dating. So i wanted to see what others thought about this, so far i can’t hear yet, maybe i can see how many smiles people have.(ha ha)

    • Mayjune40@gmail.com

      Hello, i have few experiences with on line dating,men are not as innocent as they appear to be,they are cunning and calculative, well the majority of them,most of the girls whom had few on line dating experiences would agree with me,well there are lots actually loads of books out there to educate women,there are few things should be mentioned to men,firstly lying is the biggest put off,if you are not doing good in life,pick yourself up and fix it,be a real men firstly, it’s unlawful to lying just to have sex,it’s emotional rape!!! Not to mention fifty year olds saying they are thirty nine,a slug and beer gut says his fit and have a great body?! These just aren’t going to work,if you are fifty year old just say that,there are few ladies looking for partners from late thirty to fifty,if you have few extre pound on, just be honest about it, if men had to lie about it,then it’s time to fix it.

      • Mike

        same for women who can’t spell or put words together to form a sentence.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Kelly/1177960686 Michael Kelly

        And if a woman isn’t interested in sex, just say it.  You won’t get even one email, but at least you were honest!

        The best advice I’ve ever heard, is order the soup.  The girl will be too embarassed to order anything more expensive!