This post is written by a member of the Debut Student Publisher Network. Read on for Christine’s thoughts on the awkwardness of the graduate job hunt:
Step one: creating your best looking profile.
Step two: going through a multitude of potential matches only for things to fall apart again and again.
Step three: hopefully actual results.
Sound familiar? That’s the process of the graduate job hunt, and gosh, what an exhausting process it is. Interestingly, it’s not so different from another part of taking your first steps into the post-graduate world… romance. Here are a few ways that the graduate job hunt is like online dating.
1. Because you wish it were like the movies
You wish you were in a film. That’s where the protagonist already has the job, or that’s where you have an adorable meet-cute with the equally adorable love interest and you end up living happily ever after. Sadly, real life requires a little more effort.
2. Because there are too many options that all do the same thing
While they may seem varied, all the job hunt websites and dating apps are essentially intended towards the same purpose. Sure, you may find slightly specified ones that focus on location or industry, but at the heart of it all you use all of them in the hope that at least one of them will actually work.
Tinder or OkCupid? Milkround or Reed? It can all be so intimidating. Eventually, you’ll find one that seems to fit you, and then it’s time to formulate your profile. What are you looking for?
3. Because you set filters that don’t seem to actually work
It seems that despite whatever parameters and filters you use, you don’t get the potential matches you wished for. Looking for a graduate job in advertising? You’re going to receive e-mails about being a senior business developer instead.
Maybe you’ll swipe right on someone cute, but nothing happens, and then you get a match with someone you tipsily swiped right on and now they keep trying to talk to you and you feel super weird about it. It gets extremely frustrating receiving potential matches that just don’t work for you.
4. Because it gives you a sense of false hope
You get a match, but they never talk to you. You receive a response from a company, but two weeks after your interview they still haven’t gotten back to you. Maybe it’s even worse; you think everything’s going well and then the very next day receive an outright rejection.
Hope is a rollercoaster, and you’ll accustom yourself to the dips and turns as you keep on plugging away at trying to find your match.
5. Because it teaches you how to deal with rejection
On that note, it’s easy to sink yourself into a pity stupor after a long while of not getting any results. Many potential employers and dates have a tendency to ‘ghost‘, leaving you wondering.
Take it in your hands to know for sure. Give them a text or an e-mail so you know if you need to move on. However, when outright rejected, it’s important to not only take that in stride, but to bounce back. You’ll find your match eventually.
6. Because you’ll be just as nervous about your first meeting
So you’ve been texting/emailing for a while, which brings you nicely to your first meeting. Job hunting or online dating, it’s the same level of primping and pruning.
How does your hair look? Is your makeup appropriate? What’s the latest you can get there by without actually being late? The anxiety of making a good first impression is real.
There’s a need to strike the balance between approachable and formal, and you’ll generally walk away from this meeting with an idea of where it could go from here. Sometimes you’ll already know it won’t work out, and it’s time to start your search all over again. But maybe one day…
7. Because hopefully, it’ll all be worth it
The moment you’ve been waiting for. If all goes well, you meet up more and more, and eventually the commitment is confirmed. You get the job, or you get the guy/girl, and you live happily ever after. At least, that’s what we’re all hoping.
Good luck on your hunt, be it for employers or relationships.