The perfect match: why job hunting is like dating

Looking for a career match this Valentine's? Play the job hunting game like you do the dating one and the perfect match could be just around the corner.

Finding the right job (or the right candidate) is a lot like playing the dating game – first impressions count, and we all have things on our ‘deal-breaker’ list. Read on for our tips on how to find the perfect match this Valentine’s Day (and beyond!)…

Know what you want in a potential partner? Make a list of deal-breaker criteria when sizing up possible suitors, to ensure you don't get carried away by the thrill of the chase.

Quick fling or long-term togetherness? - Do you want your next career move to be 'the one', or is forever for later?

Cast your net wider – think outside the box about what will give you job satisfaction and fulfilment. The perfect match could be in the least expected of places, or your skills could be well suited to a role you never considered before.

Be honest with yourself and them – if a job isn't going to make you happy - be it at application stage, interview or beyond – avoid staying in the relationship for the sake of it.

Pursue happiness, not just material gain – it's just not about making others jealous or commanding a huge salary for the sake of it. What's truly going to make you relish getting up every morning?

Don't judge by appearances – the best looking organisations aren't necessarily the most wonderful work for, or might not be a good fit for you, so be sure to look beneath the surface.

Presentation is everything - first impressions count, so make sure your online profile, CV and covering letters send out the right messages. Likewise, think carefully about the signals you're giving off at interview, with everything from what you wear to how you sit and the answers you give.

Don't rush into things – accepting the advances of the first recruiter or business that pays you some attention is a recipe for disaster. Think things through before you take the plunge and leap in head first.

Play hard to get – you've aced the interview and clinched the job, so now it's time to lay down a few ground rules. Ensure the rules of engagement are on your side when negotiating your salary and package.

Make sure there's chemistry – having a connection and similar values are important in all relationships, personal and professional.

Remember, it's not all about you – ask questions, listen carefully and take a genuine interest in what your match has to say. Think of it as professional flirting.

Be selective yet realistic – pickiness is essential when sourcing potential partners but remember that nobody's perfect.

Plenty more fish in the sea – rejection can hurt but don't let it affect your self-worth. Keep your search focused, be proactive, network and follow up all potential leads in a timely fashion and your career soul mate will come along sooner or later.

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