Career Development Is Not so Different From Online Dating

You try to make the perfect first impression by dressing to impress and showing up on time. You curate the perfect compliment in the car ride over, and you rehearse some lines to yourself in the bathroom before entering the room. You are sitting across from each other with smiles plastered on your faces as you pray that your palms are not sweating too badly. You remind yourself to breathe before you proceed. Are you picturing an interview or a first date?

Savannah Sellers NBC Nowadays, people can lay in their bed on their phone with messy hair and sweats while scrolling through LinkedIn to find career connections. Within seconds, they can switch apps and scroll through Tinder to swipe for a match. These apps have some subtle similarities. There are some overall professional networking methods and online dating methods that can be put in place for richness to happen in both your wallets and your hearts. 

Let’s start with the hardest part of all apps... creating the perfect bio! This introduction is a short synopsis that is meant to show your audience who you are. On LinkedIn, your “summary,” could include career paths, education, accomplishments, and goals. This can open doors to opportunities that match your career interests. You can also use this same method on dating apps by showcasing your interests, zodiac signs, favorite shows, or even your height...cause apparently it matters. :( 

Moving on... it seems like only a few lucky people use these apps without trial and error. When looking for jobs, it takes a lot of searching, applying, and resume revising before even getting to an interview. A lot of flops and rejections tend to happen in the process. Watch out for the scammers and catfishes on both LinkedIn and dating apps and check for linked profiles or verifications! What are some of your worst Tinder DMs? I honestly think I blocked a lot of pickup lines out of my memory!

Another similarity to online dating and online job hunting is to search in different places. UMass students can check out the career services for whatever they are studying! It's always good to try out different platforms such as LinkedIn, Handshake, Indeed, or more specific job search sites. When applying for jobs or internships, students should try to apply to a lot with the ultimate goal of having options. If you're trying online dating, it can be good to try out different sites to find the right fit for you as well! Between Bumble, Grindr, Tinder, Christian Mingle, and Hinge, you definitely have options. You can also use mutual friends as connections to meet new people and this can lead to amazing things for both careers and love.

NBCUniversal & Canva I think being authentic and putting in effort are some of the most important things for navigating any kind of relationship in life. It's always good to put your best self forward when making new connections. You also have to remember to stay real in order to find an opportunity or a person that genuinely aligns with you. It can take time to find the perfect match for a relationship or for a job, but searching for things that are compatible with you can save a lot of your time. If you get to a date or an interview, you are going to have to show up as yourself, so there's really no point in lying about anything. Always show up with confidence in who you are and what you bring to the table!

2021 has led to an infinite amount of adjustments in our social lives. I hope you find some of these tips helpful for searching for summer internships or maybe even for finding a summer fling! Career planning and online dating can both seem scary at first, but so many of the skills we learn online we also practice across different platforms. With some effort and a bit of trial and error, you're bound to find a great match!