What do online dating and searching for an aviation job have in common?

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In years gone by, pretty much all romantic relationships were made face-to-face and the majority of job vacancies were filled in the same way.  Networks, chemistry, call it what you will, but in the “good old days” nature took its course and couples were made and people got their feet on a (usually long) career ladder when opportunity presented itself.  It is predicted that in twenty years time, half of all new couples will meet online and to be honest, the figure is probably even higher in the job market.  So, what exactly do online dating and searching for an aviation job have in common?

First, you need to sell yourself

When you pitch yourself on a dating website, you’ll use a whole different vocabulary, voice and style than when you’re looking for a job, but in the same way as you do in a job search, you need to show your target audience your best bits in a clever and appealing way.  When seeking a partner you may well focus on your social side, your great cooking skills or your well-travelled passport.  While your prospective employer might be interested in these things at some point in your career, at selection stage, you’re more likely to be expected to focus on things like tenacity, decision-making skills and accountability.  The key in both situations though is identifying what your potential partner (work or personal) is looking for and how you can show them you’re the best person to satisfy that need or desire.

Second, you need to look your best

Looking your best is probably something you do every day of every week, but when you’re pitching up on an online dating website or seeking an aviation job online, it’s doubly important to show yourself in your best light.  While a potential employer mightn’t expect to see a photo of you on a job search website or on your CV, you can pretty much rest assured that they’ll Google you and take a look at any photos of you that they happen to find online.  As a result, it’s important to make sure the likes of your LinkedIn photo shows you at your best.  Aim for a pleasant smile, appropriate clothing, a neutral background and some sign of your personality shining through if at all possible.  In either case, it’s not worth being tempted to skimp on your image by using a holiday snap.  If needs be get a professional photographer on the case because it’ll pay dividends in the end.

Third, you need to be able to interact and show your personality

As soon as you start to interact with a prospective date or potential employer, you’re starting to show your hand in more detail than before.  Once a connection is made, either on a job site or an online dating site; there will be communication between you and the other party.  At this point you need to decide exactly what and how much you want to share.  It may sound obvious, but if you’re communicating by email, make sure you read, read and re-read your message before you press the ‘send’ button.

Fourth, there needs to be a match for it to go the distance 

In the same way that your first date with a potential online partner will help establish whether or not there’s a possible “match”, an interview with your potential employer will give you both a much better feel for where you might go next.  It’s for these reasons that you need to be extremely well prepared for interview and hopefully benefit from the same “buzz” that you would if you were going on a first date!

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