How to “Swipe Right” in your Job Search: Lessons Learned from Tinder

Looking for a potential dating partner on a college campus can be a challenge.  Online dating has become a conventional practice for sorting through your options and finding someone with similar interests.  But as college students, you’re generally broke and not looking to shell out cash every month to use a more legit site like Match.com.  And so you turn to Tinder, Bumble, etc., and attempt to sort through the people looking for something “casual” to find those who are looking for something a little more serious.  As it turns out, the strategies you’ve employed when swiping through the dating scene, can actually teach you valuable lessons you can employ in your job search.

The top 5 lessons you’ve learned from Tinder that can actually be useful in your online job search:

  1. Look beyond just the picture/title. At first glance someone might not seem like your type, but if you take the time to read their profile you will get a better idea of your common interests.  With job postings, you want to look beyond the title and actually read the description. Sometimes titles can be misleading or unrepresentative of what the job actually is.
  2. Have friends in common. When it comes to online dating you’ll be a lot more comfortable putting yourself out there if you see that you have friends in common. The same goes for the job search.  An employer is going to be more likely to call you in for an interview if you’re directly referred by an employee than if you just submitted your résumé online. Check out our networking page for tips on building your connections!
  3. Do your research. Before you meet up, you generally want to find out more about this person. Once you get a last name or a link to their Instagram account, it’s time to do some digging into their social media profiles.  Check out their pictures, what they post about, what their likes are. With the job search it’s important to take time to research the company’s website and social media presence to learn more about who they are and what they do.
  4. Meet in-person. While you certainly are able to rule some people out by their online behavior alone, a lot of the time meeting in person is the only way to really judge chemistry or “fit.”  In the job search, it’s hard to be judged purely off your résumé or cover letter.  That’s why we encourage attending career fairs and networking events so that the employer can see you as a real person before you even apply online. See who is attending upcoming career fairs.
  5. Be safe and avoid scams. If you ever get a bad feeling about someone online, it’s always important to not share personal information.  Even if you are getting all good vibes you want to make sure you meet in a public place for the first time and someone knows where you’re going and will check in with you.  Unfortunately, there are also scams in the world of online job applications.  Never share any bank account information or your social security number online.  If you’re ever questioning whether a company or email is legitimate, feel free to bring it to our office for some additional screening.

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By Emily Merritt
Emily Merritt Career Consultant, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Emily Merritt