Are You as Attractive as You Could Be to Prospective Employers?

by Brian Skory

Years ago, I was having a conversation with a single friend who was trying to get back into the dating scene. Having been out of the game for a while, he was reading the dating how-to books and sharing his thoughts and insights with me. One of the things he relayed to me that stood out in my memory was a line about how people are most attractive when they are engaged in doing something that they love. Most people don’t love to hang out at the bars, the author argued. But some might love to cook. So it would be at a cooking class, engaged in the activity that they love, where he or she would be particularly attractive to others.

Interviewing can sometimes be a lot like dating. How attractive you are (and obviously I’m not talking about your physical looks) will have an awful lot to with whether or not you are “asked out on a second date” (a second interview). So how do you make yourself attractive to prospective employers, above and beyond just matching the required skills? The same dating advice that my friend was reading applies here as well. When employers see your resume or your interview, are they seeing someone who simply needs a job, or are they seeing someone who’s obviously engaged in something they love? Because remember, it is when you are truly engaged in something you have passion for that you will shine and stand out from many of the other candidates. Here are three ways to convey that sentiment to prospective employers.

People who love what they do are usually life-long learners.

  • What user group meetings are you going to, or what conferences have you recently attended?
  • What books in your field have you recently purchased?
  • What tech blogs do you read?

People who love what they do for work often do it for fun outside of work.

  • Do you have any personal development projects you are working on?
  • Do you contribute to any open-source projects?

People who love what they do often help others to be successful in what they do.

  • Do you take the time to answer posted questions on the LinkedIn groups you belong to?
  • Do you participate on any tech boards such as Stack Overflow?

These are all things you can talk about on your resume and in your interview, and will absolutely help you to look your best.

As always, we're interested in hearing how your job search is going. Feel free to contact us.

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