Your secret weapon for acing your job search might just have four paws and be cuddling next to you on the couch.
t If you’re on the hunt for a job, you’ve got your work cut out for you. The old days of submitting your resume on fancy paper and relying solely on a firm handshake are gone. In this digital age of social media and personal branding, employers are expecting job seekers to be more creative in how they approach the application process. Your secret weapon for making the cut might just have four paws and be cuddling next to you on the couch.
t Here are five ways your dog can help you with your job search.
1. Dogs motivate us
t If you’ve been laid off or feel discouraged by job hunting, it’s pretty easy to just throw your hands in the air and give up. I get it; napping in the afternoon and watching bad reality shows sounds a whole lot better than uploading your resume into the black hole of online job search sites.
t When you need motivation to hit the pavement and keep going, all you need to do is look at your dog’s lovable face. That pooch, with his big eyes and slobbery mouth, depends on you for food, medical care and shelter. The longer you’re out of work, the harder it will be on your canine family members. If you need a little boost to get your search back in gear, just think about your pup and let him be your biggest inspiration.
2. Dogs help us network
t If you walk your dog in an urban setting or around your suburban neighborhood, you know it’s hard to go 10 feet without a fellow dog lover stopping you to say hello and pet your pooch on the head. Whether it’s at the dog park or the vet’s office, dogs help us meet and interact with new people every day.
t Instead of letting these encounters be fleeting moments in your life, try to strike up a conversation with your fellow pet lover. Learn about who they are, what they do and where they work. By getting to know other pet parents, your social and professional spheres will grow; and networking with other dog owners might be your ticket to a whole new career or a job opportunity you didn’t even know existed.
3. Dogs open our minds to new possibilities
t Dogs have a way of putting things into perspective. Their lives are all about finding happiness and joy. They do what they love and they know what makes them happy. So if you’ve never found your career quite so fulfilling, maybe it’s time for a change. Force yourself to approach your job hunt through your dog’s eyes. Ask important questions like: Will this bring me joy? Will this be rewarding? Will this path motivate and excite me?
t Your dog might even inspire you to create your own canine-centric business. Maybe you’ve always wanted to bake gourmet dog treats or craft stylish pet fashions. Now’s your chance.
4. Dog stories make good icebreakers
t Going into an interview is nerve-wracking. It’s easy to get jumbled and trip over your words if you’re too focused on making a good impression. It’s important to relax and be yourself.
t Most interviewers will ask you a little bit about yourself. They’ll inquire about your hobbies and how you like to spend your time. This is a great opportunity to mention your dog and work in a funny or entertaining story about your pet. Just make sure the tale is short, sweet and work appropriate. Maybe your employer can relate to what you went through, or maybe he or she will just find it amusing; either way, a firsthand anecdote that gives the interviewer some insight into your own life could score you big points.
5. Dogs give us a connection point
t One of the best ways to impress an interviewer or an HR manager right off the bat is to find a way to connect with them on a human level. While we’re not suggesting you stalk them, it is a good idea to do a little bit of research beforehand so you know who you’re meeting with during the interview process. Your interviewer’s social media profiles on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn can give you some insight into whether that person is a dog or animal lover.
t Use that information to your advantage. Maybe you both have Golden Retrievers. Maybe you both like to take your dogs hiking. Maybe you both go to the same dog park and didn’t even know it. At the very least, you both likely enjoy watching funny YouTube videos of dogs (who doesn’t?). Use the love you have for your own pet as a way to connect with your future employer. That personal approach may just be the key to standing out in a sea of applicants.