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As someone who had the phrase ‘don’t talk to strangers’ drilled into me from the time I could talk, the idea of dating strangers I’d met online seemed a bit dodgy to be quite honest.

So, I put off downloading the app for ages.

When it got to the stage, however, that every one of my friends had tried and tested Tinder without incident and I was sick of being asked when I too would join, I cautiously decided to give it a go.

My first impressions were how similar it was to job sites and the recruitment process. At the end of the day, they share the same goal - finding the perfect match!

I mean think about it, what’s the first thing people do when they download a dating app?

They upload a few pictures that show them in their best light, and create a couple of zingy one liners for their bio.

Setting up a profile on a freelance jobs site is much the same, right? You choose your best work to include in the portfolio section and add the most relevant and interesting information about yourself, your work and your experience in the bio.

Both dating app and job site profiles are curated in such a way that maximises a person's chances of getting noticed. If a potential partner or employer doesn't find your profile immediately engaging, they’ll quickly swipe by or scroll past you.

Another similarity I noticed between online dating and the recruitment space, is that the first date or project you embark on can make or break your relationship, and in turn your potential future with a respective person or employer.

Whether you like it or not, first impressions are everything and showing respect is a biggie when it comes to both first dates and new freelance projects. How you treat someone and behave in their company (whether that be online or offline these days!) says a lot about you.

Think about a first date. One party arrives very late, spends the date checking and replying to messages on their phone and constantly talks over the other person. There’s not much respect shown here and it’s therefore quite likely that a second date is off the cards.

Similar situations can occur during a freelancer’s first project with a new client. They’re late to meetings, they treat the project impassionately, they continuously talk down ideas that the client puts forward. There’s clearly no respect shown here.

Freelancers who get repeat work from clients do so because their relationship is based on mutual understanding and respect. If these characteristics aren’t shown by a freelancer from the get go, they shouldn’t expect to receive more work from the client in the future.

It’s also fair to say there’s an element of luck involved in both online dating and landing freelance jobs. While someone’s dating profile might look really impressive, they might have really bad habits that you simply can’t stand on your first date (slurping their coffee, burping out loud without apology, the list goes on). In the case of recruitment, a freelancer who has an amazing portfolio and vast experience, might have a terrible attitude and be a nightmare to work with.

Finally, anyone who's ever used online dating apps will tell you that it can take time to find someone they actually click with. I mean, it can take a while to find someone who seems worth a swipe right in the first place, let alone someone you’d actually like to meet in person.

The same goes when applying for freelance jobs. It takes time, effort, personalisation and determination to land new freelance projects. After all, the client wants to make sure you not only fit their job description, but also get along and work effectively with the rest of the team.

Dating apps and job sites are very similar entities which many of us avail of on a regular basis.

Both encourage users to present themselves in the best possible light and matches made in both spaces often bode well when respect is shown during initial online or offline interactions.

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