I think I’ve done my online dating experiment for about a month (again). But recently I started to get into LinkedIn a little more, you know finessing my profile. And I realize that LinkedIn is really just online dating for the professional. The goal isn’t to find “the one” or a spouse… it’s to find a good job. One that you’re happy to go to every day. So, in that spirit, here are four ways that LinkedIn is like online dating.
1. You are trying to portray your best self in the least amount of words and with the biggest accomplishments.
Have you hiked a mountain? Somehow that will work its way into your online dating profile… even if it’s just a picture of you perched precariously on the ledge and the city far below you. You try to make your profile say “hey… I’m unique. You should give me a try” so that you at least get that first meet up.
LinkedIn is similar. You are trying to draw in potential employers or headhunters and dazzle them enough to call you in for an interview. That’s where you’ll win them over.
2. You can see who has viewed your profile.
This is creepy. I’m glad that Facebook doesn’t have this feature because I would be obsessed. I don’t know how I feel about knowing who is looking at my profile on LinkedIn. Some people remain anonymous. Others, I wonder what they were seeing that interested them.
The site I’m using for online dating not only tells you who’s viewed your profile, but also how many times they’ve come to your profile. One guy has visited 13 times in the last month and has never reached out to me. Now, you might say that I should reach out to him, but I’m really not that interested. But it was interesting to see my high school friend’s ex husband has looked at my profile 8 times…
3. You search around for familiar faces.
For LinkedIn you look for the familiar faces to add as a connection.
Online dating? You look for the familiar faces that you need to avoid. That weird guy from the ward? Yeah… he’s not a match.
4. In the end, it’s just another tool.
People talk about online dating like it is the end all be all solution for anyone who is 26 and not married (at least in Utah). However, being on the website does not guarantee marriage. You still have to put in the effort and actually meet people.
Being on LinkedIn is not definitive that you are getting a job. It allows you to see your network and to start applying to jobs. You still need to present your best self. Get your resume up to date, add in the significant data points and start looking and applying.