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There’s two things I’ve done in the past year: looked online for love, and job hunted. Normally one wouldn’t think those were related, but as I went through both, I noticed similarities and came to the conclusion that LinkedIn is the business equivalent of internet dating. Now hear me out, I know they serve two entirely different purposes, but in my opinion, you gotta come at both from the same angle.

So how is LinkedIn like online dating? Let’s start with my number one bugaboo.

Don’t Just Use the Default Invitation

Sending the default connection invitation request is the LinkedIn equivalent of saying “Hey” or “What’s up?” on a dating site – it’s not going to get you very far. It doesn’t give any context on who you are, or why you want to connect with the person, which pretty much ruins any credibility you have. As someone who gets a number of these these days, I’ve come to ignore the people I don’t know – and I imagine a lot of people do this too.

So make it interesting! Tell the person who you are, tell them why you want to connect (maybe your current job is stifling your inner-velociraptor?)* and give them some context as to why you clicked the connect button. I guarantee it’ll improve your results.

In the very least you’ll stand out for taking the time to write something, and they’ll take a look at your profile, which brings us to…

Make Sure Your Personality Shines Through

Your profile is where you get to be you, the trap of LinkedIn profiles is setting it up like a matter-of-fact, dry resume. Like a dating site, your profile is what convinces people that they should get to know you. In my experience, liking someone and thinking you’ll work well with the person is just as important as their qualifications. So make it fun, and make it you! And if you’re job-hunting, don’t be afraid to change it to tailor to that specific job because chances are, they’re going to look you up at some point.

For example, when I was applying to QC I looked over what they were looking for, and one of the things was A/B testing, so I added a line to my profile that read like “I consider myself the Thunderdome of A/B Testing: two pieces of copy enter, one piece leaves.” Within 12 hours of letting them know I was interested in the job, I got a call asking me to come in for an interview.

And speaking of profiles…

Use Skills and Endorsements

Sure, sometimes they can be kind of questionable, but these are like your interests on a dating profile – they let the person looking up your profile know that you’re a good match for them. The trick is to be strategic about them. Do you need every last skill and endorsement on there? Not really, so pick and choose the ones that fit best and put the rest at the bottom so that they’ll go under “____ also knows about”.

So go forth, and find a job (or love), or really just being better and smarter with how you use LinkedIn. And for the love of all that is good, don’t send me the default invitation.

 

* The famous words of Alex Hosselet