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On this page: Marci Reynolds compares social media to dating and finds 10 similarities.

10 Ways Social Media Is Like Dating

Since this is Valentine’s Day month, I think an article that ties social media job search AND dating is completely appropriate! And, since romance is usually a full-time goal, this advice is timeless. As you’ll read, you will see so many similarities…..

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I recently read an excellent post on the Conversation Agent Blog called "What PR professionals can learn from dating websites". And, I was just chatting with a girlfriend and my sister about their recent, online dating adventures.

This reminded me of my single days (I’m now happily married) when I tried internet dating, and it was "all about the profile". What you did or did not include in your profile could impact your success in meeting "Mr. or Ms. Right". The goal was to find other singles you were compatible with, and initially, all you had to go on was their online presence.

If a potential suitor messaged me and his profile was incomplete, had the same verbiage as everyone else’s, and/or had no photo, he likely did not get a reply from me. Profiles that were creative, unique and engaging, and matched my "Mr Right" ideals (e.g., age, geography), would get consideration.

And, when I searched for potential Mr. Rights in dating databases, I used criteria and keywords. Profiles that best matched my criteria, showed up in results, others did not. When I skimmed the results, certain profiles caught my eye based on words and pictures, while others did not.

This may sound kind of cold, but this is the reality of online dating. You are making important, sometimes very quick decisions, based on what you find posted on a website because that is all the information you have available.

Does this sound familiar? It should, because the same concepts apply to your online profiles, your job search, and your ability to attract and engage recruiters and hiring managers.

Here are 10 ways that social media job search is like internet dating:

  1. Complete profiles get more attention.

  2. Interesting, original content engages readers.

  3. Keywords and profile selections impact whether you show up in search results. Or not.

  4. Profiles with photos receive more attention and consideration than those which don’t.

  5. Making the right "match" is important. This could mean matching the right candidate to the right job OR matching the right singles for a first date.

  6. Headlines matter:

    • SWM, Boston - OR - Upbeat Lawyer With RockNRoll Edge

    • Project Manager - OR - Project Management Guru | PMP Certified | Six Sigma Greenbelt

  7. Honesty and integrity matter. The real person must match the online version.

  8. When reaching out to a potential new connection, style, etiquette, timing and approach can impact your success rate.

  9. Confidentiality is a consideration. No TMI! Consider safety and identity theft issues.

  10. The goal of your profile is to generate an "end result." On a dating site, the goal is a date. On a social media site, it is an interview

Bottom Line

By considering these ten online presence best practices you will be more successful in attracting readers to your online profiles, whether they’re on LinkedIn or on The more readers you have, the more likely you are to get results, whether that’s an interview or a first date.