“Is LinkedIn like… corporate Tinder?”

Is a legitimate question I was asked by a friend upon mentioning that I needed to update my LinkedIn profile after completing my internship. At first it was a great laugh, and my friend did face a fair amount of mockery from the group… but after thinking about what she said a little more, she does make a fair point!

LinkedIn is a place for professionals to “digitally network” — basically allowing Hiring Managers to make a decision on whether or not you are qualified without meeting you in person. So, yes, LinkedIn does function somewhat as a professional online dating service. For this reason, it is very important to represent your best self on your LinkedIn profile, you never know who’s looking!

From a rhetorical standpoint, as a college student or recent graduate using LinkedIn, you are trying to appeal to supervisors, talent acquisition, and hiring managers who are pinched for time and looking for a quick way to follow-up on you before offering up that interview. In today’s job market, it is almost expected that anyone on the job hunt have a LinkedIn, so quality content is absolutely imperative.

You don’t want your page to appear skeletal, but you also don’t want to overload it with irrelevant job/volunteer experiences. Like you would on a dating website, make sure you are highlighting your best self and not just filling it with fluff! Ideally, your profile will show your top 3 most recent and relevant career experiences and links to work samples/blogs that you also maintain. Also, your picture is another “make or break it” aspect of the LinkedIn page… Make sure your picture is appropriate and professional – that Snapchat of you twerking on the wall last Friday night may be funny to your social circle, but most likely won’t be as appealing to your future employer.

Overall, it is so important to your career to maintain a professional, clean LinkedIn page. A little online effort will go a long way in your job search! For an example of my LinkedIn page, check out www.linkedin.com/nicolepetrosino.

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