LinkedIn for Dating

LinkedIn for Dating - The Anti-Social MediaI was stalking researching a few users on LinkedIn yesterday, when I found something that really surprised me.

You can list your marital status on your LinkedIn Profile.

This profile field seemed absolutely out of place to me. What does my marital status have to do with my business connections? While discussing this with friends, they seemed to think it was more along the lines of a CV than a resume. On one level, that makes sense. LinkedIn is a large, international website that needs to cater to people of all backgrounds.

Still, what does being married have to do with your ability to do a job?

This leads me to to think that LinkedIn is slowly building a dating platform. I’d like to suggest a name of LinkedIn Singles.

LinkedIn Singles would be awesome. You can see everything a person wants about their work history and business sense. You’ll know if other people recommend them, and if they are on the path to success.  You’re no longer trying to figure out what someone’s personality is like based on a few listed interests. Instead, you can make judgements about what they might be like based on stereotypes of their job, how they wrote their profile, and any other interests they list.

Or maybe it would just be really creepy.

Why do you think LinkedIn allows you to list marital status? Do you think it should even be there, and would you date someone from LinkedIn?

Come on people, I want to know all your secret thoughts about your business network.

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32 Responses to “LinkedIn for Dating”

  1. Amy G. H. June 9, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    I don’t think LinkedIn should include this. You wouldn’t put it on a resume, so why would you put it on a LinkedIn profile?

    • Jay June 9, 2011 at 10:14 am #

      We wouldn’t put it on a resume in America. In Germany for example, they call their resume a Lebenslauf and marital status is often included.

      Do I think it’s tacky and unnecessary? Yes. But there are other cultures on the internet besides our own.

      • Jerome Pineau June 10, 2011 at 3:01 am #

        In Europe they often request not only marital status but # of kids, nationality, whether you have a driver’s license, and a bunch of other personal shit you could never officially request in the States - that being said, they still find out in the US anyway - it’s just not “official” :)

  2. allison June 9, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    This seems like a HR violation waiting to happen. I am pretty sure you aren’t allowed to be asked in an interview your marital status.

    • Jay June 9, 2011 at 10:14 am #

      The entire internet is an HR violation waiting to happen.

      • Claire Wagner June 9, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

        Can I quote you on this? I’ll take that as a yes. Thanks.

        • Jay June 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

          Sure. It’s on the internet, so why not?

    • Julie June 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

      In the USA, employers are not allowed to ask about family or marital status - or plans to have a family, etc. I’m not sure about the rules/ laws in other countries.

      However, I don’t think marital status needs to be on LinkedIn. It’s personal, not business - and isn’t LinkedIn supposed to be about business and employment connections? (It’s also creepy.)

      • Jay June 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

        But isn’t the point of LinkedIn that business is personal and all about your connections? Oh, the contradictions!

  3. Jess C. June 9, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    I’m with Amy… It doesn’t belong on your resume, so it doesn’t belong on LinkedIn.

    This is what happens when a company tries to be all things to all people…

    • Jay June 9, 2011 at 10:17 am #

      You mean social networks should stay small and only focus on one thing? That’s absurd!

      Seriously though, LinkedIn caters to a large and international audience, who often use different formats of resumes and CVs. Shouldn’t they accommodate other cultures where this might be expected information?

  4. Meta Brown June 9, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    It’s inappropriate, yes. Most people don’t use that field, so I take it they agree.

    The few people I have seen using that field were all men, all married.

    • Jay June 9, 2011 at 10:17 am #

      We men ruin everything.

  5. Morgan June 9, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Next up, LinkedIn turns into Myspace!

    • Jay June 9, 2011 at 11:43 am #

      There aren’t enough animated gifs for my LinkedIn profile.

  6. Maya June 9, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    I agree, re. accommodating different cultures — plus there _are_ times when it’s useful to know someone’s marital status in relation to business. A single person, for instance, is much more likely to relocate for a job than a married person.

    Besides, if the field is optional anyway, I don’t see what the big deal is. If you don’t want to answer, don’t.

    • Jay June 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

      Interesting point about mobility.

      There is no big deal. I just like to exaggerate.

    • allison June 9, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

      Useful is not legal. If it can be proven you discriminated based on someone’s marital/family status, you can be sued. The rule I abide by is that I don’t put anything on my resume that answers questions that can’t be asked in an interview. One of my pet peeves is people putting association to a religious organization on their resume.
      Unfortunately, age and gender can usually be figured out by name/graduation dates.

      And.. what other cultures exist and do things differently?!?! Everything should be done the American way.

      • Jay June 9, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

        I know. I like to imagine there isn’t anywhere else but America. USA! USA! USA!

  7. Josue June 9, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    Next they’ll have a follow me button for Ashely Madison.

    • Jay June 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

      I want to see that. Now.

  8. Rob June 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    #1. I’d totally jump on the LinkedIn Singles bandwagon. Professional love. Win!

    #2. If you’ve ever done hiring, you know that there are certain judgements made by these kinds of relationship status ideals. If you are looking for someone who is a little more centered and grounded, you’d prefer someone married with 2.5 children. If you want someone who can pick up and travel to the UK for a conference at the drop of a hat, then you’d prefer someone with less attachments to worry about. I have a feeling that plays a part in having the relationship status. Are there the same things like on Facebook, where you can say “it’s complicated”? If so, I’d have to say that would be a warning sign to steer clear of that person on LinkedIn (both for hiring and for LinkedIn Singles!). Plus, if it is in your LinkedIn profile, I’m pretty sure that makes it open for discussion, whereas normally those things can be touchy subjects.

    • Jay June 9, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

      I prefer not to hire people with 2.5 kids, only because I start to wonder what happened to the other .5 of a kid.

  9. marc June 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    Sorry, but do you need a premium account to have that option? I can’t find it in my profile! :-S

    Besides, it doesn’t sound strange to me: I’m from Spain and I’ve seen CV’s with marital status included, and it is not a rare thing. I wouldn’t say it’s normal, but if you see it you just don’t get surprised.

    • Jay June 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

      It’s hidden at the bottom of profiles, right around birthday and screen name.

      Yeah, those CVs would never fly here in America.

  10. Amanalynn June 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    I would say that it’s just a way of LinkedIn catering to all cultures. Even though we, as North Americans, find it odd and an invasion of privacy to include your marital status on a resume/CV etc… others don’t. LinkedIn, or any other social media site, can’t just cater to North Americans, otherwise they wouldn’t have the reach they do today.

    • allison June 9, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

      It’s not just an invasion of privacy, it’s illegal to ask for that kind of information and discriminate based on the knowledge of knowing their marital status. As I replied Maya, I don’t put anything on my resume/LinkedIn profile that is illegal to ask in an interview.

    • Jay June 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

      World conquest through marital status.

  11. Claire Wagner June 9, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Jay, I take your remark about LinkedIn wanting to be a dating platform very seriously. I think they have always had grand plans. They pretend to be sitting quietly in third place after Facebook and Twitter (or maybe before Twitter?) but they are making a strategic move here, probably the first of many changes to come.

    • Jay June 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

      Fact: LinkedIn has more reach in America than Twitter. One day, it will consume us all and our resumes.

  12. Randy June 9, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Yes this is perfect feature for gold-diggers and prostitutes to make a connection with politicians and business men/women. We largely make decisions about people on who they are with and what they have so why not continue the trend. In any common conversation some of the top questions include, “Where do you work?” aka “How much do you make” and “Who are you with?”

  13. Jerome Pineau June 10, 2011 at 2:59 am #

    Shit, I’ve been on LI since they started and never noticed!! Maybe they should add “Lover” right after “Friend” on the connect request forms :)