Why You Should Not Use Facebook, LinkedIn and Social Media Photos On Your Dating Profile. How People Use LinkedIn For Online Dating, Can You Use Linkedin For Dating?

I have analyzed thousands of profiles over the years, and I am still quite amazed at how many people in 2020 still use LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and social media photos for their dating profiles. 

Many dating apps have simplified the registration process to create dating profiles and this convenience often goes overlooked by those who don’t pause and realize what the implications are of using certain photos. It’s not uncommon for people to do a quick background check to verify identity, find clearer photos of you or obtain additional information about you.

Online Dating Safety: Public Accounts & Safety On Dating Apps

There are a number of privacy and safety reasons to not use such photos. Having a public photos whether on LinkedIn, website, press or public social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) makes it easier for folks to find your profiles online, use your photos for creating dating profiles or damage your online reputation. Dating apps like The League use Linkedin to validate accounts and populate fields in your dating profile.

Many people don’t even realize their photos have been used on dating apps until either their friends, colleagues or family members tell them. Scammers constantly browse public profiles and use photos to create dating profiles to lure potential victims (extortion, blackmail, money wiring, love-bombing and more).

Read this post on online dating safety: https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-safety-tips/

Instances like this can cause extreme amounts of embarrassment and effort to identify and remove content online and even then there is no guarantee it cannot happen again. Your best bet is to hide your social media profiles so people can’t find you, steal your photos, or know your whereabouts.

Pro-tip: Reverse image search is one way to see where your photos appear online.

LinkedIn and Professional Profile Information: Linkedin Connected To Dating Sites Like The League

Aside from the safety angles, LinkedIn photos are typically photoshopped, altered or embellished and people know this. Potential matches routinely scour websites to get a better idea of what you look like if your dating profile photos are too dark, distant or old. This is especially true if you list your job title, company, real name and school (making it easy to find you online).

If you look materially different from your other photos, this will raise doubt about how you actually appear, how secure you are about your appearance and what other things you might be lying about in your profile. I advise clients to use slightly vague titles to minimize being found online i.e. use industry vs. company name, use function rather than job title. Using a nickname also helps i.e. Kate instead of Kathryn, Bill instead of Will.

Pro-tip: Use authentic, natural but professional photos for your LinkedIn profile. It suggests more confidence in you look and removes doubt about how you might appear in person on a date.

Aside from establishing a consistent look for your suitors, protecting your identity is also important to avoid unwanted contact, messages and packages to your place of business. While it is harder to find your personal home address, business addresses are rather easy to find online.

Some stalkers and creeps get off on sending packages to victims at their place of business. Apps like The League use Linkedin data to verify identity and populate profile info. They also allow you to block people from your current/past companies from viewing your profile if you choose to do so.


Can You Use Linkedin For Dating? Is It Ok To Flirt On Linkedin? Unwanted Advances On Linkedin

It’s not uncommon for guys to connect women on Linkedin regardless of dating app use. Some guys use a lame excuse like an accidental unmatch or failure to respond to their messages as an invitation to contact women on Linkedin. Getting hit on on Linkedin is uncomfortable and unprofessional. In some cases, it is harassment and can be a crime. Please screenshot messages and report them on Linkedin as well as the dating apps they might have first encountered you on.

The only extent of dating context for Linkedin is to verify identity, location, name, age and employment.


How To Report Unwanted Messages And Creepy Men On Linkedin

-Be sure to screenshot messages (send profile, timestamps, content, message conversations).

-Click the 3 dots in the upper right of the message thread page.

-Select report.

-Select the reason for the report (depending on the severity, it could be ‘harassment’ or ‘inappropriate’. Harassment is typically reserved for stalking (origination from dating apps) or from vulgar messages. Inappropriate is typically reserved for lesser offenses i.e. asking one out, sending flirtatious messages.

Apps like Bumble don’t allow men to send a first message and as such adds to frustration for guys to advance past seeing a profile, likes or matches. Apps like Linkedin should not be used as dating sites. If you experience such behavior, report messages and profiles on Linkedin.


Takeaway: Online Dating Photos, Privacy & Reverse Image Searches

Using photos that can’t be found online and can’t be reverse image searched will minimize possible exposure to your identity and private life. Avoiding using headshots from work, LinkedIn, personal websites and social media accounts are one way to protect your identity from being discovered online. 

When creating profiles on dating sites, it’s perfectly acceptable not to list your exact school, job title, position, company. Industries, function are suffice.

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About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie Hernandez is a dating consultant & professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and beyond as featured in the NYTimes, SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle.

In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, offline techniques for meeting people organically, naturally. 

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