Refusing or Accepting LinkedIn Connections?
Reluctant to accept LinkedIn invitations to connect from new contacts? Trying to limit your network to only people you already know? If you are refusing connection invitations on LinkedIn because you don't know the person who sent you the invitation, you might want to rethink your strategy, particularly during a job search.
More on LinkedIn for Job Search:
- LinkedIn for Job Search Home
- What Employers Wish YOU Knew About LinkedIn
- LinkedIn Job Search Basics
- Why Just Joining LinkedIn Is Not Enough
- Refusing or Accepting LinkedIn Connections
- How Your LinkedIn Profile May Be Turning Off Recruiters
- How to Use LinkedIn for a Competitive Edge
- How to Maximize LinkedIn Broadcasts
- How LinkedIn Skills Endorsements Work
- How to Gather LinkedIn Recommendations for Your Job Search
- How to Advance Your Job Search with LinkedIn's Advanced People Search
- How to Connect with Recruiters Using LinkedIn
- How Recruiters View LinkedIn Profile Photos
- Optimizing the Contact Information on Your LinkedIn Profile
- Leverage LinkedIn Updates for Your Job Search
- Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile Headline for Your Job Search
- Maximizing the Professional Headline on Your LinkedIn Profile
- How to Leverage LinkedIn Free Visitor Stats
- How to Leverage LinkedIn Paid Visitor Stats
- Solving the Duplicate LinkedIn Profiles Problem
- Effective LinkedIn Profile
- How to Be Found by Recruiters in LinkedIn Search
- LinkedIn's Company Follow Function
- Value of Growing Your LinkedIn Network
- Adding Misspellings to Your LinkedIn Profile
- Leveraging LinkedIn for Transitioning Military
LinkedIn Job Search Expert:
More on Social Media & Job Search:
More Social Media Job Search Experts:
- Joshua Waldman, Social Media and Job Search Expert
- Miriam Salpeter, Contributor
- Marci Reynolds, Contributor
- Jason Alba, Contributor
Rebuffing offers or messages from others will prevent you from receiving most of the benefits of LinkedIn, including any leverage you’re hoping to gain from the site.
Maybe you’re worried that others are reaching out to you as a way to “game” the system or add you to a meaningless pool of Connections. While this can be true for some LinkedIn users, the majority of people are using the site to enhance their digital identity or create a wider professional network.
If you’re still stuck on (or refusing to) accepting Connections that come your way via LinkedIn, here are some key points to consider:
1 – Other users can tell if you’re running a tight network.
Nothing looks worse on LinkedIn than joining just to say you did it… with a handful of Connections, a skeleton Profile, and no photo. You may as well announce to the world: “Don’t contact me – I have better things to do.”
Gathering Connections and educating others on your expertise are the most valuable reasons to be on LinkedIn. Don’t pass up the opportunity to be an open, approachable professional who is prominent in your field.
Remember the world before LinkedIn… when strengthening your reputation and promoting yourself as a thought leader used to be much more time-consuming. Now, you have this opportunity despite a busy work or job-search schedule, so leverage it!
2 – Accepting new Connections benefits your job search.
LinkedIn is designed as a social web, offering value to anyone who would otherwise not have an opportunity to widen his or her circle of professional contacts.
When you accept a Connection invitation, here’s what happens: you’re now just a 2nd-degree or 3rd-degree relationship away from someone (a recruiter, a hiring manager, a professional mentor) who could help you, both in your job search and throughout the future of your career.
With your new Connection, you not only receive better access to these contacts, but LinkedIn will also grant you access to read these users’ Profiles – meaning you’ll be able to see where they attended college, what employers they’ve worked for, and whether you share other professional relationships.
3 – Very few people are “close” to each of their online Connections.
Sure, you might not know the person reaching out to you online – at least, this will be the case at first glance. But accepting someone else’s invitation on LinkedIn now allows you to develop a relationship that could be fruitful in the future.
Consider this: if you were at a party, and someone walked up to you to introduce themselves, you’d probably stop to chat with them for a while.
Professionally, you won’t want to ignore a new relationship on LinkedIn, either, because this same exchange of greetings (albeit online) allows you to form a new friendship or professional connection.
Whether you’re in a job search or just want to increase your professional visibility, these new connections will often welcome a follow-up message, the occasional note, or an important question.
Consider what you might have missed by refusing LinkedIn Connections, and start letting more people into your online network.
You have very little to lose by doing so, and might even gain a better shot at being courted for a fabulous opportunity.
© Copyright Laura Smith-Proulx, 2013. All rights reserved. Used With Permission
Laura Smith-Proulx, Executive Director of An Expert Resume, is an award-winning executive resume writer, national columnist, author, LinkedIn and SEO enthusiast, and past recruiter. Laura is author of How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips and Strategies to Access the Hidden Job Market. Connect with Laura on Twitter at @ResumeExpert and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/laurasmithproulx.
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