If you’re unsure about the etiquette of sending LinkedIn requests to connect, you’re not alone. It’s confusing at best.
From recipients’ standpoint, opening up their networks to complete strangers doesn’t make sense. LinkedIn recommends users only accept invitations from people they know and trust.
But many users say LinkedIn’s recommendation to ignore requests from people you don’t know defeats the purpose of social networking—to meet people virtually. After all, they point out, if you attended a live networking event, you’d be there specifically to connect with people you didn’t know. So what’s a professional social networker to do?
According to LinkedIn, your goal should be to gather connections that reflect your personal work rather than simply to amass a large number of contacts. Some liken sending out a LinkedIn request to connect to a stranger similar to randomly passing out business cards. LinkedIn instead suggest beginning a relationship by first reaching out via e-mail using the site’s “InMail” messages.
Alexandra Samuel, author of Work Smarter, Rule your Email, says the litmus test for accepting a new invitation to connect is whether or not you’d want to do that person a favor. If so, accept. If not…don’t.
Instructors: What do you think about sending out cold LinkedIn requests to connect? Does it work or backfire? Share your LinkedIn insights by posting a comment!
If you want to discuss this topic in your classrooms, here are a few questions you might pose to your students.
1. What can you do now to begin or expand your LinkedIn presence?
2. What could be advantages and disadvantages of introducing a headshot into the job search—usually a no-no in job applications?
3. Which writing strategy should you use to compose an introductory e-mail to a person with whom you want to connect on LinkedIn?
Source: McGregor, J. (2014, March 4). To accept or not accept that LinkedIn request. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-leadership/wp/2014/03/07/to-accept-or-not-accept-that-linkedin-request//?print=1