Nov 12, 2013
Many people say that LinkedIn is one of the best professional networking tools available, and that statement is not incorrect. However, the clause “when used correctly” should be tacked to the end of it. Similar to Twitter and other social media outlets, you must be strategic about who you add to your network and who you connect with, as well as what you say and share. The “anyone and everyone” approach that is often used on Facebook and on personal social media sites is not helpful, and in fact can be detrimental, when used on LinkedIn. Below are five reasons to ignore a LinkedIn request.
Personal Friend Only
If the person requesting you to add them to your network is only a personal friend and you have no professional relationship with them, you can ignore it without much guilt. You might want to explain it to them later, but this is not Facebook; adding those who are strictly personal friends can lead to drama and an unprofessional atmosphere on your LinkedIn page. The goal is make strong professional connection not be popular.
Not Related to Your Industry
Ideally, your LinkedIn network will have you at the center, your professional contacts, their professional contacts, and so on. Contacts who are completely unrelated to you and have nothing to do with your professional industry or related industries can pile up and make your profile look disjointed and chaotic.
You Don’t Know Them
It’s not advisable to add someone you don’t know on any social media outlet, but this is particularly true on LinkedIn. If you receive a request from someone you don’t know or know of (i.e. a prominent figure in your industry), ignore it. In the last few months I have noticed many people with fake profiles who claim to be located in the United States and it turns out they are overseas. My point is that there is no reason for them to lie about their location LinkedIn is worldwide, just truthful.
Unless you own a family business, it’s probably best not to have them on your LinkedIn profile. This is a living resume and professional network; you don’t really want your boss or a prospective affiliate to see your mom’s excited comment about your recent promotion on your profile; save it for Facebook.
In most areas of life, you’re taught to play nice, get along with those who disagree with you, and not judge. However, when it comes to your professional social media site, you can toss those rules aside for a moment. If you know that someone is problematic, uses profanity, is often rude, is a spammer or has the potential in some other way to ruin your reputation by being closely associated with them on LinkedIn, ignore the request. As I mentioned above people with fake profiles often become problematic, immediately after accepting their invitation to connect the flurry of spam email begin to roll in. Most attempting to sell you on some type of service.
Things to Consider
On LinkedIn, you want to be selective about who you add. Just as there are certain things you wouldn’t say and certain people you wouldn’t follow with your professional or business Twitter or Facebook account that you might let slide on your personal account, there should be certain people you add to your LinkedIn circle and certain people you shouldn’t. Only add people you know professionally, and feel free to use discretion when it comes to adding those who may not have the most positive impact on your professional reputation. As they say, it’s just business.