post by Stephanie Nelson

A while back, I wrote a post on the “etiquette” (for lack of a better word) of connecting on LinkedIn.

Item #2 in my list said, “…when you’re changing that connection message, tell how you know the person and/or why you’d like to be connected. That background information is key.”

I’ve noticed of late that more and more folks are changing from the default connection request message, which is GREAT! But I’m still getting messages that say things along the lines of, “I see we have several mutual connections, and I’d like to connect with you.”


Do you want to connect because our mutual connections said you really need to get to know me? Do you want to connect because you have a project that my profile suggests I could help you out on? Do you want to connect so you can try to sell me your services/new app/etc?

Personally, this is an important piece of information for me. I will not accept an invitation from someone I don’t know if it’s unclear why they want to connect. I advocate to my clients that they do the same. My reputation is too important to me to be tied to someone that, should I get a call about them, I have to admit I don’t know or I don’t like. (Before you ask, I get contacted by recruiters and potential employers about once a week, asking about a LinkedIn connection, so it does happen.) In addition, my time is too precious (in my opinion) to waste on someone who doesn’t know me or my business trying to sell me something that would seriously be of no use to me.

So what are your rules for connecting via LinkedIn? Do you accept requests from folks you don’t know? Do you send requests to folks you don’t know? How do you decide who’s in and who’s out?

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