To accept or not accept

9 02 2009

No doubt due to the increase in unemployment rates, many of us have seen an increase in LinkedIn invitations in our inbox.  I’m all for helping and connecting people that I’ve met and/or know via a trusted contact, but for those unrecognizable or unsolicited invitations (and especially those that don’t even bother to personalize their invite, which LinkedIn makes so very easy to do), I thought I’d go ahead and share a set of guidelines from LinkedIn that I abide by:

Invitation to Connect

Only accept an invitation if you know the sender and want them in your network.

Accept invitations when:

  • You want to stay in touch with the inviter
  • You know and trust their judgment and expertise
  • You’ve worked with them and would recommend them
  • They know your work and can represent your potential

Do not accept invitations when:

  • You don’t know the sender well (consider replying or deciding later)
  • If you don’t know the sender at all, click on the “I don’t know” button or “Flag as Spam”

Flagging as Spam:

When you select “Flag as Spam” on an invitation, the sender will be blocked from inviting you again, and their invitations will be reviewed to make sure the User Agreement has not been violated.

So, if we’ve never met, and you’re working with (and paying money to) someone that advises you to send unsolicited LinkedIn invites, please contact me for a different point of view. I’ve worked with LinkedIn both corporately as well as an individual since early ’04 (even attended a 4 hr LinkedIn training hosted by BMA Chicago and LinkedIn), and understand their best practices thoroughly.  I never advise my business or personal branding clients to send unsolicited or impersonal invites to non-recruiters because it quite often does more damage than good.

Note:  See my Consulting Services to  find my Learning to Love LinkedIn session info. $295 for 3 hours of personalized in-depth learning.

ADDENDUM FEB, 20, 2009 – CIO reports that LinkedIn is clamping down and getting aggressive about enforcing their acceptable use policy (AUP). Read more here.

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