LinkedIn is a powerful professional networking tool that can be invaluable in your job search and networking activities. Unfortunately, it is often not used effectively or appropriately.
Do you ever receive the “I’d like to join your professional network” messages and have no clue who is inviting you? I receive those all the time too. Clearly the person doesn’t feel it important enough to connect to invest the time in crafting a customized message. If I don’t know the person and see no obvious connection I am not going to accept the request. My network is too valuable to me to allow strangers to join. Protect your network and maintain the value of your connections by accepting selectively.
When you do reach out to ask someone to connect, take a few moments to customize the message. How do you know each other, what do you have common, who do you both know and why are you seeking the connection? Give the person enough context to make an informed decision about whether or not to connect with you.
If your profile only contains you name and the name of your current employer, I’m also not going to accept your request. If you are not utilizing the system for yourself, you certainly don’t bring any value to my network. I don’t expect your profile to be perfect but I expect that you would invest the time and energy to appropriately represent your personal brand.
I also appreciate the endorsements that appear on LinkedIn but if I don’t know who you are and there is no way you know anything about my skills in a particular area, your endorsement is meaningless to me.
Just because it is easy to connect to a broad range of people or to endorse others for their skills, doesn’t mean you should do it randomly. Build a profile that professionally represents your personal brand and build a network of connections that are meaningful and helpful to you.
Just because you can invite me to join your network, doesn’t mean I’ll say yes. Think before you send those generic requests.