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Are you Using LinkedIn Properly?

Blog / April 15, 2016

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][mk_fancy_title color=”#6e9200″ size=”18″ font_family=”none”]Why I had to Change My LinkedIn Settings[/mk_fancy_title][vc_column_text]I finally pulled the plug this morning and changed my connection settings on LinkedIn. Meaning, if you want to connect with me, you have to know my email address. I don’t necessarily think that is the perfect solution for expanding my network to quality employers and job seekers in the KC metro, but will hopefully slow down the obnoxiousness of requests I seem to get. I am not alone on this and have vented to many who also share my frustration with the presumptive actions of many LinkedIn users.
Here is the deal. I have 797 friends on Facebook who are comprised of family, very good friends, and of course some random classmates and acquaintances throughout my lifetime. All of which I have met living and breathing at some point in the last 34 years and I still have some level of desire to know that they are alive and well and see what they had for dinner. I get a Facebook friend request maybe once a week. They are usually people that I have recently met, maybe a fellow mom at my children’s school who I have become real life friends with. What I do know for sure, it is always someone I know personally. Rarely would I reject a friend request on Facebook unless it seems to be a scam profile or maybe the couple creepers that I have no interest in sharing my quarterly profile pic updates with. Somehow even in this monstrous, overused web community, there seems to still be an etiquette on when/if/who you should friend request on Facebook.
I have 1014 “contacts” on LinkedIn and that is another story. I get a connection request at least once a day, most of the time it is from people I have never met. I do not understand this phenomenon. As a professional networking site, users sure don’t seem to be acting very professional. Do they think that just because we are both working people that entitles us to a connection? My entire network on LinkedIn is becoming less and less valuable to me every day due to the hundreds of people I seem to be connected to, yet I have no idea who many of them are and how I can help them or vice versa. All I am asking for is a little introduction or explanation upon request. Are we in the same industry and you want to network? Or just steal my connections. Are you a financial advisor looking to change careers and need my help? Or just trying to sell me your services. Are you a hiring manager needing my assistance on a placement? Or someone just trying to add connections to look more relevant.
When I get these random connection requests I try and give the benefit of the doubt. I check and see if we have mutual connections, and if so, do I know our mutual connection? Do they work/live/are from my city? If these don’t match up, I usually send a message back politely inquiring. It is usually something like this, “Hi John,Thanks for your invitation to connect. I am not sure if we have met before so let me know how I may be able to help you. Are you currently in a job search or perhaps you are looking to hire a new employee? Let me know how I can be of assistance. Thank you, Jessie”
9 times out of 10 I get no response.
Maybe they think I am rude to have the audacity to call them out on a random request. But more likely they were just blasting requests out to all the “people you may know” that were served up by LinkedIn and don’t care in the slightest if I connect with them or not.
I am in a service based company and it’s our job to network with as many professionals as possible. So I feel a sense of guilt every time I hit that little x deleting the connection requests from my home page. I find LinkedIn when used properly to be extremely valuable to my business. I do not want it to become so oversaturated that it loses the ability to work as it should. Sadly, there have been times I am contacted by an actual business acquaintance asking for an introduction to one of my connections. It is painful to have to tell them that not only can I not make the intro, I have no idea who that is or why I am connected to them. Who is this helping?
Can we all just take the 5 seconds in our connection requests to introduce ourselves and explain the motivation for connecting with a complete stranger? Until the etiquette changes or settings can be adjusted further on LinkedIn, I will have to wait to add more connections with the people who I know personally and work with in some real world capacity, assuming they actually know my email address.[/vc_column_text][mk_divider style=”thin_solid” thin_single_color=”#000000″ thickness=”2″ margin_bottom=”0″][vc_column_text]By: Jessica Underwood, Owner/President[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text] News

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