Why You Should Accept (Almost All) LinkedIn Connection Requests
Even though you have been an active LinkedIn user for some time, you might not realize that there are exponential benefits to accepting almost all of the LinkedIn requests that come your way, particularly if you are exploring executive career opportunities. You might be ready to open up your connection strategy to allow new people into your network. Read on to discover a quick test to determine whether you should allow an unknown person to join your network.
How to Make LinkedIn Connections Work for You
You might be open to accepting every connection–or no connections. Overall, your strategy for accepting and creating connections has to work for your specific situation, particularly if you are in an executive job search. Here is a quick test to determine whether you should accept a LinkedIn connection request:
Is the profile of a real person?
There truly are LinkedIn “catfish” out there, so explore the person’s profile before you accept a connection. You might even do an image search on the person’s photo to verify that the name and photo are connected elsewhere.
Is this person a connection of a first-degree connection of yours?
Usually, you can trust that the connection of someone you know well is also a real person. Perhaps you might want to ask your first-degree connection about the requester, if that adds a layer of security.
Does this person belong to a LinkedIn group in which you participate?
It is easy to request to connect with someone with whom you share membership in a LinkedIn group. It also opens opportunities for you to communicate with someone before accepting their requests, via the public group forum.
Does this person have a current or past history at a company that you are targeting for your executive career?
If you have a mutual professional interest, you might have initial common ground to explore.
Does this person have a connection to someone you need to meet?
Although this is a rather mercenary reason to choose to connect with someone, it is a no less valid reason to do so.
Does this person offer insights or updates in other social media, and LinkedIn is another way to learn more about what this person has to say?
Note this person’s other social media posts. Do you have reason to expect more of the same?
Can you offer anything of value to this person?
This person might be asking you for some key piece of information or for access to you network? Are you willing to offer help?
Do you know someone whom this proposed connection should meet?
You might see from this person’s profile that he or she is targeting a company that you know well. If the connection seems sound and the individual seems earnest, you might consider offering to make a valuable connection on behalf of this person.
Note that not all of these tests reflect cost/benefit to you–some are reflective of ways you can help the individual who is reaching out to you, too. Of course, the only way to maximize the connections you have is to continue to grow your own list. Not all will be active, and you should not expect that all will be one-way connections in which you provide value and the requester takes all. The bottom line is for you to determine how you can contribute to a new relationship–both online and offline.
Image courtesy of Stock.xchng / sarej