Why You Should Accept (Almost All) LinkedIn Connection Requests

Why You Should Accept (Almost All) LinkedIn Connection Requests

The tests you use to decide to accept a LinkedIn connection request should screen most connections in rather than out.

The tests you use to decide to accept a LinkedIn connection request should screen most connections in rather than out.

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.

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The Two Key Reasons You Need an Optimized LinkedIn Profile

The Two Key Reasons You Need an Optimized LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is the world’s largest free address book. If you are not on LinkedIn, you simply do not exist to recruiters and hiring executives, not to mention networking contacts that you need to maintain throughout your executive career lifecycle. Read on to learn why maintaining an updated, optimized LinkedIn profile is essential to your executive career lifecycle success.

Reason #1: LinkedIn Is Your Personal Page in the World’s Largest Address Book

In all of social media, no single space has the professional clout of LinkedIn. Certainly, you might have a Facebook page, Twitter account, or even a Pinterest page. However, if you are not on LinkedIn in a meaningful way, you simply do not exist, professionally speaking. In fact, you diminish your credibility as an executive if you are not willing to create and maintain a LinkedIn profile that demonstrates experience and engagement in this social media network.

Reason #2: Recruiters and Hiring Executives Are Looking for an Executive like You

Studies have demonstrated that upwards of 80% of recruiters and hiring leaders use social media to research their prospective hires. Most often, LinkedIn profiles appear in Google searches above any other content about an individual.

However, unlike most of the Google results, you have 100% control over what you put into your LinkedIn profile. In other words, you control your message and brand. If you are not taking advantage of the opportunity to dictate what the world learns about you in your LinkedIn profile, you are missing a huge opportunity to manage the conversation.

How to Quickly Add Content to Your LinkedIn Profile and Optimize it for Searchability and Content

Because LinkedIn is free and simple to use, there is no excuse for every executive not to have a robust LinkedIn profile. At a minimum, you need to include every title you have held for the last 10 to 20 years, all listed separately, even if some represented promotions within one company.

Fill up your LinkedIn profile with optimized content about your executive career history.

Fill up your LinkedIn profile with optimized content about your executive career history.

A more powerful strategy is to copy your resume into your LinkedIn profile, which will populate all of these positions. I do not recommend that you do this if you have more time to put to the project, but it is an easy way to add valuable content to your LinkedIn profile.

A yet even more powerful strategy is to think about the top five keyword phrases on which you want to be found, or for which you want to be known. Then recraft your headline, your summary, and your career history to reflect this brand.

Additional key tip: If you do not have a professional photograph in your profile, add one right now. Research has demonstrated that profiles with recent, credible photos earn more profile views. Also, unlike your executive resume, there is an expectation that you will have a photo in your LinkedIn profile.

Outcomes for Your LinkedIn Presence

The result of your effort to optimize your LinkedIn presence for both searchability and for networking can be profound. On the one hand, you are controlling the message that the world learns about you even via a casual review of your online presence. On the other hand, you are more likely to have the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise, because you will appear more close to the top of the LinkedIn search results.

If you do not know how to transition from your resume to your LinkedIn profile, an expert executive resume writer can help. Call Five Strengths.

Image courtesy of Stock.xchng / ambrozio.

9 Steps to Using Social Media in a Confidential Executive Job Search

9 Steps to Using Social Media in a Confidential Executive Job Search

Social media isn’t just for college kids, and it’s not just for corporate branding. In fact, effective social media management will advance your executive career transition and job search, even if you remain private about your intentions. Follow these 9 steps to managing your social media presence while engaging in a confidential executive job search.

1. Make Yourself Easy to Find — and Follow — on Social Media

Use your name, whenever possible, on your social media profiles. Of course, if you have a very common name, then, include your middle name or some other distinguishing characteristic. For example, I always use my middle initial, so every one of my social profiles record my name as “Amy L. Adler.” Also, remember to use the same professional photo on all your public social media accounts, from Twitter, to LinkedIn, to Google+.

Social media can advance your confidential executive job search.

Social media can advance your confidential executive job search.

If you are engaging in a confidential executive search, you might feel more comfortable lurking than engaging at this point. But know that when you have made the right connections in target companies and with target hiring executives, being searchable online will be very important.

2. Research Your Online Reputation

Do a search for yourself and see what prospective employers will see when they Google you. First, log out of your browser, then search for your name in as many versions or misspellings as you can think of. You should expect to see your LinkedIn profile first in the listing.

If you own a web site or have participated in other social media, such as Vizibility or About.me, you might find those appearing on the first page of the search results as well. These should all include content that you have written or sanctioned (e.g., a media interview or video).

However, you might find a content piece that depicts you negatively. Your line of first defense should be to respectfully ask the owner of the site on which the negative piece appears to remove the page. Barring that, plan to put out newer, more positive information about yourself using your name. Typical strategies can include buying www.yourname.com or www.yourname.net and posting content that you choose, using your name and variants of it to move the negative information to the second or third page of the search results, where it will have less of an impact. Writing a blog to establish your thought leadership in your industry also will help.

3. Update Your Profiles to Ensure They Are Correct, Current, and Consistent

Make sure your social media profiles, particularly your LinkedIn profile, are complete, up to date, and consistent before you start searching (see above). Create an attention-getting LinkedIn profile headline, write a compelling summary, populate your profile with all your relevant education and experience, and be sure you have a professional photo.

4. Turn Off Your Activity Notifications on LinkedIn

If you are conducting a confidential job search, make sure to turn off activity notifications on LinkedIn and lock down your Facebook profile so you won’t tip off your current employer that you’re looking for a new job. If you don’t turn off your notifications before you update your profile in LinkedIn, all of your contacts will see activity updates as you add or change information on your profile.

5. Discreetly Grow Your Fan Base

One of the best ways to get noticed on LinkedIn is to be active in LinkedIn groups related to your job and/or industry. Participate in discussions. Ask questions. Offer relevant resources.

6. Convert Relevant Contacts into Real-Life Connections

The more people with whom you are connected–friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, connections on LinkedIn–the bigger your network for finding your next job. If you are unemployed, work to grow your social connections.

Do not forget to continuously grow your LinkedIn connections by sending requests to connect to fellow group members. You can choose to be a LinkedIn LION or not, but your connection numbers should always be growing. Turn as many of these online relationships into offline connections. You never know whether or when you will need a resource — or be one for someone else.

7. Use Your Social Media Connections to Research Prospective Employers

If you find out about a job opportunity, see whom you know, or whether you know someone who knows someone, at the company. Social media makes it much easier to find the name of the hiring manager for the position you’re seeking. Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways to connect with someone who works at your target employer. Now use the new relationship wisely to open opportunities for your executive job search.

8. Watch Your Personal Activity on Your Personal Profiles

Last, be wise and do not reveal on your personal pages any information that might indicate that you are in a confidential executive job search. For example, if you are friends with your boss or a co-workers on Facebook, don’t talk about your executive job search in your status updates.

Note: Be mindful of what you post on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Make sure that your feeds and status updates are “on brand.” Although you can make some social media profiles private, most Twitter accounts are open to the public. People have lost face if not their jobs because of insensitive, careless, or politically charged Tweets or status updates.

Does your confidential executive job search require a social media intervention? Five Strengths can help.

Image courtesy of Stock.xchng / bewinca

 

Engage in LinkedIn Groups for Your Executive Job Search to Boost Your Profile’s Relevance

Engage in LinkedIn Groups for Your Executive Job Search to Boost Your Profile’s Relevance

LinkedIn is known to be the most popular and most populated social media venue for executive job search. Thus, as an executive in career transition, you likely have a complete profile:

* 120 characters in your headline that describe your value, your executive level, and your industry.
* 2000 characters in your summary.
* 2000 characters for each of your positions.
* Hundreds if not thousands of connections.

And so on.

Choose your LinkedIn groups to improve your engagement--and your position in the LinkedIn search results.

Choose your LinkedIn groups to improve your engagement–and your position in the LinkedIn search results.

You probably also are members of LinkedIn groups. Every LinkedIn member can join up to 50 main groups. Are you maximizing your career opportunities through your membership in LinkedIn groups?

The real reason executive job seekers are on LinkedIn is that they want to be notable for (or be found for) the expertise they deliver. Although the official help source on the LinkedIn interface specifically does not mention your joining groups as a key to improving your search rank, it has been reported anecdotally that your membership in LinkedIn groups matters.

Choose the Right LinkedIn Groups for Your Executive Job Search

Therefore, you need to pick your LinkedIn groups according to some criteria that will promote you as an expert in your area of focus.

1. Choose LinkedIn groups related to your job search target.
2. Choose LinkedIn groups related to your functional expertise.
3. Choose LinkedIn groups related to your field of interest or industry.

By relating your profile with those similar to you in interests, industry, or job title, LinkedIn is likely to believe that you are authentically part of these affinity groups. But this is just the start. Simply having the groups on your profile is not enough to convince LinkedIn that you are part of these groups. Although the groups to which you as an executive job seeker belong tell something about your authenticity and your brand, they do not tell LinkedIn’s search algorithm enough about your relevance to the search results that ought to contain your profile.

According to the People Search Relevance and Rank on LinkedIn Search help topic:

Before we return results, we consider the searcher’s activity on LinkedIn, the profiles returned by the query, and other members who have run similar searches in determining the sort order. These, along with other factors, combine to provide us with data to improve the overall quality of our members’ search results.

The key phrase here, as it relates to LinkedIn group membership and relevance, is “we consider the searcher’s activity on LinkedIn.” This means you have to post topically relevant status updates regularly, in your timeline and in your groups. Perhaps I am going out on a limb here, but I also suspect that you need to engage other group members to create relevant, reciprocal, socially mediated engagement that is topically focused and related to your executive job search insofar as your posts and comments relate to your job search target, your industry, and your job function.

Your LinkedIn Group Membership and Engagement Boosts Your Profile in the Search Results

Straightforwardly, when you engage with other members–in groups in particular, because they are already topically narrow–you validate their affinities. When they engage you, they validate yours. And, so, the water rises and raises both your and your LinkedIn connection’s boats, meaning your executive job search profile will become more relevant in the inscrutable but critical LinkedIn search algorithm.

 

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Publish Your Way to Executive Thought Leadership

Publish Your Way to Executive Thought Leadership

One of the greatest challenges executives face as they are rising through the corporate structure is how to influence corporate behavior across an organization—or influence change across an industry. Doing good work that encourages change and growth in your own company is the first step. Broadening your influence to publishing platforms will be the second. Read on to learn how to become an executive thought leader through publishing original content.

Write a Blog on Your on Your Industry

The best publishing method you can use to demonstrate your executive thought leadership has a low barrier to entry, but it enables you to start building a following today. By writing a blog on your chosen industry, you can immediately develop a strong online presence.

Your Plan for Developing Online Thought Leadership and Influence

Briefly, your plan to write a blog to demonstrate your executive influence requires the following steps:

1. Choose a blogging platform. You can choose a free blogging platform such as WordPress.com, or you can buy a URL and install a free blogging platform, such WordPress. You can expect to pay a minimal amount annually to host your web site, but WordPress itself is free.

Become an executive thought leader by publishing a blog online.

Become an executive thought leader by publishing a blog online.

2. Choose a focus for your blog. Your blog must reflect your expertise to be credible. If you are building executive career momentum in, for example, cloud-based executive dashboards, then you need to develop a position for your blog in that industry.

3. Develop an editorial calendar. Major publishers have editorial calendars, and you need one, too, to ensure that you are covering all of the major topics that you want to influence. Develop a list of broad industry topics and assign them to particular days or weeks to ensure that you do not neglect key industry topics you need to address.

4. Decide the format and length of your blog articles. Typically, blog articles are successfully picked up by Google and the other major search engines when they are roughly 400-600 words each. However, there are many successful blogs, Seth Godin’s in particular, that publish multiple times per day in 200-300-word articles. You simply need to choose and to be consistent.

4. Determine the schedule on which you want to publish. You can choose to publish every day, three times per week, on Mondays at 4:30pm only, or any schedule you choose. Again, the key is consistency.

5. Promote your blog in your social media. Start by promoting your blog articles on LinkedIn, in your profile and in groups. Expand from there to your industry-specific sites. Share your articles with colleagues as well, if you believe that they will find them interesting or benefit from them.

6. Stay with the project. Writing your blog for executive thought leadership might feel like you are trying to do the impossible, particularly in the early stages. However, the more you stick with your efforts, the more influence you will develop online.

7. Improve your process. To improve your focus, technique accountability, you might consider hiring an expert who can help you determine the best strategy for your online thought leadership program. Call Five Strengths; we are experts in this process, and we will help you design and build your blog, develop your editorial program, and publish content that demonstrates your executive thought leadership.

 

Image courtesy of Stock.xchng / channah

Executive Job Search Success for You Now Featured on Five Strengths’ SlideShare Channel

Executive Job Search Success for You Now Featured on Five Strengths’ SlideShare Channel

Five Strengths is now on SlideShare!

Five Strengths is now on SlideShare!

Five Strengths Career Transition Experts is proud to announce the launch its SlideShare Channel: http://www.slideshare.net/aadler. We are using the slide show medium to offer quick insights into strategies that will propel your executive job search.

Our Most Popular Slide Deck: “How You Can Control Overwhelm in Your Job Search”

Most recently, we published our spin on the 80/20 Rule and how you can control overwhelm in your executive job search. This slide deck gives you the best industry tips on how you can seek out and win the executive job that is most fulfilling to you–without losing time and energy to job search activities that do not support your success.

[slideshare id=31053587&doc=howyoucancontroloverwhelminyourjobsearch-140210163855-phpapp01]

Also Popular on the Five Strengths SlideShare Channel: “Why You Should Apply for Only Six Jobs in Your Executive Job Search”

If you have been applying for dozens of executive jobs online, you can stop that right now. This slide deck tells all about why you need to focus your executive job search to win more interviews.

[slideshare id=30679772&doc=whyyoushouldonlyapplyforsixjobs-140131134147-phpapp02]

Visit the FiveStrengths.com SlideShare Channel at http://www.slideshare.net/aadler regularly for our best tips for your executive job search strategy. We post new content multiple times per week.

A Sneaky Way to Connect with Second-Degree Targets on LinkedIn

A Sneaky Way to Connect with Second-Degree Targets on LinkedIn

One of the safeguards that LinkedIn imposes on its platform is the inability of users to connect with people they do not know. If your connection is not part of one of your groups, and if you do not have a valid email address for them, and if you do not have a mutual connection who is willing to introduce you, LinkedIn will prevent you from connecting. Clearly, this precaution exists to prevent individuals from spamming the platform with connection requests. However, you can get around this precaution using a targeted strategy that enables you to connect with the right people. Read on to learn how you can expand your first-degree connections to include people you do not know.

Step 1: Identify the Characteristics of the People Whom You Are Targeting

You first need to think about the type of person with whom you wish to connect. These criteria might include industry, position level, company name, and so on. This list might have several elements; in fact the more you use, the more refined your search results will be. Note: The NOT (or minus sign) does not seem to work.

Step 2: Set Up an Advanced Search to Create the Right Results List

Locate the search bar at the top of your LinkedIn screen. Next to it, you will see a link called “Advanced Search.” Click on it.

Step 3: Input Your Search Criteria from Step 1

Write a search query in the text box. LinkedIn does not use standard Boolean search principles, so focus on including all of the search terms that you believe are relevant.

Use the Advance Search Interface to Connect with Second Degree LinkedIn Connections

Use the Advance Search Interface to Connect with Second Degree LinkedIn Connections

Then, uncheck all relationship statuses except “2nd connections.” This will ensure that your sorted list will include only those with whom you are second-degree connections. Now click the “Search” button at the bottom left of your screen.

Step 4: Evaluate Your Results

Is this the right list? If not, refine your search criteria and try again. If this list does look right, start looking at the blurbs or profiles of the people in your results list to verify whether they are the right ones with whom you might connect.

Step 5: Choose a Few Profiles with Whom You Wish to Connect

Choose several people with whom you would like to connect. Do not choose too many, or your connection requests will appear to be spam to the LinkedIn interface. Write them down in a list for your records (this is important). Now look on the right of the screen to where the “Connect” buttons are located, and click to make the appropriate connections.

You will notice that these send out automated connection requests that you cannot modify or customize. Because of this, you will not have a record in your profile of your request to connect, which makes having a list of those to whom you reached out very important.

Step 6: Wait for Your Requests to Be Accepted

Now wait for those with whom you attempted to connect to accept your connection. In many cases, they will do so. In others, you might risk being flagged as attempting to spam or given the dreaded “I do not know” response. This is why I recommend that you try this strategy with only a few targeted people only every few days to weeks. It is definitely effective, and it can result in your being able to connect with specific targets that you need to advance your executive job search, but using this strategy wrong could potentially harm your LinkedIn presence if used inappropriately.

LinkedIn Gives You the Option to Hide, but Why Would You? 6 Reasons to Go Public with Your LinkedIn Profile–Part 2

LinkedIn Gives You the Option to Hide, but Why Would You?
6 Reasons to Go Public with Your LinkedIn Profile–Part 2

To follow on the earlier post with three key reasons to go public with your LinkedIn profile, this article should allay your fears about sharing the connections you have built over the years. Read on for three more reasons you should open your LinkedIn profile for public views.

4. Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile

Show as much as you can about your LinkedIn connections to maximize your engagement and authenticity.

Show as much as you can about your LinkedIn connections to maximize your engagement and authenticity.

You can choose to be completely anonymous, partially identifiable by industry and location, or fully public. For LinkedIn power users, likely your market as you participate in an executive job search, hiding some or all of your profile can be catastrophic to your online connection. In a virtual world where your future connections expect authenticity, you need to prove that you are a real person with a real career history and set of expertise. If you remove this transparency from your profile settings, you can be sure that a hiring executive or recruiter who is searching for a future employee with your expertise will pass you by in favor of another candidate who is willing to be more open.

5. Select who can see your connections

There are certainly two schools of thought on generating first-degree connections. On the one hand, you might choose to connect only with those you know well. On the other, you might seek and accept connections from individuals whom you do not know but with whom a connection might be valuable down the road. Either way, when you hide your connections, you remove the essential value of having connections from your profile and discourage people from connecting with you.

6. Show/hide “Viewers of this profile also viewed” box

Are you worried that you have competition? Is this why you might choose to hide the list of profiles of those whom others have viewed in addition to yours? Why are you worried about competing? If your brand is authentic, clear, and valuable, you will never be concerned that others might leave your profile in search of one that better matches their needs–unless, in fact, there is another profile that better matches their needs. You cannot control the needs of a company as it searches for the right executive. You can, however, control the message and the transparency of your own profile, giving a recruiter or hiring executive more reasons to connect with you and to reach out.

Create a LinkedIn profile that a hiring executive cannot ignore. Call Five Strengths to learn how.

 

Image courtesy of Stock.xchng / hux

6 Reasons to Go Public with Your LinkedIn Profile–Part 1

LinkedIn Gives You the Option to Hide, but Why Would You?
6 Reasons to Go Public with Your LinkedIn Profile–Part 1

LinkedIn is, essentially, a networking tool that is designed to create relationships online that you can translate into offline connections. A private profile prevents people from getting to know you. Read on for three good reasons to turn make your profile public on LinkedIn. The first three privacy features you need to manage in your LinkedIn profile all relate to what people see about your profile and activity themselves. Check back tomorrow to learn the remaining three, which relate to factors more external to your profile but equally about your LinkedIn presence.

Open your LinkedIn profile 6 key ways!

Open your LinkedIn profile 6 key ways!

Primarily, your LinkedIn profile functions as your calling card to the world, particularly if you are an executive job seeker who needs to build connections now for a job search down the road. Your future connections will want to know that you are a real person operating in a virtual medium and that your profile, too, is authentic. You can create this sense of confidence in your profile viewers through turning off your privacy settings and enabling your visitors to read more about you.

1. “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts”

With this option, you allow your connections to see when you change your profile, recommend someone, or follow companies. Although you might want to turn this function off temporarily if you’re making wholesale changes to your profile, you should keep this option on. Your network wants to know whom you respect, what companies you like, and when you increase the value of your own profile with new information.

2. “Select who can see your activity feed”

Although you can tighten down your activity feed to the point where only you can see what you have posted or how you have participated, you need to set this one to “Everyone.” The point of LinkedIn is to engage with the activity of others, so your network cannot engage with you if you do not let them know what you are thinking and doing.

3. “Change your profile photo & visibility”

First, always, always include a recent, professional photo of yourself. This one addition to your profile can increase your profile views significantly, as it becomes a measure of your transparency and authenticity. Second, the rules that prevent you from including a photo on your executive resume do not apply to social media, in which you are expected to demonstrate your consistency of presentation across various social media outlets. In other words, the value of including a photo and enabling everyone on the social media platform to see it far outweigh the old-school reasons for never showing a photo.

LinkedIn Gives You the Option to Hide, but Why Would You?
6 Reasons to Go Public with Your LinkedIn Profile–Part 2 Publishing Tomorrow!

Part 2 now published–check back here to learn how to manage the LinkedIn profile settings that enable your visitors to learn more about the professional community within which you work.

Becoming a LinkedIn LION: Balancing the Pros and Con for Your Job Search

Becoming a LinkedIn LION: Balancing the Pros and Con for Your Job Search

Are you proud of the number of connections you have on LinkedIn? Is this a metric you wish to cultivate? If so, can you definitively explain the value of having a thousand connections? If you can, you should consider becoming a LinkedIn Open Networker, or LION.

We all know that special person who just “knows everyone.” When we have a question about something specific, we ask that person for a contact, and he or she just pulls one up, having built a Rolodex of the right people. In the parlance of Jim Collins’s personal board of directors, this is the “connector” who can help us find the right resources. On LinkedIn, this connector is called a LION, and this person is willing to serve as a connecting hub for hundreds, if not thousands of LinkedIn connections.

Are you a connector? Become a LinkedIn LION, but caveat emptor.

Are you a connector? Become a LinkedIn LION, but caveat emptor.

The value of becoming a LION is clear. The more people with whom you are connected on LinkedIn, the more likely you are to have a connection who has a connection in a company of interest to you. So if this is true, why shouldn’t everyone seek to build a LinkedIn connection cast of thousands?

The pros of becoming a LinkedIn LION are certainly clear. By announcing your status change, you’ll be inundated with connection requests of perhaps hundreds. Feel free to accept them all. Watch your profile views grow radically week to week. Post interesting status updates along the way, and you’ll likely see your posts circulate widely.

On the other hand, you won’t really know these new connections, unless you make a practice of getting to know each one. What is likely to happen is that people will connect with you specifically because they want access to your network, which is easy on LinkedIn but harder if not impossible in real life. How can you recommend the expertise of someone you don’t know–to someone you don’t know?

Thus, if you’re a numbers wonk and just want to see your metrics change, by all means become a LinkedIn LION. Announce your new position on all the groups to which you belong. Put it in your headline. Ask for connections and state that you’ll never give an “I don’t know this person” response to a request.

However, if you are a serious job seeker, you’ll see pretty quickly that LION status is just that–a status. It doesn’t have a qualitative impact on the strategy of your job search. Instead, keep building your network strategically. If that means that along the way you reach out to a LION–in your industry, in your job function, or known to someone you know well–to strategically access that person’s network, by all means do so. But don’t dilute the value of the connections among those who trust your discernment by thinning out your network beyond strategic need.

Are you a LinkedIn LION? Let Five Strengths know your thoughts from the other side.

 

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