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People you should never add on LinkedIn

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You have just had your LinkedIn profile for a few months and one day you get an invitation to connect from a random stranger. What do you do? This can be a daunting situation for a LinkedIn newbie, but don’t panic we have got some tips for you.

Karen Brown, author of the ebook Mastering LinkedIn suggests to assess the person’s profile first, if you receive an invitation on LinkedIn from someone you don’t know. “Whilst it’s flattering to be asked to connect with someone, there are a couple of things to consider when deciding whether to accept an invitation or not,” says Karen.

The first thing to do is to look at the person’s network:

500+ connections on Linkedin

If they have 500+ connections then they are a serial networker and you will get immediate access to their network.  In which case, connecting to them will probably add value to your network.  The downside is that unless you initiate a conversation with them, then you’ll just be part of their collection of names.

Less than 500+ connections on LinkedIn

If they have less than 500+ connections, take a look at their profile.  Think about the quality of their profile.  Is it well set out?  Do they have a lot of endorsements or recommendations?  Some profiles are full of errors and not complete.  In which case, you have to ask yourself if you want to be associated with that person!

Apart from the number of connections, there are also other things to consider before adding a stranger to your LinkedIn network. Always remember, LinkedIn is like an online CV and most recruiters and HR staff will check your online profile after receiving your job application. Make sure you only connect with trustworthy people who will benefit your career.

Be aware of scammers

In her ebook Mastering LinkedIn, Karen advises to be wary of people’s intention when connecting you on LinkedIn. “When you connect with them, you are giving them access to your personal contact information.  Make sure that whilst your profile is complete, it doesn’t offer enough information about you for identity theft,” she says.

Once you have connected with a person, something may happen where you re-consider whether you want to be connected to them.  It may be that you have reached the maximum number of connections, and someone who could add more value to your profile wants to connect.  It could be that they have sent a spamming email or made a request that makes you feel uncomfortable.  Whatever the reason, it is very simple to remove a connection.

Wrong connection?

If you have been too trusting in the past and added people you don’t know without checking their profile – don’t worry. You are allowed to change your mind, removing contacts from LinkedIn is fairly easy. However, think twice about removing connections from your profile. While the good news is that, unless this person starts looking for you in their network, they won’t even notice you have removed them from your connections, they will notice if you delete them too hastily and later on decide to add them again. While removing a contact from your LinkedIn network does not trigger any automatic notifications, an invitation to connect on LinkedIn needs to be confirmed by the person who receives it.

How to remove a contact from LinkedIn:

  • Click on [Network], then [Contacts]
  • If the person isn’t immediately visible, then use the search facility at the top of the list, to find their name.
  • Hover you mouse over the person’s name.  A number of options appear.  Click on the drop down arrow on the right of “More”, then click on “Remove connection”.

If you have had your LinkedIn profile for a while and gathered a broad following you might want to check your connections every now and then, to see if you are still happy with the people you have in your network. Anyone you don’t feel comfortable with can be removed from the list.

Mastering LinkedIn

Find these and many more helpful tips on how to use LinkedIn in our ebook Mastering LinkedIn.

Read now