LinkedIn is not Facebook

Many LinkedIn users have a common dislike of receiving invitations to connect from someone we have never met or have any shared business interests.  This posting is being made so I, and anyone wanting to use it, can nudge these folks into using LinkedIn more appropriately.

With so many social networking sites, it is understandable that people are getting confused and lose track of what the original intent of the various sites is for.

Using the search engine of your choice, one can find many hits on the etiquette of social networking sites.  I am going to keep mine short and pertinent to my LinkedIn use.

  • Keep your profile private until it is something you can be proud of.  Many will ignore your invitation to link because of an incomplete profile.  Add a picture, work history, groups, interests, and anything else that will make your profile one that would make sense for the invitee to link with.
  • LinkedIn is not Facebook or Google+.  It is, at the time of this writing, the world’s largest professional network.  Keep it professional.  Don’t get confused between “friending” someone and “linking” to them for professional reasons.
  • Invite for the right reasons, not for the purpose of inflating the number of links.  If we have something in common with the work we do or have common business interests, feel free to send an invite.

If you get a reply to your connection invitation with a link to this post, don’t be offended.  Nobody is trying to hurt your feelings, rather we want you to know why the invite was not well received and help you fix it.