Contacts on LinkedIn – Who Makes the Invite List?

Last week I wrote about receiving invitations to “Connect” on LinkedIn from unknown individuals and my criteria for accepting/rejecting requests.  So now I flip the issue and offer my thoughts on how I determine my invite list for connections.

Before I list off my parameters, a friend of mine reminded me that individuals use LinkedIn for different purposes.  For this discussion, I submit that I use LinkedIn as an electronic Rolodex of trusted professional/personal connections.  With that said, some criteria for my invite list would include:

  • I must know you – Have we done business together, have you assisted me in the past or vice versa, do we know each other from some other connection (church, professional association, school, etc.).  If I cannot state how we know each other, I feel we are not at the level of a “Connection” yet.
  • Trustworthy – Since I use LinkedIn for professional endeavors, I need to trust my connections as I do not want someone to use my name in reaching out to another user unless I know that person will act appropriately.  I hope that I can pass along connections and have this kindness be reciprocated, so a level of trust is needed among my connections.
  • Conversation – Personally, I like to invite only individuals I have spoken with,  or at a minimum exchanged email conversations, fairly recently.  If I have not had some sort of interaction with an individual in a number of months/years – I question how well I know that person.
  • Automatic Yes – If I am inviting another LinkedIn user to “Connect” I should feel pretty confident I know the answer will be ‘yes’.  If I am unsure if a person will accept my outreach, I prefer to first get to know the individual better, then extend an invitation at a later date.

I realize these criteria are on the conservative side for LinkedIn users and some users will have more generous parameters.  Do you have criteria of whom you invite to ‘Connect’?

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About Kevin Monahan

I have 10+ years experience in coaching clients in their career management and career change efforts. Personal career consulting services combined with employer outreach to help find opportunities for both constituents.
This entry was posted in Career Management, Communications, Job Search, LinkedIn, Networking, online and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Contacts on LinkedIn – Who Makes the Invite List?

  1. Pingback: LinkedIn -Invitation Etiquette Redux | Career Seeker's Guide

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