“know” your connections on LinkedIn

This is in response to a LinkedIn Job Angels Group question about whether it is important to have pictures on profiles, and whether you should connect with people when you do not know what they look like.

I prefer to connect with people I actually know, so I will not accept invites to connect from people I don’t know. This is what LinkedIn recommends, and, not being an “open networker”, I agree with them. I feel that this increases the value of my network to my connections, again as LinkedIn suggests.

But I also realize that 5 “I don’t knows” will get the invitor’s account suspended, so I do as Eric suggests and archive the invite.

Even if I actually meet people at an event, and they send an invite request to me immediately, I politely send them a message saying I only connect with people I know well, that I just met them, and invite them to continue a dialog with me and accept other personal meetings. I keep those invites in my Inbox and this reminds me to decide when I am comfortable accepting the invite.

Notice none of this has to do with pictures of my connections. If I know them I don’t care if they have a picture or not. I do recommend pictures because I think people without pictures are hiding something. And I let my connections know how I feel.

I also don’t like when any of my connections hide their connections from me using their privacy settings. I ask them a few times to change their privacy settings to enable viewing their connection list and point out that their network is of no value unless I know who they are, and that it is not fair for me to show my connections to them if they are not reciprocating. If they do not open their network to me I drop them as a connection. My network is too valuable to me to be used like that!

After scanning my own response, it is obvious to me that your question sparked a flood of thoughts and emotion! Am I right? I am for my network!

Tom Smith
Managing Director
Focused Solutions Group