It may not be appropriate to connect with just anyone that invites you!
Think about when to connect and when to ignore the request.
Connect with professionals that are within your ideal audience for opportunities and referrals. Even with a smaller audience, you’ll meet the right connections rather than a huge audience of anyone.
If you receive an invitation, take a closer look to determine if:
- They sent a personal and professional note when inviting you to connect.
- Their profile picture shows a professional pose
- Their headline, summary and work experience show this prospect as someone that you can be mutual resources with
- You both have something in common
- They fit in your ideal audience category
- You share a similar work experience
- You have mutual connections that you recognize
- You both have the same alma mater
- Their invitation is a result of you reaching out to them by viewing their profile and they are viewing you back
- You recognize their company and can see them listed as an employee of that company on LinkedIn, as an example.
- If you’re truly interested in that person’s connection and things are not appearing on the up and up, either google them or move on (and select to ignore the request)
- If there’s doubt, listen to your “inner voice”
Quality vs. Quantity:
When you have a lot of connections (500+), your network of 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections grow exponentially. When you share, more are listening.
Where’s the line between being too selective and too open? That depends on the platform (are you networking on a social platform that’s geared to personal connections vs. professional connections?) and how clear you are on your expertise and identifying your ideal audience. It’s important to grow your network and accept the right invitations, but they should be people that are within your ideal audience.
If you connected with a person that proves to be a poor decision, you can always delete the connection.