When making connections, it means you’re interested in professional relationships. But think about when to connect and when to ignore the request.
It may not be appropriate to connect with just ‘ole anyone that invites you!
Connect with professionals in your ideal audience. People you want to do business with that may provide career information, opportunities or referrals.
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”
Connect with professionals that are within your ideal audience. Even if it’s a smaller audience, you’ll reap more mutual benefits than connecting to a huge audience of anyone. Along with the notion of focus on your ideal audience, it’s important for your profile to be clear on what you do, how you do it and who you do it for in order to attract the right people for connections. You can download our free Profile Tune-up here.
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. Just go to the profile and access the 3 dots to the right of their picture. You’ll be presented with these options.
The good news is that there are many more great connections to meet so focus on those that you feel can be a resource to you and you for them.
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2Actify is an online course and program that teaches motivated career seekers including students, grads and alumni an in-depth, step-by step process on how to strategically network online. They learn techniques and concepts that prepare them for attaining or relaunching a rewarding career, create career options for themselves, learn online communication skills for their future and “beat the job board jungle”.