Q: Should I accept all LinkedIn connection requests?
A: Why, no.
Like many, you may be curious about the etiquette of LinkedIn connecting. You are networking, right? So why limit your potential network?
There are those who would tell you that accepting all connection requests is a good idea—but LinkedIn isn’t among them. The platform’s official statement: Connect with only those people you know and trust.
1) Your connections contribute to your news feed.
Unlike other platforms, your LinkedIn newsfeed is primed with valuable, professionally relevant materials—unless your network is contaminated with connections sharing no professional common ground. CIO.com agrees that the platform is designed to offer you news that relates to your professional life, an effort undermined by the cake recipes or inspirational quotes posted by your mom/high school gym teacher.
2) Depending on your security settings, connections can see—and gain access to—the rest of your network.
Maybe you’ve considered peeking at other folks’ connections for recruiting purposes. No? Well, you could… And even if you haven’t, others are quite possibly thinking of poaching from your network. So keep it safe!
– Turn down connection requests from people you don’t know and aren’t certain you want to know
– Protect your network by setting “Who can see your connections” in Profile privacy to “only you”
3) Connections can get spammy with you.
It’s a mistake I’ve made.
- Hope, I have an online course I’d love for you to take a look at…
- Hope, are you interested in trying my new app…
- Hope, I’d love to talk with you about an exciting new venture…
I hope they’re kidding.
Fear not: It’s nothing you can’t undo.
Say you just can’t bring yourself to turn down a request. You’re not alone. The Washington Post says you can’t call it networking if you only communicate with people you already know. TheMuse.com agrees, and points out that disconnecting is easy—and better still, your connection won’t even know you severed ties.
LinkedIn shouldn’t be a pain, and your network shouldn’t be lousy with pests. One way to keep the platform as the efficient, professional tool it’s meant to be is to be judicious about accepting connections—and maybe prune some of those you accepted without thinking it through.