Check out this (slightly edited) email I got from a buddy:
I am looking for a job and want to leverage LinkedIn? If I find someone that works at a company that I would want to work for but I don’t know them, should I invite connect with them? Assuming so but give me some advice on this.
Too often we get invitations to connect from people we don’t know, and after a connection is made, there is no communication.
Or the communication is “I’m interested in working for your company, here’s my resume.”
That’s what too many job seekers are doing today.
It is impersonal, and close to spammy.
The person on the receiving end is thinking things like:
- Who are you?
- Why should I pay attention to your job search?
- You are one of a hundred who have sent me the same thing…
- So what….
Think about it this way. Sending a LinkedIn invite like that is like going to a network meeting with a receipt book. Instead of talking to people and establishing a relationship, you just walk up to them and ask them for their credit card, so you can fill out a receipt.
Stupid, right? No one does that.
Why do you do it on LinkedIn, then?
This happens all the time.
Let’s take the analogy further… once you fill out the receipt, and give it to them (they didn’t give you their credit card, but you tell them to “pay later… not problem!”), you go away.
And they never hear from you again. You don’t deliver whatever it was that they “bought.” You are just GONE.
You go off and brag about all of your sales that you’ve made.
But they don’t know anything more than that you are a NUT.
See the correlation here?
Before you invite someone to connect, think about your relationship with them, and ask yourself if you want a professional relationship or if you just want a LinkedIn connection, which will likely go nowhere if not founded on a real relationship.