career, job search, recruiting, technology

How NOT to use LinkedIn.

In previous blog posts, I’ve discussed ways to effectively use LinkedIn during a job search. LinkedIn is a phenomenal tool for research/information, networking, job search, and community collaboration. You can build your professional network–and build influence within that network–very effectively using LinkedIn resources.

In this post and a follow-up next Monday, I’ll be covering things you should NOT do with LinkedIn. Here are the first two–and they are biggies.

  • Send a connection request to a stranger…without stating a shared connection/professional interest/compelling reason they should connect with you (and open their network to you).
  • …or send a connection request to a recruiter because that company has a job posted. I realize that this is the easiest (and, at free, the cheapest) way to get on their radar. But by accepting your connection request, you now have access to their network. Many people don’t understand that recruiters live by their LinkedIn network–they curate it very carefully as it is a professional tool for them. They also limit who gets access to that network. Recommendation: Pay for InMails. This gives you a great way to connect with recruiters or hiring managers. Better yet, download the Falcon plugin for Chrome, which will aggregate information from multiple web sources and often will produce an email address.

Let’s go through my connection requests from the past few days for a few examples of what I mean:LI Connection requests

  1. He’s not “my new account manager” as have never used Taleo. He wants to see if he can sell me software and get access to the other recruiting leaders in my network. Ignored.
  2. Someone from Vietnam–a country in which we do not do business. We have zero shared connections; this is likely due in response to an ad I have posted. Ignored.
  3. A fellow HR professional who responded to a comment I made in a LinkedIn group. I’ll accept this as we could be of use to one another in future.
  4. Agency representative who has bothered at least one (if not more) of my hiring managers in addition to this LinkedIn connection request. That’s strictly a no-no (I manage all direct hire agency relationships) and other people in his company know it. Ignored.

In my next post, we’ll talk about other things NOT to do with LInkedIn–but in the meantime I’d love to hear what’s on your LinkedIn “DON’T” lists?




  1. Pingback: How NOT to use LinkedIn–Part II | The Right Candidate - August 7, 2013

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