Rude Linkedin Introductions, you just sent one!

Illin' Linkedin Introductions

In the last few weeks, I feel like I suddenly got popular with all the Linkedin Introductions I have received.  Not in the “hot girl at the dance” kind of way and not in the "our company just got a billion dollar valuation" way.  Either my name is on wall in a bathroom stall or my Linkedin account hit a tipping point and has enough momentum to build on itself.

The issue I have with these Illin’ (Inconsiderate Linkedin Lazy INtro’s) Linkedin Introductions is that they arrive in the inbox with no note, no introduction, and what I feel is a lack of professionalism.  If I have known you for awhile, we just caught up and when I get back to the office I see the invite to connect, I "almost" get it, but even would it kill someone to include a “great catching up with you"?  Lately, I have been receiving a lot of invites from people I don’t know with no note, no introduction, nada.  Just the standard message that your Linkedin introductions provide:

“I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

For those of the Facebook generation, let me put it into perspective.  OMG!  Seriously!  That's just rude!  I don’t care how hot, popular, or rich you are, I just think it is a little assuming to show up in my inbox with no introduction or purpose and ask me for something.   It is one step removed from the pop up that you receive when on a porn sight that says something like “Lavender92 left you a message”.   Not that I would know. . . I work in HR.

Am I asking too much?  Am I old fashioned?

Linkedin introductions give professionals a great vehicle to connect, has made it super easy to reach out and touch someone and more often than not the opportunity is squandered.  Just a couple of clicks on the mouse and you have the potential to be connected.  Look mom, no typing!  But this isn’t Facebook.  This isn’t a personal and informal network for the mamarazzi.  I look at this as a platform and opportunity to show off professional chops.  I don’t want 500 connections with people I have never worked with, emailed with, or been introduced to.  I would rather have 50 quality connections that I trust, have worked with, or networked with.  If I am going to connect with someone, I want the first impression to be one that is thoughtful, shows some respect, and yes, kisses up to some extent.  I am not reaching out to you, you are reaching out to me.  Are you such a celebrity that I should be jumping at the chance to connect with you?

Does this sound familiar to your Linkedin introductions?  Show up, ask for something and assume I am going to run hither?

If you are reaching out to connect with me (and I am a nobody), is it wrong of me to ask WHY?  Is that vain of me?  I am not expecting anyone to say, “hey sexy, saw your picture on Linkedin, wanna hook up?”  But would it kill anyone to type something like:

  • Heard you speak at the recruiting event last week and wanted to reach out.  I took your advice, thanks!   Let me know if I can return the favor.
  • Saw your blog post and wanted to reach out.  Thought what you said about networking was spot on.
  • I saw that you are going to attend the Best Place to Work awards next week, and was hoping I could introduce myself there, just wanted to reach out.

The above gives me confidence that this connection may lead to something that we will both appreciate.  It leaves me all touchy - feely - goosey- bumpy and even if you are a vendor looking to get into our pants, at least I get the feeling you are trying.

Am I asking too much when I ask for 2 sentences?  Did common courtesy just pass me by?

Did technology kill professionalism and courtesy like video killed the radio star?   I just did a speaking event for a college group last week and the thank you I received was an email that said “thank for speaking” in the subject line and the body of the email was blank.  Not even a signature.  Thanks a lot buddy.

Linkedin introductions are a tool.  Just like your daddy said "Take care of the tool and the tool will take care of you."

Good Luck,


nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired.  EG: "He has a nasty forkball".

Views: 3933

Comment by Theresa OKeefe on May 17, 2012 at 12:48pm

Me personally...I do send out invites to individuals I don't know...but I choose "other" (not friend) and I research the person a bit and find their email address.  Once I've done that I send them a short bio about myself and my company and how we place top talent and find top talent in the financial services field (since at this point the person could be a candidate or a future client).

When I get the standard LinkedIn request from people with no note, I go and check out their profile. If it appears to be nothing but a person wanting to link up to "hawk" their wares...I ignore the request.

Comment by Angela Cartwright on May 17, 2012 at 1:05pm

Now I have that song in my head..."video killed the radio star"...

Great post - especially like the 50 quality connections vs. the 500 you don't know.  Great advice.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 17, 2012 at 1:26pm
Did anybody else get four or five spam emails from some long legged beauty who wants to make your fantasies come true after seeing your profile on RBC?

I couldn't help it I sent an email back telling her I hadn't had a fantasy in 30 years.

Of course now I can count on a deluge of spam mail but well, sometimes the devil makes me do it. Maybe some kid in Egypt got a laugh.
Comment by Linda Ferrante on May 17, 2012 at 1:30pm

I had this EXACT conversation yesterday!!  I received an invite to connect from someone who should know better!  I haven't responded yet and I'm debating what/how to respond.  I love that you called it 'Illin'.  I haven't heard that yet, but I think I'm in love with it!  Historically, I've been a connecting snob.  I won't accept unless there's a note, regardless of what it says, pretty much.  As long as they have taken the time to write a note, I'll recognize it and accept them (within reason, if they are suspicious, then I don't accept it).  Just my two cents worth!

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on May 17, 2012 at 2:49pm

Huge pet peeve! I get that some people think that connecting to everyone on the planet is a good and idea and makes them feel important to add to their collection, but it makes me want to colonize a new planet populated only with "normal" people. Who's with me? 

I've always suspected that I get more than my share of random stranger requests, but never really tracked it and anytime I mentioned it to anyone else, they didn't understand what I meant. Glad to see that it wasn't just a mis-guided campaign to make me feel popular and loved by the people of BFE and surrounding continents. 

Obviously, it makes no difference, but at least if I ignore someone, I feel justified in doing so based on my "contact preferences" section below. 

Contact Kelly for:

No need to waste an InMail or trouble a network contact for an introduction... If you'd like to communicate with me, please do! 

NOTE: Regarding my network, I only invite people to connect with me that I have met in person or through a virtual exchange. Though, I am not opposed to accepting invitations from those I have not yet officially met. If you would like to connect on LinkedIn, simply send me a brief note in your invitation explaining why you think it would be a good idea for us to join networks. 

In my line of work, I always enjoy meeting new, interesting and TALENTED professionals! The easiest way to reach me is either a direct message through LinkedIn, Twitter @TalentTalks or email: kelly(at) - I will respond as quickly as possible!

Comment by Christopher Perez on May 17, 2012 at 2:56pm

That's a great approach, Kelly. I may adapt that and use something similar if you don't mind. It sets some friendly but assertive ground rules, and encourages a little positive behavior change. Not bad.

On a related note, I just jumped into LinkedIn and noticed that they just made an interface tweak...

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on May 17, 2012 at 3:19pm

I like it Kelly! I think we're all going to steal it.... :)

Comment by Jerry Albright on May 17, 2012 at 3:22pm

Once again - get over yourselves people.  Stop being so offended by invitations without a love letter attached, resumes from people you don't know and candidates that may be more encouraged if you offered a few bucks.  What business are you in, any way? 

For those of you NOT in the know - Linkedin has been using an entirely new way to encourage use to connect with each other.  A huge window opens in the middle of the page with people you may want to connect with.  Not the old way that has always been there.  This function doesn't require you to pretend you know them, have their email address or allege that you've worked with them.  Just hit the connect button and send.  You can add a note (which I do) but you aren't required to do any of that.

So I'll repeat:  Get over yourselves people! 

Comment by Bob McIntosh on May 17, 2012 at 3:24pm

Spot on about default LinkedIn invites. I have very little patience for these lazy invitations and have been using them as a deciding factor. No personalized invite, no accepting. That's just me. I liked this article and Tweeted it.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on May 17, 2012 at 3:31pm

Jerry - I'm not in the business of being spammed by sourcebots or junior agency recruiters who haven't been taught any better. I still appreciate that RBC is a community of like minded recruiters who can get together and bitch about the stuff that bugs us like spammy LI invites. If candidates that I can place want to say I worked with them at ABC Widget Co I'll accept all day long. Unfortunately it's usually some guy asking if I want to hire his .Net Developer.


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