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: 3947

Comment by Alan Fluhrer on May 17, 2012 at 7:56pm

We have 300 spaces for an intro like this. We should use all 300 spaces. Yes it's a bit old fashion to let the person know the 'why' behind your invite. But hey, maybe I'm old school

Comment by Bill Schultz on May 17, 2012 at 8:46pm

As I said with people who try to go straight to the hiring manager "If they're good, you're going to use them" or in this case, connect with them.   I don't know why people do it.  My email is right there. So they get a point off for smarts.     But it doesn't bother me much to click on their profile and see if they are a worthwhile connection.

Comment by HRNasty on May 17, 2012 at 11:45pm

Christopher, thanks for keeping this real.  It isn't the Apocalypse.  If we can't have a little fun now and then whats the point.  I want to get a point across in a way folks may remember.  You said it.  We work in recruiting and in HR, and if we are not able to take a little rudeness, we are clearly in the wrong biz.  Can't we all just get along????  

Jerry. . .  Keep it coming. . . and keep it real for us!  We love and respect ya

Comment by HRNasty on May 17, 2012 at 11:49pm

Mr. Amato, 

you are right.  This isn't a linked issue, this is larger.  A sign of our society.  How many times have we seen hiring managers get so excited over a thank you email from a  candidate that is only 2 sentences.  Why are they excited?  Because in a complete absence of "thank you", two simple sentences are an oasis in the desert.  I like your attitude.  Easy come, easy go.  Sounds like a good guy to have a beer with.  thanks for the comment.  

Comment by HRNasty on May 18, 2012 at 12:10am

Mr. Fluhrer, 

I am with you, old school and proud of it.  I think that most people making the hiring decision, especially at the more sr. levels come from an older generation, and appreciate old school.  I would rather take the extra 10 seconds to write something and not take a chance of turning someone off.  

Comment by on May 18, 2012 at 3:05am

Sometimes this is, to a degree, unavoidable.  For some reason if you invite someone who does not already have a LinkedIn account (so you're entering their email address) there's no option to edit the invite.  You can always send a separate email (which also gets around the size limit on the text you can add to invites) but I can't help feel that flags up a problem with LinkedIn (the inability to edit invites) which might put off someone who doesn't have an account yet.

Comment by Greg Savage on May 18, 2012 at 7:55am

Good on you HR nasty. I thought I was the only "old fashioned" idiot who thinks such terse requests to connect are rude. Really annoys me. Just a quick sentence of intro or context is sufficient, but 90 % that I get..and I get a lot these days.. are bland and impersonal

Comment by Lisa A, Doorly on May 18, 2012 at 8:02am

It makes you wonder - if you couldn't be bothered writing a note telling me why you want to connect with me - why should I bother responding.  I attribute it to laziness quite frankly.

Comment by Christopher Perez on May 18, 2012 at 8:21am

This discussion has made me wonder about the role of the social media platform as an enabler of this type of behavior shift. Back to my example of Facebook doing away with the option of adding a personal note when you friend someone... people may do the subconscious mental calculation: "if it's ok to do it on FB where these people are actually friends, then why bother to exert any social niceties on LI, where these people are *merely* business acquaintances?"

Not to be cynical, but these social networks exist to attract as many connected users as possible. Why would they want to make that connection process any more difficult than necessary? You could argue that by requiring or even just offering an option to send a personal note, the connections could be made stronger (i.e., stickier) which would create even more loyalty and bond to the platform. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

This is not a defense of those who send lazy connection requests, and it's not meant to pin all the blame on the technology. Just a thought exercise and observation. It happens to be in line with my personal belief that bad behavior is usually a result of a whole series of little left turns...

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 18, 2012 at 11:15am
I shall "get over myself" when the very minimum of plain old basic manners that we teach a five year old somehow trickles into the "you can't see me so it doesn't matter" attitude of the internet. Since Jer. startedusing his baby picture he has turned into a brat. :)


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