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: 3956

Comment by Christopher Perez on May 17, 2012 at 4:49pm

Damn. I tried the honest but stupid "I don't know Jerry" button and the standard invitation wording. I got admonished and then kicked back to your profile. So there you have it-- LinkedIn is encouraging lying. :)

Comment by Chris Amato on May 17, 2012 at 4:56pm

Looks like this one struck a chord.  Sadly, the bigger issue is that LinkedIn behavior is indicative of our rude and self-serving society as a whole.  Unless you have something that someone wants or you can help someone get something that they want, seldom is there a pleasant exchange or proper introduction.  Nobody thinks long term anymore, it's just me, me, me, now, now, now. As far as LI, I don't care about introductions, I know how it works, some say hello, some don't, its all good, but if someone does write something nice, something true, I appreciate it and I remember it.  So if I had to save one person and it was the guy with no intro vs. the guy with an intro, I would save the courteous guy, but that's just me.  Have a wonderful day everybody!

Comment by Jerry Albright on May 17, 2012 at 5:14pm

You're absolutely right Chris.  Courtesy!  It's slipping away - and perhaps part of that is due directly to social media in general.  It's just kind of accepted now that people invite/friend/follow, etc. without a word of introduction.  It's really quite weird when you think of it.

Many times when inviting someone to connect it is because I want to recruit or refer them.  I'll always start with joining whatever group they are in and connect that way.  So then the "we are in the same group" invitation is legit.  Not "super" legit - but it qualifies.  If they are in no groups and I am running out of options for my client/candidate goal - yes I will do the unthinkable - the horrible - the outrageous!  I'll say we worked together and click my agency name.  Then I write a nice intro and reason for connecting.

As far as I know this has never been a problem - or caused my account to suffer at the hands of those in charge at Linkedin.  I'm pretty sure they know darn well this is what recruiters (like me) are doing and are OK with it.

I hope they're not reading this though....

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on May 17, 2012 at 5:42pm

Jerry - I'm going to send you an invitation to join my talent community! :) 

Anyone here using LI to post jobs w/ the "apply through LI" function enabled? Worthwhile? Better candidate quality? Any observations / opinions you can share? 

Comment by HRNasty on May 17, 2012 at 5:42pm

Theresa, thanks for reading.  Just out of curiosity, when you do check a background on folks that reach out with no note and it looks legit. . . what do you do?  

Angela, how bout a change of pace. . .  

She's a brick----house
Mighty mighty, just lettin' it all hang out
She's a brick----house
The lady's stacked and that's a fact, 
ain't holding nothing back.

Thanks for the comments!

Comment by HRNasty on May 17, 2012 at 6:22pm


thanks for the comments and your two cents is worth 20.00 here!  

Comment by HRNasty on May 17, 2012 at 6:24pm

Kelly, great protocol, I am probably going to implement your ideas!  One other thing I have seen recently is that the profile invites folks to connect, but on specific topics.  "if you want to connect on building company culture, recruiting, or social media, hit me up with some specifics". . .  If that isn't a hint I don't know what is.  Thanks for the great contribution!

Comment by HRNasty on May 17, 2012 at 6:46pm

Jerry, I realize that we are not 'required" to attach a note, I just think it adds a layer of professionalism and courtesy.  I represent the company I work for.  My actions are a reflection of the company I work for.  A lack of courtesy on my behalf can easily be interpreted as the company lacking courtesy.  I realize that the waiter that served me my food with a bitchy attitude isn't the company, but it will keep me from coming back.  In this economy, I encourage everyone to put their best foot forward, especially when we are making that first impression, because you don't get a second chance.  Thanks for the comment, always appreciate hearing from @animal!

Comment by HRNasty on May 17, 2012 at 6:50pm


thanks for the Tweet!  Looking forward to your updates on Twitter.  Thanks for the comment

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 17, 2012 at 7:44pm

@Kelley, i just did for the first time today.  We shall see what it produces.  The only thing so far is a recruiter wanting to split and a guy who doesn't have the technology but wants to connect so i can find him something else.


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