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: 3948

Comment by Jerry Albright on May 18, 2012 at 11:42am

I'm glad you like my picture Sandra.  My mom said I was the best baby ever - so I'm sticking with it.

Regarding courtesy, manners, etc.  I am not suggesting that we, the recruiting community, should abandon them.  I've been nice to people since my profile pic was taken. 

I'm talking about getting an invitation from someone WHO MAY BRING VALUE to your network.  If they do - then accept it.  If they don't - then don't.

Comment by Amber on May 18, 2012 at 12:50pm

There are times when LI has no option of adding a note, so I assume that some of the requests I get without additional messages are those. I have some people in my "network" that may or may not add "value", but I am open to learning new things, so who knows what might come up that I wouldn't have ever known or heard about?

But I agree if the option was always there to add a note, I would do so on requests I sent.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 18, 2012 at 4:50pm

We are talking about the rudeness of a terse linkedin connection request.  I have noticed by the way that most of the requests i get who might bring value to my network do in fact at least include a line or two as to why they would like to connect.  My point was that bringing value also includes some basic grade school manners.  I am sure you have and i have taught our children and our grand children to introduce themselves with their name and shake hands and look at another person and smile when they introduce themselves.  So why should we get over an expectation of basic introduction manners because someone might bring value.  I question what value they might bring if they do not have the basic ability to introduce themselves.  If the most talented person in the jungle comes off like a social misfit or a connection gatherer they lack some basics that diminish that talent.


It bothers me that the attitude seems to be emerging that people can act any way they choose and still be touted as top talent.  As i said, i am just starting to ignore some of the requests with no attempt at any introduction.  There may be more to value than just a good resume or a smacy title.

Ya "get it" Mr. Gerber :)

Comment by Bill Schultz on May 18, 2012 at 5:37pm
Maany talentd developers are devoid of social graces, Sandra. Go to a computer science job fair at Stanford or UC Berkeley and you'll see what I mean. The ones that look presentable got lost on the way to the Marketing job fair.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 18, 2012 at 6:52pm

LOL, i understand Bill.  I am convinced that half the world now looks like they are refugees from "Falling Skys" and have the manners one would expect from someone who was reared by wolves.

Comment by HRNasty on May 18, 2012 at 9:02pm


I am with you.  Thank you.  When I bring a candidate to a hiring manager, I, ME, HRNasty is putting my name on them.  Yes, I can prep the hiring manager with "this guy is smart, but lacks courtesy", and there are times that I will.  If we have a job where there is VERY LITTLE interaction with the rest of the world, we can probably get away with that.  If they are working from home, same.  But at the end of the day, I, the guy in HR will be answering for the social problems and the hiring manager bitching, not the agency recruiter.

The reason for the post was to hopefully get folks to just think about extending some courtesy because it will only open options and doors.  I believe that a lack of courtesy will still hurt you more than help, regardless of whether you are a dev or a marketing person.

Thanks for sticking with this one!



Comment by Bill Schultz on May 18, 2012 at 10:41pm

I usually say to the hiring manager " this is a 'lock the door and throw food thru a slot' candidate.  

Comment by HRNasty on May 19, 2012 at 12:04am

Bill. . .love that.  I am going to use that.  "Lock the door and throw the food thru a slot" candidate.  Brilliant!!!

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 19, 2012 at 3:41pm
I had one years ago for an accountant with a boxed beef transport company. Found a Candidate who had the perfect resume. Like it was written for tht job. When the candidate walked through the door she must have tipped the scales at 300 lbs. and sounded like she had never been out of Lazbuddie, texas when he opened her mouth. She was not country, she was lead pipe "rural".

I sent the resume,picked up the phone and called the employer. He was of course blown away by the resume,then asked me what she looked liked and her communication skills.

I hesitated, then said, "uh, do you have a refrigerator box that is sound proof that you can cut a hole in the side?

There was a long pause, he started laughing and said ,"send that little darlin right on over, we sell boxed beef, I bet we can handle it.". He hired her, she was thrilled. She showed up at my office the next day with a tray of homemade fried pies that would have fed Cox's army for a week. I followed up 30 days later to see how Betty Lou was doing. My employer said, " that gal is great, good accountant, the guys in the warehouse don't bother her and twice a week she brings a tray of fried pies that would feed 30 hungry field hands during harvest. I may need more refrigerator boxes for the rest of the crew and let me tell you, every time I hear her yell, "you ignernt lazy butts get me them warehouse receipts rat now r' I'm gunna stomp a mud hole in yer ur sorry ass", I just laugh and eat another fried pie.

We now refer to this type as a "fried pie" candidate. Highly placeable in an agrarian locality. The nice thing about an agrarian locality is everybody say, "yes sir, please and thank you," whether they know you or not. It's expected.
Comment by HRNasty on May 22, 2012 at 1:01pm


"i know!"  What is the world coming to?  You wonder why the world is where it is today.  Thanks for checking in, appreciate the support!  


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