July 3, 2019
LinkedIn is a database that includes millions of professionals worldwide. It’s a place to network, but also a place where you can be the victim of spam. In some ways, it’s good to connect with people you don’t know, though it’s important to do a little evaluation before you agree to connect. Remember that every connection you make gives you access to the second- and third-degree connections of that person, and the wider web you cast, the greater your chances of being noticed. So how can you evaluate whom to connect with (and whom to avoid) on LinkedIn?
Connect with these profiles
If someone asks you to connect, it’s good to do a little research first. This will help you find out more about the person and make an educated decision. After all, you don’t want to slam the door in the face of a potentially valuable connection. In most cases, you’ll want to connect with professionals who have the following in common:
More than 500 contacts. If the person asking to join your network has more than 500 connections, this is a good contact to have. It will help increase your second- and third-degree connections exponentially.
Something in common with you. When you check their profile, you may find something in common, such as a current or previous employer, school or LinkedIn group. This can help you understand why they wanted to connect in the first place. If you’re still not sure, you can always reply to their connection request and ask.
A professional profile photo. This shows the person has taken the time to upgrade their profile, which can be a sign of a good connection to accept.
A competitive employer. Just because someone works at a competitor in your industry, it doesn’t mean they’re a bad connection. By accepting their request, you’ll gain an inside edge incase you’re ever in search of a new job.
Avoid these profiles
Unfortunately, spammers with anonymous profiles do haunt the internet—and LinkedIn is no exception. If you get a request from someone with very few contacts, a questionable profile that has nothing in common with you career-wise and no profile picture, it’s probably a good idea not to connect.
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Adding connections and cleaning up your profile can help you land your next job. You never know when you’ll be contacted by an employer, recruiter or hiring manager to learn more about your qualifications.
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