25 Criteria to Watch Out for When Connecting on LinkedIn

To accept or not to accept? That is the question.

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This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

LinkedIn is a professional social network that has 722 million users worldwide — about 100 million are in Latin America.

Since its inception in December 2002 by Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant, and its launch in May 2003, it has been a social media platform for business, business and employment use.

Each user has a personal profile, and there are also companies. In this way, LinkedIn is an excellent tool to establish the personal brand of a professional, and also the employer brand of companies.

The daily dynamics is nourished by publications, participation in affinity groups by subject — there are hundreds of them within each segment — and the interaction between users, who can join each other as contacts or follow people who share interesting content.

It also has advanced functions of job opportunity publications, many of which receive applications directly from the platform, just by sending the profile that you already have structured, as a virtual resume.

An extremely useful aspect of this platform is to share content of interest from the professional world in which each person works. Thus, the network becomes a kind of great encyclopedia of visions, opinions and job sharing, adding value, inspiring, motivating and interacting in various ways: comments, reactions, live broadcasts, videos, downloadable material, uploading presentations and documents of case studies, for example.

Another interesting function is designed for product sellers, who have Sales Navigator, a specific system to contact potential customers or business prospects within the network.

LinkedIn has several membership options: the free one is very complete and functional and three other paid categories, including one designed especially for recruiters.

Who to accept and who not to on LinkedIn

If you have an active profile where you share content regularly (and this is what I recommend), you may receive a lot of connection requests weekly. The initial trend is usually to accept everyone, although there comes a time when you will need to apply some criteria, because, as LinkedIn suggests, it is not convenient to accept people you do not know in any way or who you feel do not add value to you. 

It is worth clarifying that this network is not the same as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other, because, here, it is about networking with professional profiles only. The intention is not to make friends, like or post personal life issues, but focusing on work and networking.

Image: Depostiphotos.com

In fact, in March 2021, the network privately sent me a survey to find out where I knew the last 20 people I had added as contacts: It asked me if we had been together in person, via the Internet or did not know them at all way.

When, at the end of 2019, I received the distinction as "LinkedIn Top Voice Latin America" - we were 16 people among the 95 million profiles in the region that they analyzed that year - I received in less than a week more than 7,000 invitations to connect, making it virtually difficult to access all requests. For that, the network has the “Follow” function, which you can activate, by which people will see your publications and can comment, even if they are not connected in the first degree (1-to-1).

25 criteria for connections on LinkedIn

Thinking about this issue, I drew up this list with my 25 criteria that I take into account every time I receive an invitation from contacts on the professional social network. In turn, I asked 30 people in my network some criteria, who added their contributions.

This is the list. As you will see, most are criteria that are based on common sense, such as that whoever sends me a request has their complete profile, including a photo, or that we have something in common:

  1. ✔ Have a complete and up-to-date profile

  2. ✔ With professional photo

  3. ✔ Active profile (minimum posts 2 times a week)

  4. ✔ Own content in the feed and in the blog (articles)

  5. ✔ Clear description of who he is and what he does

  6. ✔ Own network of contacts

  7. ✔ That there are people and interests in common

  8. ✔ Groups in common

  9. ✔ Express your own opinions and visions

  10. ✔ Impeccable spelling and grammar

  11. ✔ To teach or contribute something that adds

  12. ✔ That has its own voice

  13. ✔ Personal brand developed or on the way

  14. ✔ That shows passion for their activity and interest in mine

  15. ✔ If you write to me, let me know very well what I do

  16. ✔ If I write to you, let them respond with the same urgency that they demand

  17. ✔ If you need anything, please address it respectfully and professionally

  18. ✔ Take time to write well

  19. ❌ That is not a "serial contact aggregator"

  20. ❌ If you copy content, it recognizes the source

  21. ❌ That not only share what others, or give "likes"

  22. ❌ Don't send an immediate message to want to sell something

  23. ❌ Avoid using LinkedIn like other networks: this is different

  24. ❌ Don't copy / paste comments, or send pre-built InMail messages

  25. ❌ That you do not want to promote yourself by putting your links when commenting

I hope you find this list of criteria based on my experience on LinkedIn useful. I have been interacting and generating content online for almost 15 years, and it is one of the most important professional tools for my personal brand.

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