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career networking etiquette: adding people on linked in

 
Jesus Angeles
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Hi,

Should we add anyone that we think might be helpful to our career, even if we are not personally well-acquainted with that person already?

That would introduce possibilities like getting more acquainted to the guy after we get 'linked in'.

For example, there are a lot of great thinkers here in javaranch. Is it okay to 'send linked in' request to all of them?
 
Henry Wong
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LinkedIn doesn't have any restrictions on whom you may send invites to. However, keep in mind....

- Don't expect someone who doesn't know you, or barely knows you to accept.

- Don't expect someone who is linked to you, but barely knows you to be very helpful.

Henry
 
Mark Herschberg
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Here's my standard reply to those who I don't know well who want to connect to me on LinkedIn:


Thank you for offering to connect to me on LinkedIn. Respectfully I must decline at this time.

Networking is about making meaningful connections. To simply connect to a stranger has little value. Everyone in my network is someone I personally know and can vouch for. Connections to people I don't know would devalue my ability to make referrals.

By showing the total number of connections LinkedIn unfortunately encourages members to simply add connections. In fact the real value is not how many connections someone has, but how useful those connections are. (To that end a better metric would be percentage of successful messages passed on.)

I do display my email because I wish to make myself easy to contact. Always feel free to contact me if there is something specific. One day if we have spent more time working together I would be happy to connect, but please understand I don't connect to someone for the sake of a connection.



Remember that networking is about relationships, it's not about collecting business cards, names, or links on a website.


--Mark
 
Bear Bibeault
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LinkedIn != Facebook
 
arulk pillai
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In fact the real value is not how many connections someone has, but how useful those connections are.


Very valid point Mark. I don't bother with LinkedIn. I usually keep in touch with my past employers, recruiters and fellow professionals whom I worked with.

Having a good rapport with some handful of quality recuiters will be a good idea as well. They can not only sell your skills and ability with full confidence to potential employers but also can do door knocking on your behalf for any possible openings.

I also tend to keep in touch with employers whom I interviewed with and did not accept the offer for some reason. Useful connections have landed me in excellent job opportunities directly with the employers.
 
Jesus Angeles
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Most of my links so far are quality ones.

I havent had any good use of 'linked in' yet, so far, except getting reconnected with acquaintances (former schoolmates, former co-workers, current co-workers), who, really can help me in my career. In the same way, I can help them.

Quality more than quantity.
 
arulk pillai
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For freshers who are new to the Java/J2EE market, the networking could be a numbers game. But once you start establishing, it is better to build quality network based on your regular dealings.
[ August 03, 2008: Message edited by: arulk pillai ]
 
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