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career networking etiquette: adding people on linked in

Jesus Angeles
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 26, 2005
Posts: 2061
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
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19067
    
  40

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


Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
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
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61766
    
  67

LinkedIn != Facebook


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3275
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.


500+ Java Interview Questions and Answers | Java job hunting know how & Java resumes
Jesus Angeles
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 26, 2005
Posts: 2061
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
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3275
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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