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You Don’t Have to Connect with Everyone

Posted by Kathleen Smith

A challenge for many who want to move onto social media, especially to support their job search, is how to “connect” or “link” or “friend” some requests, but not all requests. If you’re a cleared job seeker with very little online experience, this is especially true.

Building a social network should be strategic. It’s not a race to see who can have the most friends first. It takes time, research, and patience.

So how do you navigate not accepting connections?

Each social media platform has different options. As LinkedIn is the most common social network for a job search, let’s go over these options in the LinkedIn environment.

On LinkedIn, you have several choices when someone wants to connect with you.

Accept the invitation if it’s someone you know and want to connect with.

Reply (don’t accept yet) if you want to get more information from the person before making a decision.

Ignore the invitation if you don’t want to connect. The invitation will be sent to your Archive. Don’t worry; the invitee is not alerted that you “ignored” them. However they may try to invite you to connect again.

When you select Ignore you have the option of selecting I Don’t Know this person. That alerts LinkedIn that they may need to restrict this person’s account. If a LinkedIn account receives several I Don’t Know flags, the account is restricted from contacting new people unless they know the email address associated with the invitee’s LinkedIn account.

Report Spam You may receive connection requests that you think are inappropriate, particularly if you’re in the security cleared community. In this case, select Report Spam. This alerts LinkedIn that the person behind this account is not acting appropriately.

Most online communities want their members to have a role in moderating or regulating the community and its activities. Social media networks can’t have eyes and ears everywhere, even though you may feel like they do. So if you think the person who is reaching out to you is not someone who should be doing so, select Report Spam.

Don’t Act on LinkedIn Invitations from Your Email Account

To avoid potential viruses, don’t click or accept links that are sent to your email account. Spammers have perfected ways to make emails look like messages from LinkedIn. When you are reviewing invitations to connect, only review and accept invitations when you are logged in to your LinkedIn account.

Two LinkedIn Time Management Tips

First, set your notification settings so you don’t get as many notifications from LinkedIn, such as network updates or group notifications. You can also set this to weekly or monthly. Some folks set this as Never, but then does that really help you?

Second is to create a rule in Microsoft Outlook (select Tools, then Rules and Alerts) that sends all your LinkedIn messages to a folder. This allows you to check your LinkedIn folder once a day rather than your Inbox being filled with messages from LinkedIn.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 8:01 am

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