LinkedIn is the best social network for professionals. In Australia it is a platform that is used mainly for connecting to colleagues and other work related matters (and for recruiters to head hunt for talent!).

As a social media tool, LinkedIn is built around making connections; and has prompts to encourage you to grow the number of people you are connected to. But one question I’m often asked about is ‘Should you accept requests from people you don’t know?’ The short answer is: it depends. Below is the longer answer.

The next time that someone send an invitation in your LinkedIn account, think twice before accepting it. Not just because you don’t know the person but this is because it is part of LinkedIn’s official rule. This is under Section 8.2 wherein it states that members agree not to “invite people you do not know to join your network.” This is because LinkedIn’s purpose is to build connections that are appropriate and build genuine professional communities. But, and this is a big but, as long as you do your due diligence, it is ok to accept a connection from someone you do not know.

You might also consider these factors when it comes to accepting connections from LinkedIn.

  1. Check the profile photo. If there is no photo, I’d say no.
  2. Personal message. I’ve been impressed by those who have taken the time to craft a personal message before sending me a request.
  3. Other people they are connected to. If you have lots of mutual connections, then maybe this person is fine, and could add value to your network.
  4. Browse through their profile. The profile says a lot about that person so check interests, current job or past jobs and other important details. Knowing this will help you in deciding whether or not to accept the invitation.

Quality over quantity is key when connecting with other on LinkedIn. Remember, LinkedIn is designed to build connections to help you in your professional life so before accepting, always take a little time to think about it.   

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