There isn’t a full consensus on whether you should accept requests on LinkedIn, when you don’t know the person initiating the request.
Arguably, it’s a gray area.One article, on the website Enterpreneur, warns against it.
Three possible red flags for LinkedIn requests, according to Kim Lachance Shadrow, are:
You don’t know them.
They haven’t sent you a customizable message.
They seem spammy.
Shadrow comes down on the side of the ‘nays.’
Connection requests are nothing like friend requests. I think they’re much more serious and that the professionals I align myself with on LinkedIn should reflect nothing less than positively on me and I on them.
On the other hand, some articles lean on the ‘yea’ side.
Firstly, a post on LinkedIn itself; by Martin Eectors.
Eectors appeals to the ‘degrees of separation’ theory. The more contacts you have within a few degrees, the more smooth and efficient your engagement might be.
Because if you do me a favour, then when you need a favour back, through my connections and other 3 degree mega connectors (people with over 10k connections), the chances that you find a solution less than 3 degrees away just got exponentially improved.
Another article from Sarah Santacroce, is also a ‘yea.’ But a heavily qualified one. Santacroce offers some suggestions about when it is appropriate to accept requests from people you don’t know; and when it is not.
It is ultimately unsurprising to see dissensus on a matter like this. Clearly there is no single universally held view; but then again, why should their be? Ultimately, I think it comes down to radical individualism, and personal responsibility. For this one, there is a middle ground between “never” and “always.” How to find the best patch of ground, however, is debatable. Reading articles like the ones I’ve mentioned above can help.
This was originally published on IT Emperor, on Medium; but this is being phased out! The IT Emperor articles are being ported to Glossy News.