So, You Wanna Connect on Linkedin?

I get it, I am in the business of LinkedIn. I enjoy getting requests — I mean who doesn’t find that little hint of dopamine in the blood slightly thrilling when someone wants to connect with you?

Over the years, I have had a policy of only connecting to people I actually know on linkedin. Remarkable, I know, but I have to admit it has served me well in preventing the one thing I dread more than anything else.

The sales pitch.

So, when I get a linkedin invitation request, I will admit I scan it for what feels like a risk/reward threshold:

Likely to be spam ← — — — — — — — — — → Likely to be valuable

By saying valuable, I mean a few things:

  • Someone I actually know (this trumps all other decisions)
  • The kind of person I generally recruit for roles.
  • Works for the kinds of companies I generally recruit for
  • Posts interesting thoughts or other valuable, introspective subjects.
  • Willing to engage in meaningful debate over interesting topics
  • Willing to engage period over anything other than their own things.

There seems to be some arguments that connecting to people I don’t know on LinkedIn is valuable (see this post on the subject written by Theresa Merrill (no relation)).

What about you? How do you choose who to link to on LinkedIn?