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Leveraging LinkedIn: The Pros & Cons of Connecting With Strangers

Posted by Brian Spence on Jun 28, 2017 8:00:00 AM

LinkedIn, Career AdviceWith roughly 500 million users as of April 2017, employment-oriented networking site LinkedIn is a great resource for job seekers, recruiters, and salespeople. However, making connections gets complicated. Turn someone away and you might miss out on a great new business opportunity. Accept every request that comes your way and legitimate companies might not take you seriously.

To help you decide how to handle your LinkedIn page, here are the major pros and cons of accepting invites from strangers.

Pro: You could find your next big business opportunityThis site is full of recruiters, salespeople, managers, and team leaders looking for their next great employee or business deal and sometimes a connection request is a precursor to another opportunity. Keep in mind, too, contacts could pay off down the line. A profile update, well-timed post, or insightful comment could catch the eye of a prospective client that wasn't necessarily looking to do business when they first contacted you.

Con: There are scammers and spammers out thereSocial media networks are rife with scammers, and it, unfortunately, is no exception. Accepting the wrong connection request can lead to phishing scams, fake job offers, malware attacks and, yes, even catfishing. That's not to say you should blindly turn everyone away, but do some homework. To avoid spam and scams, check a prospective connection's profile carefully. Consider typos, short profiles, few connections and no photo as license to hit "ignore".

Pro: You could spot your next star employeeWhile it may provide a platform for professionals to highlight their skills and, while every stranger who sends a connection request isn't worth their salt, you're bound to find at least one profile worth pursuing. In other words, if you're looking to fill a position or two, an open-mind about connection requests can help you find an A-player.

Con: You're only as good as the company you keepIf you don't know the person behind the invite, well, then, you don't know the person behind that invite — and blindly accepting requests could clog your network with spammers, scammers and disreputable employees. Moreover, poor connections can hurt your professional credibility and leave your quality connections vulnerable by proxy.

Still, don't stress too much if you've over-accepted. These connections aren't set in stone and it's easy to break up with bad eggs. Simply visit a person's profile page, click on the little ellipsis, and remove the connection.

Networking is tricky. To learn more about this and related topics, visit the LinkedIn or Career Advice section of our blog.

If you're looking for a new job or new talent, contact us for advice today.


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Topics: Career Advice, LinkedIn Resources

Staffing Plus is a premier healthcare staffing firm that provides temporary, per diem, temp-to-hire and permanent Staffing Solutions for Behavioral Health, Education, and Healthcare settings. We have leveraged decades of experience to assist organizations with the challenges of managing their HR and Recruiting needs.