Why I Won’t Introduce You to My LinkedIn Connections
On LinkedIn there are 3 types of connections, or relationships that you have with other professionals in your network.
First connection – you are directly connected to a professional. They are your “friend”.
Second connection – you have a 1st connection in common. A “friend-of-a-friend” so to speak.
Third connection – you are not directly connected, but have a 2nd connection in common.
They theory behind this connection strategy is similar to “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon”.
If you want to grow your LinkedIn network, you need to build bridges through your connections. To get in touch with those 3rd connections you either need to connect with 2nd connection (to bump up the 3rd connection, to a 2nd connection) OR you ask your 1st & 2nd connections to introduce you to individuals.
I disagree with the second approach. I understand that it makes sense and is one of the purposes of LinkedIn, and that is why LinkedIn shows how you are connected with other professionals.
Personally, I don’t agree with this. If I am going to refer you to my LinkedIn connections, I need to speak to the level of your work ethic, personality, etc. Also, it is not just about you, it is about the person I am connecting you with. I want to ensure it is a good fit for both of you. I don’t want the friend coming back and saying “Why did you refer this person” or you asking, “Why did you connect me with this person?”
I have a high standard that I go by. If I am going to introduce LinkedIn connections, I need to know you on a personal level. I would expect you to pick up the phone and ask me personally to introduce you, rather than sending me a message through LinkedIn. Plain and simple.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn has put me in this uncomfortable position quite a few times where I have had to say “No.”
Why am I like this? While in college I was working at a doctor’s office as an Office Assistant. I had a friend who needed a job. Where I was working needed a Receptionist. I thought “perfect fit”. I did all the leg work to get my friend the interview and she never showed up. It was incredibly awkward with my work situation and friend.
I learned a valuable lesson that day. In situation like these, my reputation is on the line as well. Don’t take it personally. Find another connection or better yet send that person a message telling them why you want to connect directly. It will go farther than putting me in that incredibly awkward position.
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