File This Under: LinkedIn No-No’s

Are you on LinkedIn?  Then you probably know it is a professional social media tool, one that many, many people use to network in digital form. 

LinkedIn is not Facebook.  Just like looking for a job is not hanging out with your buddies.

I can not make this stuff up.  I’m sharing this little exchange from LinkedIn so that you will know- and you will share with your kids, your proteges, and your colleagues- the rules in this brave new world.  Yes, manners, grammar, and common courtesies do still exist, even in the internet age!  I received this message, which is the standard default message:

HIM: Darla,  I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

Just a word here.  If you are asking for anything, especially from someone you barely or don’t even know, you can come up with better than the system default, right?

ME: Glad to connect! If there’s anyone in my network I can help you connect with, please let me know.

By the way, this is not a default message.  Most people accept invitations without ever responding back.  Feel free to steal this message and be a real person online.

HIM: ok…who are you????
Um, really?  This reminds me of the line in the Tom Hanks movie, Angels and Demons, “Guys, you called me!?!”

ME:  You requested to connect with me here within the last month. Did you attend an organizing seminar perhaps? Ah, the joys of social media.

HIM: no…are you from Philadelphia?


HIM:  I’m applying for jobs on linked in and just about everyone I’ve ever heard of (and more) has gotten a request from me…..I dunno….like you said…….leave u alone now

End the misery, please.

Remember, LinkedIn is a professional platform, and I have probably never met this guy.  We may or may not have a colleague in common.  But here’s what you need to know.

1. This is my first impression of this guy.  And it’s not good.

2. He probably knows how to put a sentence together, but I can’t prove it from this.  Companies generally prefer to hire someone with good communication skills.  This isn’t it. A mistake or two can be forgiven (how many can you find in this article?)  Casual and blatant disregard for the language is not appropriate when job posting.

3. He’s stated that he’s casting a wide net for a job, but he didn’t tell me what kind of job. 

4.  For all he knows, I am married to the very hiring manager he is trying to get to.  My husband and I are linked in on other ways, but not here.

5. For some reason I can’t include the graphic here, but his last response had a football-shaped emoticon in it. Remember, this is a professional platform.  Save the emoticons for email and facebook and people you know well.

This is not like a wrong number telephone call.  This is an interaction with names and faces attached.  A much better response would have been, “Nice to meet you, too, but I’m not sure who we know in common, to be honest.  I’m posting for jobs in the XYZ field, and would love to know if you can help make any connections.  The same goes for me, of course.  Let me know if I can help you make any great connections in my network.  Have a great day!” 

I hope you got a chuckle and a tip or two out of this. 


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