LinkedIn is central to modern business networking, and at the beginning of your career or the start of your business, every link seems valuable. Building out a network of professional connections you have met in your relationships with colleagues, vendors, clients and conference buddies is a no—brainer. It’s tempting to build the biggest list and cast the widest net for contacts. However, that may be a waste of time or worse.
Here’s how to decide when to connect and when to clean up a messy list by working through these LinkedIn tips for culling your list and creating sanity.
One of the primary motivations for dropping connections is simply to remove excess items from your feed that have no use in your career. Are you seeing a lot of articles that have nothing to do with the field you’re in? If your time is valuable and LinkedIn is a valuable tool, streamlining your connections makes sense for this purpose alone.
LinkedIn says to only accept connections from people you know. But what does that mean to you? People you have met face to face? People in your email address book? People who approach you via LinkedIn and other social platforms? It’s up to you to decide. However, people are known by the company they keep. If you have added scammers without knowing of their reputations, they could hurt how you are perceived by people in their networks—exactly the opposite networking effect than the halo effect you want. Fortunately, you can remove unknown contacts later. This means that some LinkedIn users adopt the policy of linking now and removing links later, even though they may not be able to detect that one of their connections casts a shadow for some viewers or companies.
If someone annoys you with requests, doesn’t seem to be who they say they are, or simply are no longer a person you remember, go to their profile and remove the connection using the “…” next to their picture. Worried about offending someone? Don’t because they won’t be notified at that time. However, they will be able to notice later. If they try to message you they will no longer have that option. If they go to your profile, they no longer see you as a primary connection. If you have endorsed the another, those recommendations will simply vanish.
What are the downsides of link deleting? If it seems like a no—brainer to delete all but the top quality links in your list, do one more reality check. Consider that the undo button is only good for a very small time frame. Thus, you can’t easily restore your LinkedIn connections, so you’d have to reach out to them all over again if you change your mind. Since getting a request to link is a relatively common action on the web, they may not think anything of it—no harm, no foul. Bottom line: Don’t delete someone if you think you might regret it.
Consider unfollowing instead of removing a link. LinkedIn provides a method to stop seeing updates without breaking the network connection to a contact on your list.
Finally, when cleaning up your list for optimal career functionality, don’t make the mistake of thinking that a smart presence on LinkedIn is all a job seeker needs. While it is incredibly valuable to prospective employers in finding out about a job candidate, a job seeker is likely to find other services more effective in actually getting interviews. Our Staffing Specialists work to provide our applicants and temporary employees with valuable work experience while also securing outstanding talent for Hawaii’s businesses and organizations. Contact us for full services supporting either your job seeking efforts or top talent recruitment needs.