INSIGHT: Why LinkedIn is just plain annoying sometimes

I really do not need to add the person I bought a second-hand car from who has since relocated to Sweden to my professional network. And certainly not anyone I dated years ago!

I like LinkedIn – it’s an excellent tool to build and nurture your professional network. But there are some things LinkedIn does which are infuriatingly annoying.

One such example is its insistence on a regular basis to make you add each and every person, or other entity, you’ve ever exchanged an email with to your network.

This is of course only an issue if you’ve ever imported any of your email address books into LinkedIn, which is a move I would caution against. This is why…

Once LinkedIn has your address book it wants you to add as many of these contacts to your LinkedIn network as possible, clearly in an attempt to build its user base.

On the face of it, it sounds like a great idea, right?

However, the issue with this is how LinkedIn proceeds to get you to do so.

We’ve all been there. You’re presented with a button next to a row of friendly faces, inviting you to reconnect with “lost” contacts, as LinkedIn offers to scour your address book to find those few stragglers you haven’t connected with yet.

You click through and are met with this message: “We found 62 people you know on LinkedIn when you added your address book. Select the people you'd like to connect to.”

Except all 62 people are already selected, so you’re one click away from inviting all of these contacts to connect on LinkedIn, regardless of your past or current professional relationship with them.

The “professional” part is important, because that is what LinkedIn is meant to be – a network for professionals.

I really do not need to add the travel agents who helped me with some bookings five or three years ago to my professional network. Nor, the owner of a holiday park I can’t even recall visiting. Or the person I bought a second-hand car from who has since relocated to Sweden. And certainly not anyone I dated years ago!

At best you come across as a try hard, trying to pad out your network. At worst, a weirdo stalker no one would want anything to do with – professionally or otherwise.

Neither scenario is going to help you build a professional image…

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