LinkedIn is NOT a dating site
Recently I received a very creepy email (see below) from a person who sent me a LinkedIn invitation.
I accepted his LI invite because he appeared to be a professional person with a respectable career as Veterinarian based out of Philadelphia.
I now regret having said YES to his LinkedIn invitation. Here’s why…
Options for recourse
Interestingly, when I went to go to block Mr. P. Herman’s LinkedIn profile from mine, his LI profile was suddenly not available for viewing. It’s as if he had blocked my block. What kind of chess game was this? While I was tempted to reply to his email and give him a piece of my mind, I paused to think of other less-reactive options that might have better results.
If this happens to you, here are several steps you can take to protect yourself:
- “Block or report”, or “remove connection” from your LinkedIn account (you can take this action using the drop down options when looking at their LI profile page)
- Report the abuse to LinkedIn and request that they do something about it. Use this Contact Us page to communicate with LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/ask
- If they email you directly, flag their email as Spam to prevent further direct communication
- Most importantly, do NOT engage with them directly. This would only create more problems.
I did report the abuse to LinkedIn and here’s the response they sent me (within 24 hours I might add!). I put a green check mark next to two additional options you have when considering invitations that you receive on this social media platform.
What are your standards of social media acceptance?
When I teach networking skills classes, I recommend to my clients that they develop their own social media policy. Set standards for yourself in terms of who you will let into your network, and whom you will not. My threshold for acceptance includes these criteria:
- do they have a professional photograph?
- have they written me a short, personal note with the invitation, or did they just press the “lazy” button – “Connect”
- do we have common connections?
- are they in an industry that I serve, or a hold a position of influence?
- do they have a decent amount of first connections, or are they just getting started on LinkedIn?
- do I know them?
Obviously, I broke my own policy by accepting Mr. P. Herman into my LinkedIn network. While he met some of the criteria, I didn’t know him and his industry is not one that I currently serve. Perhaps I pressed my own “lazy” button by saying YES to his invitation? I regret that moment of weakness now.
Trust your instincts
There will always be scammers and abusers of any system, even a professional site like LinkedIn. But I believe abusers like Mr. P Herman are the exception, rather than the rule. So I will continue to be open to growing my network on LinkedIn, and other social media sites. And I will continue to honor, respect, and act upon my own intuition. I hope you do too.
And remember, LinkedIn is NOT a dating site!