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Like your resume, if there’s nothing unique about it, people will ignore your web presence. Add a little more to the formatted listing of your educational background, professional achievements and photograph.
As this serves as an e-handshake and helps create a good impression, invest time on it. The standard invite will be either ignored or will make you look like a ‘ climber’ (somebody who wants to grow their network to impress others). When inviting, make it easy for people, by adding a point of reference–where did you meet, how you know them. This takes time but saves them precious time clicking on your profile.
Establish clarity on who you want and why you want them, making it easier to build your network. At times, we blindly accept requests because either it takes too much effort to research on the person or even after checking their profile, we were still clueless. Would you like to be linked with someone who has dubious credentials/contacts? Some people have a strategy–only accept invites from people who are either real friends or people they have worked/ communicated with in the past.
Professional networking sites are not a race to see how many contacts you can notch up. Instead, connect with a few and concentrate on converting these into meaningful relationships.
While I agree that limiting your contacts to people you already know defeats the idea behind online networking, make sure you have a good reason to accept requests from complete strangers, as you will be known by the company you keep!
Some people send out invites by the dozen and such random invitations are best ignored. On the other hand, if somebody does not respond to your request, don’t confront/ remind them, gracefully accepting that they did not wish to respond. •