My Replies to Unsolicited LinkedIn Requests

I originally posted this on my personal blog at russellscibetti.com (still very much a work in progress), but because of how useful LinkedIn can be to connecting with others working in the industry, I thought it would be helpful to post it here as well.

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One of my biggest networking pet peeves is receiving LinkedIn requests from people I don’t know who claim that we worked together or know each other, and the request contains NO context whatsoever. I’ve written about this before and tweet about it often. I’d say that I actually know over 90% of the people in my LinkedIn network, which is one of the big reasons that it is so valuable for me professionally. However, I will occasionally accept requests from people who I don’t yet know if they at least provide a reason for the request that is mutually beneficial. I’ve actually made some great connections this way, which is why it’s so frustrating to see people using the website in such an inefficient and ineffective manner.

Here are my two standard replies for these types of requests. This is my way of giving the person a chance to fix their mistake and turn their request into a potential opportunity for both of us. If they don’t bother writing back, it unfortunately confirms why I shouldn’t make them part of my network.

Template 1:

Dear INSERT NAME HERE,

Please don’t be offended by this email, but I was confused to receive your LinkedIn request stating that we worked together, which as far as I can tell, we have not (my apologies if I am mistaken and simply being forgetful). Your request did not provide any context or explanation, and I use LinkedIn to track people in my professional network that I know, so at this time, I do not feel like I can accept your request. Please feel free to reply back with some explanation if you like.

Template 2:

Dear INSERT NAME HERE,

Please don’t be offended by this email, but I was confused to receive your LinkedIn request because I do not believe we know each other (my apologies if I am mistaken and simply being forgetful). Your request did not provide any context or explanation, and I use LinkedIn to track people in my professional network that I know, so at this time, I do not feel like I can accept your request. Please feel free to reply back with some explanation if you like.

One thought on “My Replies to Unsolicited LinkedIn Requests

  • March 5, 2012 at 11:37 am
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    Thank you for addressing this issue. It has been a pet peeve of mine for quite some time too.

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