5 Reasons Why Your LinkedIn Invite Was Declined

man-on-linkedin

You’ve been anxiously waiting to see if the influential person you sent a LinkedIn invite to will finally accept. Unless they don’t check their accounts very often, here are five possible explanations why your invitation may be stuck in e-purgatory.

 1.  You don’t have a profile photo

 

It’s hard to find a justifiable reason for someone to not post a head shot photo on their LinkedIn profile. Were they putting the profile together so frantically that they didn’t have enough time to include an image? Perhaps they just meant to and forgot. Either way, this is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your LinkedIn invite gets deleted or left to wither in the recipient’s inbox. One reason for the omission could be that some people are skittish about how they look in photos, or may not have a recently-taken photo to use. Still, there are other ways to get around this, namely by using an image of your logo or even business card instead. This way you’re still branding your company and sharing what you do without having to use an image you’re uncomfortable with. Even in this case it is strongly recommended that you try to invest in professionally-taken photos to utilize moving forward. With a LinkedIn invite nothing beats a personalized introduction, and for that you need a face.

 

2. Your profile information is incomplete, out of date, rife with typos, etc.

 

If you don’t have a website, your LinkedIn profile serves as the primary point-of-reference for potential employers and recruiters to discover you through the web. With this in mind, you must take care to update your profile on a regular basis to continue offering visitors a complete scope of your professional skills and experience. This includes keeping your contact and employment information current and posting details (including links and images) about new or ongoing projects that employers and colleagues should know about. Another thing: PLEASE review your profile carefully for grammatical mistakes or inconsistencies in the heading and description sections of the page. Just as in a standard resume, employers are more inclined to consider your candidacy if the first impression they’re given of you doesn’t undermine the legitimate work talents and abilities you can offer. If it helps, have a family member, friend, colleague, or mentor look over your profile and offer input on where improvements can be made. It may take more effort than setting up your Facebook profile, but this one can get you a job while the other gets you, well, game requests.

 

3. You post non-career or professional-related content

 

Sorry to say it, but the latest episode of Glee or Real Housewives doesn’t qualify as professional networking material. While there are other viable social platforms for engaging your network on such issues, LinkedIn’s primary purpose is to engage people around work-related topics. It’s also a great place for sharing news, business information, career tips and how-to’s, and for promoting new or recent projects. Every now and then you may come across an exception to this rule but outside of that LinkedIn is not an appropriate place for off-topic articles and conversations. Always exercise good judgement before hitting “post”. Neglecting to do so could send your LinkedIn invite into a black hole.

 

4. You didn’t bother to send a personalized message with the request

 

To be honest, I’m guilty of breaking my own rules on this one because I realize people are busy and not everyone has time to send a personalized LinkedIn invite to every contact they come across. However, if you are using LinkedIn as an active means to make connections that can help your career or business, it’s best to include a short note about who you are and why you want to connect. Don’t worry about coming across as too assertive or out-of-the-blue; the only way to get ahead is by being deliberate about making connections that can help advance your career. Still, it’s wise to be measured in your approach and remain careful not to come off as desperate or worse, obnoxious. Which means you definitely want to avoid this next mistake.

 

5. You used the invite as an opportunity to cold-pitch your product or service

 

This might be one of the quickest — if not THE quickest — ways to get your LinkedIn invite declined. Coming on too strong from the jump comes across as pushy and non-committal — as in you’re not willing to put in the time and effort necessary to establish a meaningful rapport with your connection. Think about how you would want to be approached in an actual in-person situation. Would you appreciate someone walking up to you and immediately start selling their product? Or would you be more open to engaging with the person who introduces him or herself confidently and professionally without being pushy or overzealous. Rather than connecting just to make a quick sell, consider the positive impact that a well-initiated LinkedIn invite could have on your professional goals.

 

Of the above five reasons, which do you agree with most or think is more likely to result in a declined request? Take our short poll here and subscribe to our newsletter to be entered to win a free two-week social media campaign from Pixel Prose Media!

This post originally appeared on Extrapreneurial.

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. LinkedIn is not Facebook (full disclosure: I don’t have a Facebook account-I can’t afford the distraction) so I want to keep it as professional as possible. I typically accept invitations from friends, current and former colleagues, recruiters, and fellow alums whether I know them or not.

    When it comes to people I don’t know/recognize, I am more likely to accept an invitation when a note is included. To me, that is an important first step to establishing a connection and relationship, and it’s something I do when I send invitations to people with whom I want to connect. Also, if their profile is either incomplete or very new and it appears that they sent invitations to everyone in what appears to be an attempt to gather names, I tend not to take them seriously.