A Networker’s Nightmare: “Give Me a Reason to Connect!”

handshake3I am a recruiter. I work for a highly recognizable organization. I am well connected. I know people who know people. That is why you reached out to me, right?

Well… maybe not…

I receive 30 Linkedin invitations a week, sometimes much more. And I would venture to say that 80% of those that reach out to me I have never heard of or don’t know and, even worse, do not provide me with a compelling reason why they want to connect.

Let me give you some advice.:

STOP!! Please, for the love of God, STOP!

Whatever advice you have been given, you aren’t listening closely enough. Yes, knowing people, and growing your network, is definitely the key to getting a job. Yes, getting your resume in front of the right people you already know is a key component in avoiding the “black hole”.

But… if you don’t give me a reason of why you want to connect, I have absolutely NO desire to connect with you. No desire!

Tell me anything! Tell me you like my background. Tell me you like my blog, my smile, or that I look like your brother-in-law. You can even tell me you are interested in a position within my organization. There is a name for sending a blank invitation, or a generic LinkedIn connection request where it is clear you made zero effort to engage, to someone you don’t know…

It is called spam.

“I am trying to grow my network” doesn’t fly with me either. So, basically you are telling me that you really don’t care to get to know me. You just want to use me for a connection. Not good enough.

This week I did an experiment. I have had 23 Linkedin invitations so far from people I don’t know. I sent back 23 e-mails asking each and every one of them WHY they wanted to connect. Do you know how many responded to my e-mail?

Drum roll, please… Zero!!

I was polite, and said I would be glad to get to know them. I asked them how they heard about me and why would they want to connect? And not one response. I guess I – and my network of thousands of fellow recruiters, and all the companies I know that are hiring – wasn’t worth the effort.

When growing your network, have purpose. Respect others’ time. Research roles, the organization, and the person with whom you are trying to connect. If you give me a reason to connect, I will – almost 100% of the time – connect with you. I am all about paying it forward!

But you must give me a reason to take the first step. You must give me a reason to connect.



For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at BullsEye Recruiting!


Bullseye Recruiting


About the AuthorWill Thomson lives in Austin, Texas, and works for Rosetta Stone as the Global Sales and Marketing Recruiter. He has been in recruitment and sales for 20 years. He received his undergraduate from The University of Mississippi, and his Master’s Degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin. He has recruited some of the most sought-after talent around the globe, and is a regular blogger for the recruitment industry. He is the founder of Bulls Eye Recruiting and has also written for Blogging4Jobs, ERE, Recruiting Blogs,Work 4 Labs and Social-Hire. Find him on Twitter @WillRecruits



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