Linkedin Requests from Strangers?

What do you do with LinkedIn requests from people you haven’t met or don’t know? How do you handle them? Here’s what I do and a template you can use to make your Linkedin life easier. Further below and later in the video I discuss practical tips to build relationships on Linkedin too.


Situation 1: You don’t know them and…

they have an interesting profile I send something along the lines of  “thanks for sending a connection request I usually make sure I know everyone on my Linkedin and have met most of my connections. I don’t think we’ve met, though I had a read of your profile and it sounds like you’re doing interesting work. Is there something in particular that prompted you to connect?”

Situation 2: You don’t know them but…

their profile doesn’t have anything that overlaps with my interests/work areas – I don’t accept. I know some people who accept everyone because they have a business to build or see it as growing their network, that’s fine. But for me, if I’m connected with someone I like to be able to vouch for the person in some way or another.

Situation 3: You know them but

you have had a negative experience with the person. I don’t accept.


  • your Linkedin connections say something about you. Occasionally when someone adds me I can immediately see mutual connections and without even looking at their profile take a pretty accurate guess as to which one of my communities they belong to.
  • being mindful of who is in my community.

If you’re starting out here are some practical tips that aren’t that obvious

  • Show your personality, not just your work life.
  • Show your volunteer roles and things you care about
  • Show me don’t tell, ie . If you say you’re passionate about something show me what you’ve done about it.
  • You may have seen a meme that goes a little like this “I need a job to get experience. and experience to get a job.” There are tonnes of ways to get the experience that doesn’t include a traditional job. Here are some
    • “great communicator” instead link out to your blog or other assets that demonstrate your skill.
    • If you say you’re a “designer” link out to designs you’ve done for Not-for-profits or your own side project
    • If you say you’re good at marketing and happen to have been an executive member of a university club OR helped out a not-for-profit: Don’t just say you served in X volunteer role say “I increased membership from XYZ to XYZ by doing [insert innovative strategy]. Or I recruited and led a team of 3-5 volunteers. Or I came up with X event idea and executed it. Or I secured $$ in sponsorship by pitching to companies.
  • How do you build relationships on Linkedin – I go into further detail in the video about how to reach out and connect with people.

A little useful hack if you’re overwhelmed

If Linkedin is getting a little wild for you (at one stage I had 800+ connection requests pending), you can change your connect button to follow. Some people simply connect because they like your posts and content – that’s great.

Hope those are useful I go into more detail in the video so if you want to learn have a watch over at youtube or above. You can post your profile in the youtube comments section and I’ll give personalised feedback to a few people.


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