It’s Friday, and that means you’re getting a new AskCMC post. This week’s question comes from Kelly F. and continues the theme of the last few weeks: networking.
After having an informational interview, is it appropriate to send a request for them to join your network on LinkedIn?
Thanks for the question, Kelly! There are many different schools of thought on this one. Because most situations are more subjective and every relationship is different, below are some suggestions to help you decide.
Overall, just because you participate in an informational interview or meet someone doesn’t necessarily mean that it is appropriate to request for them to join your LinkedIn network. This is where paying attention to the clues, being professional and not automatically thinking there is a firm answer comes into play. Did the conversation go well enough that you think this is appropriate? Were there any statements made about how to use LinkedIn to build your network?
The only time we can explicitly say to send a LinkedIn request is if establishing a connection was discussed in the interview. It would also be appropriate if you think that a good business connection was made during the interview, if you can add value to them, if it’s a friend of a friend. It’s a waste of time to just link with people for the sake of increasing your connections. LinkedIn is definitely more about quality than quantity!
For more ideas, see our recent blog about a 2010 graduate who used LinkedIn to network and get a job at Ernst & Young. Also read the posting about communicating with alumni, and be sure to read the comments, too! Here are a few more tips for job seekers on using LinkedIn.
- Visit the LinkedIn Learning Center for explanations and videos on using features of the website that you may not be familiar with.
- Check out LinkedIn’s training materials available for recruiters. Get a good idea of what they’re looking for, how they use the site, and utilize the information to your advantage!
- To keep track of your interviews and items requiring follow-up, consider JibberJobber. Signup is free and offers a web-based database with calendars and links. A 3-minute video intro is on the homepage and will show you what the whole site is about.