Connections on LinkedIn are their own network. When you send or accept a connection you are implying that you know this person well or that they are trusted business contact. If you send a connection, LinkedIn will ask you how you know this person and if you select the I don’t know this person option, your connection request will not be sent.
Personalized each LinkedIn Connection request that you send. The general message request is impersonal and suggests you either don’t have time to personalize or the person you are trying to connect to aren’t important enough to have a personalized request. Remind the person who you are trying to connect to how they know you or why they should connect with you and they will be more likely to accept your connection request. If you are going to send a connection request to someone that you do not know personally, you will want to make sure that you include a message explaining why you want to connect to them.
The other thing you may notice about your connections are that they are ranked into three types of connections.
- 1st level connections: people who you are directly associated with. In addition, they will be able to see your entire profile.
- 2nd level connections: People that your 1st level connections know.
- 3rd level connections are people that your second level connections may know.
There is some debate on how many connections you should have. Some say the magic number is at least 50 1st level connections. That shows that you are engaged and know at least some people. Others argue for more, 500+ 1st level connections, but at the same time, do you know all 500+ connections? LinkedIn is about knowing your connections and using them to improve your professional career. Sometimes this does not mean more. You will want your connections to be someone you know and could ask for a recommendation from.