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Dealing with Rejection on LinkedIn

Many of us have had this experience: you encounter the profile on LinkedIn of someone whom you know, perhaps a co-worker, a close friend’s brother, a distant relative, or your next door neighbor. You think it would be a good idea to connect with that person on LinkedIn, so you send a connection request. You see that subsequently the person views your profile, but there is no response. Based on your impression of how familiar you are to the other person, you naturally wonder why that person would not accept your connection request. Understand that not accepting a connection request is not the same as denying a connection request. You should not take it personally if the other person doesn’t accept your request. There are several possible reasons why people don’t accept connection requests on LinkedIn:

– They don’t recognize who you are. Is your picture in your profile? Are there enough details in your profile to allow people to definitely associate the profile with you, the individual? When you send a connection request, it’s a good idea to add to the default connection message additional information such as who you are, how you know the other person, and why you want to connect.
– They want to connect only with people in a certain industry, job function, geographic region, or some other strategic reason.
– Your own network is small, so they have the impression that you are not an active LinkedIn user and it would not be strategic to connect with you.
– They have reached their limit for connections on LinkedIn. This is rare, but it can happen.
– They simply don’t use LinkedIn very often and thus are not aware that you sent them a request.
– They are rigid in their compliance with LinkedIn’s suggestion that people should connect only with others they know well.

Be patient. They may someday change their LinkedIn strategy and accept your connection request. I recently accepted several connection requests to which I had not previously replied because I made a strategic change in how I manage my network of connections on LinkedIn.