LinkedIn Tips

How do you turn down a LinkedIn invitation?

By January 26, 2009 2 Comments

How do you turn down a LinkedIn invitation to connect networks with someone? I am asked this question a lot.

Your answer probably depends on how and why you are using LinkedIn.

If you come down on the side of quantity in the “quantity vs quality” connections debate, then you never turn down an invitation to connect.

However if your goal is to build a “trusted” network where you actually know or at least have interacted in a substantial way with all of your 1st degree connections then you may find yourself turning down quite a few requests for introductions. I do.

But I am a consultant and I never know where business may come from, so I take a considered approach to turning anyone down.

I keep a Notepad file of text that I send to all requests to connect via the “reply” button immediately below the request.  Here is my text.

Thanks for the invitation.

I hope you’ll understand that I follow LinkedIn’s recommendation and only connect networks with people I actually know. How else can it be a trusted network?

We don’t have to connect networks to help each other. If there is something I can help you with, use my email address below to let me know how.

As an alternative you can sign up for my blog at

[email address]

Then I click on “archive” to get it out of my InBox. Note that I do NOT click on “I don’t know” this person even though I don’t. Five “I don’t know”s [‘IDK’s in LinkedIn parlance] and the person is put on a potential spammer list by LinkedIn and sent a warning that a further infraction will cause them to lose their account. I know two people who have lost their account.

If you have connected to someone in the past that you now feel was inappropriate, you can rectify it. See my earlier post on that subject.

Go close some business,


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