LinkedIn: Should You Be Selective or a LION?

Posted By Debbie on March 22, 2018

As I scan down the LinkedIn feed, once in a while there is a post or discussion about whether you should be selective on LinkedIn or add everybody who tries to add you. When you are not selective, they call this a LION = LinkedIn Open Network(er).

Many LIONs will use LION in their name and sometimes add how many connections they have. So this is a thing.

One argument I saw for open networking (adding everybody without discrimination) was, “Hey, would you go to a networking event and only talk to the people you already know?” No you wouldn’t. So you should add everybody because you should treat it like an in-person networking event.

Have you ever thrown away someone’s business card?

There are times I’ve returned from a networking event and I’ve looked at the cards I collected. Whoa, I’m glad I don’t work with her. Oh that guy. Yeah let’s hope he doesn’t get in touch.

Not everybody is a quality human. A quality business lead. A quality connection. In real life, we filter these out. We throw away some business cards. We follow up with others.

Judgment by association.

I have had hiring managers look at my LinkedIn connections and say OH you know John, tell me more about that.

Whoa. Someone is looking at my LinkedIn connections and cares? Do they like John or not? I can’t tell. But it sounds like I’ll either be great by association or points-against-me by association.

I have removed connections.

Yes, I’ve gone into LinkedIn and removed connections. I’ve removed anybody who had a hugely political post show up in my feed (especially when all of the comments under it were against the author). I’ve removed people I worked with when I saw their true colors. When I figured out they were an impostor.

I don’t want an interviewer to ask me how I’m associated with those people. Or for being associated with them to possibly change my chances of getting that work.

Who do I add? Mostly recruiters and people I actually connect with where I work. People I get good feelings about at events.

I don’t add people who I think are just trying to tap into my network. Or add +1 to their LION number.

Would you agree to date everybody who asked on an online dating site?

It’s OK to be picky. It’s OK to say that you’d like to do business with this person (at all or again) and you’d rather not be associated with this other person. And you will end up OK.