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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

connecting to your interviewer on LinkedIn

A reader writes:

Is it recommended to add as a contact to your LinkedIn account someone you had recently interviewed with, if they are already in your extended network? Of course, this is dependent on the assumed rapport (although that can be hard to tell as well).

I have mixed feelings about this. I think different hiring managers feel differently: Some only want to connect on LinkedIn with people they actually know, while others are perfectly happy to connect, even if their only knowledge of you is a job interview. I don't think it's inappropriate to request the connection though; just don't be offended if they choose not to accept it. Different people use it in different ways.

However. That's for LinkedIn, which is all about professional networking. When it comes to more socially oriented sites, like Facebook and so forth, do not attempt to add your interviewer as a contact. I've had candidates do this to me, and it feels like presumption and over-reaching. Facebook is social; attempting to connect there is like inviting your interviewer to a dinner party. It's not appropriate.


Anonymous said...

I completely agree about NOT connecting over social networking. We recently had a candidate send the same thank you message to all of the people she met over Facebook, myspace (what?!?!) and through snail mail. And I mean - the same message at each place. We are even a web based business who has a company page on Facebook and felt that was too much.

The Office Newb said...

I've only connected to recruiters through LinkedIn and Twitter, and only because they extended the invitation to me.

If you do wish to connect with a recruiter, even if they are not currently offering you a job, I think it would be ok to send a LinkedIn evite with a personal message explaining that it was nice to meet them and you wish to keep a relationship open in case of future opportunities, blah, blah.

almostgotit said...

Plaxo is replacing LinkedIn in many circles now... it has a little more email address sorting and functionality that keeps business and social lists more separated. I've received a lot more Plaxo invites from professional people than I have LinkedIn ones... though Plaxo also seems to bring more "spam," too.

This is a bit tangental to AAM's good points, but perhaps makes another one: investing your time and personal capital in online social networking tools is sort of like investing in stocks: it's best to do your homework first, and then only invest in what you KNOW/understand.

Wally Bock said...

AAM makes the excellent point about the differences between LinkedIn and other social networking sites. LinkedIn is set up as a site for professional/business networking, but even so different people have very different ideas of what connections are appropriate. There are recruiters you might contact who think you're well within cultural norms. There are others who would find you pushy and offensive. There are lots of ways to connect to recruiters without LinkedIn. I'd use them until I was sure that you actually have a professional connection as viewed from the recruiter's side.

Just another HR lady... said...

Last month I interviewed someone via telephone (just an initial interview). When I got home that evening, I had a request on my Facebook account asking to add him as a friend. I'm not sure if he sent a friend request to every single person with my name or what (since you can't tell it's me just by searching and I have a fairly common name), but I thought it was extremely strange, considering that I think of Facebook as personal. I have some of my employees as friends on Facebook, but I have any information I don't wish them to see blocked with privacy settings. I really felt as if the candidate was infringing on my personal life, it was kind of creepy. He became a decline.

LinkedIn might be a little different, but I rarely use it, so I can't really comment there.