LinkedIn Basics: Adding Connections on LinkedIn

Lesson 6: Adding Connections on LinkedIn


Adding connections

Adding connections is a big part of LinkedIn. But unlike most other social media sites, trying to connect with everyone you know can send the wrong signal. Doing so can seem like you're networking for its own sake rather than truly building your professional network. Before you add someone to your network, ask yourself: Would this person talk to me about a job or recommend me to an employer?

If the answer is yes, then it may be a good idea to add this person as a connection.

Watch the video below to learn more about adding connections.

To add connections on LinkedIn, select My Network at the top of the screen. A list of people you may know will appear, along with any connection invitations you may have. If you see someone you'd like to connect with, simply click Connect. You can also search for someone and click Connect on their profile. 

A screenshot of a LinkedIn profile

A dialog box will appear, and you can attach a personal message to your invitation if you want. We recommend including a message with every connection request so the person knows who you are and why you want to connect. Otherwise, it may seem like you're simply networking for its own sake. Once your message is finished, click Done.

A screenshot of a LinkedIn connection message

You'll be able to see your total number of connections in the top-left corner of the My Network page. While some people believe that your LinkedIn profile is only as good as the number of your connections, the quality of your connections is more valuable than the quantity. Having 50 strong connections can do much more for your career than 200 connections you don't know very well. This is just something to consider as you find and add people on LinkedIn.

Tips when adding connections

  • Use your existing network. When you first create a LinkedIn profile, make sure to connect with the people you already know. Try syncing your email contacts and using LinkedIn's search bar to find friends, classmates, and coworkers.
  • Ask for introductions. If you're trying to connect with someone you've never met, you should look to see if you have any mutual connections. If so, you can ask your connections for an introduction. Be polite and explain why you are requesting the introduction, and give your connection an opportunity to decline the request.
  • Maintain your connection. After connecting with someone, remember to keep engaging with that person on LinkedIn. If they post status updates, leave thoughtful comments. If they ask for recommendations or endorsements, try to fulfill their request in a timely manner. This should strengthen your connection, which could lead to new opportunities.