Ask LH: Should I Add Recruiters To My LinkedIn Profile?

Hey Lifehacker, I've been getting a whole bunch of recruitment agencies asking to connect with me on LinkedIn. Some are even out of my state. I have been rejecting them because I feel that if an agent were to look at my profile, they should see contacts and history that reflects my career and not a bunch of agents I might deal with once in my life.

I want to keep my LinkedIn profile clean. Is this the right thing to do or should I be accepting their invitations?

Thanks Keep My LinkedIn Clean

LinkedIn picture from Shutterstock

Dear KMLC,

Like you, my basic policy for LinkedIn is a simple one: I only connect with people I've actually worked with or met. If I accepted every invitation from a stranger I received, my network would be crowded and ineffective.

The fact that recruiters are actively contacting you suggests you're already working in a field where demand is high, and that means you can afford to be picky. If a recruiter contacts you and suggests that they have a specific job opportunity in mind, reply to them directly and ask for details. You don't need to connect with them to do that. As we noted yesterday, being interviewed for other roles helps you identify your current worth — something that's useful to know even if you're happy with your existing job.

If they're simply fishing for connections, ignore them. If the time comes when you're actively searching for a new role, you can optimise your profile to attract opportunities.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    My policy is very similar to Angus' one of " I only connect with people I’ve actually worked with or met"... except with one extra caveat.

    "...and isn't a complete arsehole."

    I think that's important. I don't want complete twats on my network.

    I get these all the time too, and pretty much ignore them, though sometimes I'm cheeky and put the emphasis back on them via a message "why should I connect with you?"

    I did some research though as I was under the impression with a premium LinkedIn account recruiters would be able to search for any "talent" in the LinkedIn member pool, it didn't make a lot of sense why they then wanted to connect in the first place?

    From what I found in the current "Recruiter Lite" plan there is a limitation. While I think they can search all members, they can only "see full profiles of their entire 3rd degree network" which makes it hard to assess a found candidate where you can't see their profile. As such to make better use of LinkedIn, I'm guessing they need to try and connect to as many people as possible to expand their 3rd degree network, and the best way to do that is connecting to you and your connections.

    Not 100% sure on this, happy to be corrected.

    Of course if this is true, maybe to have your chances to be headhunted via LinkedIn increased, you need your connections to be promiscuous with the head hunters on LinkedIn, to your benefit. So it doesn't really matter if you connect to recruiters or not, it wont increase your chances much, but do ensure your connections are all desperate for a new job and are connecting away to recruiters on your behalf. Starting rumours about layoffs, recessions and changing government legislation will boost your chances.

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