Your parents should accept LinkedIn invitations

Networking5 rules for networking on LinkedIn and Xing

# 1 Which people should I ask?

For most, this is arguably the hardest question. Sure, you contact your friends, maybe also current and former colleagues. If in doubt, these are people with whom you would stay in contact. Therefore it is important to be courageous when inquiring.

Had a good conversation with someone at the last fair? Please inquire. Talked to an interesting person on the phone yesterday? Also like to inquire. You can even network with strangers if you have the impression that they could help you. After all, the other people are also out and about to make contacts on the professional networks. This is how you enrich one another.

What is important to note with these “riskier” contact requests: You should write a message explaining how you know each other or why you should get to know each other. Otherwise the request may seem arbitrary and unprofessional.

# 2 Which contact requests should I accept?

One thing is clear: if you know someone, accept the invitation. In contrast to more private networks like Facebook, it is worthwhile not to reject other inquiries directly with LinkedIn and Xing. If the person sends a message about the contact request, you can decide on this basis whether it is a valuable contact or not. If there is no message, you should be a little more critical. But here, too, it is worth taking a look at the profile and asking yourself: Do I really not know the person? Are we active in an industry or a region? Do we have the same interests? Under certain circumstances, the acceptance is still worthwhile.

In principle, however, you should not be too picky about the contact list, because how often you are shown in other people's searches also depends on the number of your own contacts. Contacts of contacts are displayed earlier than completely unknown ones. You can also remove a contact from the list without them receiving a notification.

# 3 Should I post things?

Yes. After all, the contacts want to know what you are doing. You can post a photo with a conclusion from an exciting conference. After reading an article that touched on her, feel free to share that. And if you are promoted or change your job, that can also be interesting information for the contacts.

You should also post items with care. In Germany in particular, many people find excessive self-marketing unpleasant, and this also applies to professional networks. If you only share photos with important people all the time, you quickly act like a show-off. Anyone who persistently trumpets their opinion may appear undifferentiated. And sympathies are not only important for private, but also for professional networks.

# 4 Do I really have to fill out the full profile?

Yes. LinkedIn and Xing sometimes have strange categories in their profiles. It is difficult for one or the other to fill them out properly. And then many people leave the categories empty. That's not a good idea!

Not because the information is so incredibly relevant, but because the algorithm prefers complete profiles. For example, Linkedin says that full profiles have 40 times the chance of receiving job offers on the network. That is remarkable. If you want to appear in the search mask, you should make sure to have a complete profile.

# 5 Is digital networking enough?

No. Despite the networking opportunities in the digital world, you shouldn't neglect the analog world. Especially when it comes to human relationships, sympathies are still important and they are easier to establish in the real world.

It is worthwhile to keep going to network events. Once you've spoken to someone, the success rate for contact requests on LinkedIn and Xing is higher. And even with existing digital contacts, it is worth meeting people for a coffee. The likelihood that such a joint project will result is still greater than in a digital network.