LinkedIn invites to pass on

I swear I am not grumpy this morning, even though yesterday evening could have gone better. The hockey squad sleptwalk its way to a 6-5 loss yesterday to an opponent that only had 8 skaters. No excuse for that. Grrrrrrrrrr. There is an immediate chance for redemption tonight though with my other team. I’m telling you because I know you care about my self-esteem.

Got on LinkedIn this morning and had a new invite from someone I had never met before. Hope springs eternal. A recruiter perhaps? Someone that wants to discuss a job outside the insurance industry? The journalism 5W’s popped in my head, except maybe “when.” The result? Teased again.

It was a pitch for an “interview opportunity.” These are common in the news business. There’s an endless supply of PR and Marketing pitches to wade through on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. Authors, experts and opinionators of all political ideologies use every communication method possible to get their message on “out there” on tv, radio, web, etc. Most are useless, some actually provide value and make air, (depending on how busy of a news day it is…) but the quantity is relentless. Now that process has found my LinkedIn account.

The join-my-network request was from someone who claimed they had “done business with me” at a website I had never heard of before. Strike #1. The customized greeting began with “would you like to interview…” Strike #2, and this one should count for two. Aaargh. It was an interview request. “Hey join my network so I can further pitch you for promotional interviews that will benefit ME more than you.” Who could resist that? Me, and just about every other media/news person anywhere. The only saving grace, however slim, was that they’d also like to add me for “strategic reasons.” So it wasn’t a total, blatant, obvious pitch. Just two of three.

What sucks (technical term) is that personal LinkedIn networks are fair game for marketing attempts. Perhaps they always have been. Recruiters might feel the same way when they are cold called with resumes or job application requests. Same goes for LinkedIn groups. Most serve their intended purpose of professional communication, outreach, expertise, contacts, news or information related to a specific topic. Others are inundated with off-topic, promotional nonsense that degrades the conversation and the group overall.

I’ve spared mentioning this person’s name, because I am a softy at heart. I wasn’t going to respond, but since one of the biggest issues during job search is a lack of communication, it would be bad form to let someone (potentially) stew without response. So off to the high road I go, carrying a polite response of no, and that I don’t have the ability to put your guest on the air now anyway.

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