Not less than 10 minutes ago, I blocked someone on LinkedIn.
I actually have an open door LinkedIn policy. If you want to connect with me, I'll connect with you. The more the merrier, I say! If you want your LinkedIn account to only be people you know in real life, that's great too and there are some advantages to that system. I support you one hundred percent in that decision.
But, even I, who will connect with anyone will block you for the following reason.
Begging for Help
Look, I help people. That's actually what I do for a living. These articles are to help you get through your career. I answer hundreds of emails with specific questions, 90 percent of which don't make it to publication. I live to help people with their careers.
But, the man I blocked today wanted help I couldn't give him. He's a recent graduate of a university in a far away country and he wanted my help getting a job in Switzerland. I can't do that. I told him once, twice, three times, and he kept sending me messages and asking. So, I reiterated that I could not help him and if he asked again, I would block him. Two minutes later he requested help again, so now he's blocked.
There may be cultural differences. Perhaps in his country, it's not polite to say yes until you've been badgered 47 times, but in my culture. you take no for an answer.
Telling Me How Pretty I Am.
Look, I'm happy that you think I look great in my picture, but LinkedIn isn't a dating site and even it was, I'm married. Very married. When you start commenting on my looks, you're gone. Even if I weren't married, you would be gone because LinkedIn is not a dating site. It's a business site. We keep it professional. In the professional world, you don't comment on the looks of someone you just met.
If you tell me I'm ugly you'll get blocked too. And while I've never had it happened, if I get a message saying, "Dear Madam, I just want to comment on your average facial structure" you'll be blocked as well.
Asking for Money.
Nope. Blocked. Gone. If you post a general update saying you're collecting for XYZ Charity or to gather funds for a recent natural disaster, that's fine. But, when you send me a private message asking for cash, you're gone. Yes, I live in Switzerland. No, I'm not rich. And even if I were rich, I give money to established charities, not random people on the internet.
Again, LinkedIn is a business site. We behave like business people here. And yes, I'm aware that plenty of people swear up a storm in their business interactions. I'm not one of them. And since you don't know me personally, you shouldn't approach me with 4 letter words sprinkling your message. You'll be blocked.
If you take any of the above to the extreme, not only will you be blocked, you'll be reported.
How Should You Behave on LinkedIn?
It's actually pretty easy. Be polite. Don't ask for special favors from people you don't have an established relationship with. Use clean language. Make relevant comments on people's updates. Yes, you can ask me to introduce you to another connection of mine. No, you can't expect me to find you a job or give you money. When in doubt, be quiet. Then, your experience on LinkedIn will be a good one.