Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

Can you have too many LinkedIn contacts? November 23, 2009

Filed under: Careers — Stephanie @ 10:06 pm

A while back I was talking to a colleague during a company softball game.  I pointed out that we’re now officially “linked in”, since I got an email from LinkedIn saying she accepted my invite.  She commented that she was surprised to see how many contacts I have on that site.  Last I looked, I had 307 contacts.  I agree, that seems like quite a few!

There seem to be a few main purposes to having a profile and storing your connections with LinkedIn.  It’s easy to keep all your business contacts in one place.  You can still keep in touch with people, even if you only have their old email address.  And there are plenty of ways to network and find new opportunities for yourself or others.

But can you have too many LinkedIn contacts?  When I first joined LinkedIn, I went a little bit overboard with the invites and connection requests.  I think I just wanted my colleagues (mostly fellow classmates at that time) to get involved in the site and see what it’s about.  Now that things have settled down, I tend to get or send a few invites every few months.  But I’ve started to wonder if all these contacts should remain on my list.

How closely connected in real life do we have to be for me to consider you a LinkedIn-quality contact?  Is it better to have more people you’re aren’t very close to on there so you’re connected to and via more people?  Or do you want to pare it down, since you’re likely to be judged by the company you keep?

I’m thinking of removing people who I added mostly from name recognition (classmates that I met once or twice), and keeping actually friends and colleagues on there.

What do you think?  The more, the better?  Or keep only the best?

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5 Responses to “Can you have too many LinkedIn contacts?”

  1. I never thought that too many contacts on LinkedIn was a bad thing.

    I have around 100, but they aren’t my closest friends (which on Facebook is around 60 or less.. Am trying to cut that ish down)

    They’re CONTACTS. If I could network with a billion people, I would.

  2. Savings Says:

    I’m very selective on linked in, rather than say facebook, where I’m “friends” with the random guy I went to high school with with whom I probably spoke to twice in my life. On linked in, I’m only connected with people with whom I’ve worked with, or close connections from school.

  3. eemusings Says:

    I’m with FB – I try to be more selective on Facebook, and stick to actual friends who I want to stay in touch with and keep up to date with their lives. I only have a couple of LinkedIn contacts, but I would think I’d want to have as many professional contacts as possible – you just never know when they might come in handy!

  4. Amy Says:

    I actually have given a lot of thought to this and posted something similar…maybe I’ll re-post in response to you. For me, I feel like my contacts at LinkedIn should be people I legitimately know or have had enough of a correspondence with that they would know me when my name is mentioned to them. I have a handful of contacts on there who I don’t know very well and I don’t know how useful it is to have them on there. For instance, if I am researching a company of interest and I see that I’m connected to “so and so” who knows people there, but I don’t really know “so and so”, is it useful for me to email them and ask for assistance if they don’t know me? There may be several schools of though on this topic, but that’s where I’m at with it.

  5. Stephanie Says:

    I think I’m more like Savings; I’m a lot more selective when it comes to LinkedIn compared to facebook. Also, in response to what Amy said, I agree that sometimes LinkedIn doesn’t work as you’d hope when people are only loosely connected (that is, they don’t know each other really well, but are nonetheless LinkedIn with each other)


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