Um, you’re doing the Interwebs wrong. Technology is supposed to facilitate relationships, not replace them.

Just because someone accepted your LinkedIn request, it in no way obligates that person to share your profile, pass along your interests in a job at their company, or vouch for you in any way. In fact, it is rude of you to inquire if a complete stranger will ask their place of employment to give you special consideration.

After all, a professional recommendation is a reflection on both the recommender and the job seeker. It exposes the recommender to judgement by the peers with whom they’ve built real relationships. Anyone who feels comfortable asking such a favor from someone they barely know is not demonstrating the type of maturity or decision-making acumen worthy of a positive recommendation.

Have you sent or received a LinkedIn message similar to this?

Hi Joseph,

Hope all is well with you! I came across the “JOB” role at “Your Company” and am interested in applying. Would you be open to sharing my LinkedIn profile with the hiring team so they know about my interest in this role?

Happy to chat more if you have the time as well. Looking forward to hearing from you.

This approach to a job search is wrong on so many levels. Technology may have done away with many of the formalities of interpersonal dynamics and traditional relationship protocols, but it hasn’t eradicated the need for someone to invest the time and energy into getting to know a person before asking them for a favor. Maybe reach out to the connection and ask about job search advice, or even their favorite recipe for tuna casserole. But don’t lead with the ask. Sheesh.

Professionals accept LinkedIn requests for all sorts of reasons, especially if there is a shared professional interest. But that in no way implies a willingness to represent that person in their job search.

LinkedIn may want to address this issue before it turns the platform into an awkward arena for job seekers who are “happy to have a chat if you have the time” in exchange for an endorsement from a hardworking professional.

What has happened to the job search process? And what advice would you give to job seekers who want to use LinkedIn connections to facilitate their job searches (but without being obnoxious)?

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