Using LinkedIn for Networking


I read Pinhawk Librarian News Digest daily – it’s a great source for pointing me to what I should be reading, and saving me from reviewing all 900+ new feeds in my RSS reader. In today’s digest, editor  Nina Platt references a post on downloading contact information from your LinkedIn connections. As Nina rightly points out, LinkedIn is a professional network. Her issue? A number of connections don’t use their work email address, but instead use a personal one.

As someone who uses a personal email address in my LinkedIn account, I wanted to explain why. I’m not sure how my firm supports my use of LinkedIn, so I’d rather not have emails from there come to my work email. If I get spammed, I’d rather it was in my gmail account, and not at work, to save the IT department from having to deal with it. And, the most important reason, I don’t access my work account after hours, and I’d rather have 24/7 access to LinkedIn.

I consider myself a professional, but unfortunately, I don’t feel I get this respect at work. Perhaps I do and I’m overreacting. At any rate, I’ll continue to use LinkedIn for networking and making connections, and I’m going to leave my gmail account as my contact email.

What do you do?

P.S.  You can subscribe to Librarian News Digest here.

~ Karen


6 Responses to “Using LinkedIn for Networking”

  1. 1 Dawn Bassett

    Hi Karen,

    I agree. Where I work we encourage people not to use their work email for LinkedIn. There are a few reasons for this. One is a general policy that using a work-related email address could in some way make others think that what we are saying in a social network is endorsed by the organization we work for. LinkedIn may indeed be a more professional social network, but it is still a social network. The second reason is a personal preference. Since many of us don’t stay in one job our whole lives anymore, why put ourselves through the hassle of trying to remember to change the email address associated with your account. Finally, if a person were looking for a new position on LinkedIn, why muddy up your current work email with correspondence that indicates you’re actively looking for a new job. I also disagree with Ms. Platt’s assertion that everyone is using LinkedIn to connect with people they already work with. This is just not true. I use LinkedIn to stay connected to people I worked with in my past, to have access to networks and groups of like-minded professionals all over the world. Only about 10% of my LinkedIn connections are actually people I currently work with so that argument just doesn’t apply to me. I think it is highly a matter of personal preference. Perhaps someone ought to do a study and see what percentage of LinkedIn users actually do connect with people at their current job.

    • I’m finding that there are many people who disagree with me but, if you think I said you should only network with people you are currently working with, then I must have communicated something poorly. Another pet peeve of mine (I will probably get in trouble for this too) is people who only connect with there co-workers. That seems senseless to me.

  2. In a networking context, I think the e-mail address probably depends on its purpose. I use a personal (GMail) address for most of my interactions with colleagues, because my organization has frequently blocked discussion lists, as well as some of the reasons you mention. I prefer to use that address for networking because, like you, I’m more likely to access it after hours.

    If you want to make sure potential clients or sales people have your work address, you’d obviously want to use that one. Those people may find it problematic if you don’t, because they’ll need to track down your work address. But if you’re primarily focused on networking, I’m not sure I see that it matters.

    Of course, I left LinkedIn so what do I know!

  3. I have my personal email in Linked In. But I have the ability to login to work’s email account but I don’t work from home. If you have Android phone and sync it with gmail then Linked In messages come in very seamlessly.

    • I wanted to say thanks for providing a link to the newsletter. It is much appreciated. Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, today’s digest highlights your post.

      • 6 Karen Sawatzky

        Thanks! I really enjoy your newsletter and am always happy to spread the news of quality products.

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