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I tend to get linkedin connection requests often lately. But also I tend to ignore those which come from people I don't know personally, or ones I don't feel are interesting to me.

My question is: do people kind of hold grudge if you ignore their requests? and can it hurt your career in future?

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  • 10
    I think you're ok ignoring all the noise from SpammedIn.
    – Bort
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 17:50
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    I just assume any LinkedIn connection request is recruiter spam and ignore it.
    – Donald
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 18:12
  • 8
    Spammers don't hold grudges. They can't. They rely on volume, not on quality. Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 22:28
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    I get 1 to 2 dozen completely random LinkedIn requests a week, mostly from mostly people in India. There are a few recruiters here and there, but not many. To be honest, the average LinkedIn user rarely uses LinkedIn. The 84% log in once a month or less, probably to do the same thing I do, which is just to deny random LinkedIn requests. LinkedIn has become of of those things you do out of habit, but has little to no benefit or use.
    – Keltari
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 1:34
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    @Donald That's just not true. Some of it is outright phishing/scam attempts...
    – G_B
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 2:25

4 Answers 4

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I presume if they are sending out unsolicited, uninteresting connection requests to people they do not know, then they are probably doing it so much they don't keep track of who's not responding. And, if they are uninteresting and unrelated, their grudges are irrelevant.

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    I agree. I feel like people should've send a message if they're trying to connect with people they don't know and state why they want to connect, at least.
    – el-cheapo
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 18:49
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I assume all/most of these connection requests are from recruitment agents. In that case it seems very unlikely to me that they will hold a grudge and that it will play any factor at all whether or not they want to work with you in the future. A recruitment agent or it's employer will earn thousands to ten-thousands of euros (or its equivalent in other valuta) when they are able to place you somewhere.

So even if they remember you ignoring them in the first place, I think it's highly unlikely that they hold such a grudge over it that they are willing to miss out on the money they can earn on you.

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My question is: do people kind of hold grudge if you ignore their requests? and can it hurt your career in future?

I think this question depends on how the contact was initiated. Suppose you're browsing around at your favorite company and you happen to look at a tech lead who sees you looked at his/her profile. They decide to reach out to you and you click ignore. They might hold a grudge then since they wasted time and effort to reach out to someone they figured would be interested in talking.

Keep in mind the above situation is atypical. If you do see someone reaching out to you in such a way, definitely at the very least tell them you're not looking for a job and that you wish to connect.

The more typical situation is a recruiter search for your name in a search query and then they would fire out a mass email. I gotten one where they invited maybe 100+ people into this Sunday interview. I'm not sure how many people answered, but I just deleted it.

With that said, they probably don't even keep track of you. I had one recruiter reach out to me for a job, I decided to say okay and went to the interview. They offered me a job right away and the recruiter sent all the paperwork over. I declined since it was too far away from me and she keep insisting and relaying what they were adding. Ultimately I declined the job and then three weeks later..... she sends me another email about the same job as if our interview never happened and she was very happy to schedule an interview. I just deleted the email and put the recruiter on the ignore list.

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Most Linked-In requests are spam from Linked-In. When you sign-up with Linked-In, it uses dark UI pattern to get access to your email contacts / phone contacts. And then sends everyone in the contact list a "request" that looks like you sent it. So even if you have contacted someone once by email, and your address is autosaved to their contact list, you may get a connection request when they join LinkedIn. And they won't even know that you have received such a request from them. (And if you haven't joined Linked-In, it will keep spamming you).

So to answer your question, nobody's feelings are going to get hurt if you reject this kind of connection request. If someone really wants to talk to you on Linked-In, they will ask you beforehand or get back to you later. (That's why it is good etiquette and practice to always contact someone before hand by email or SMS / Text and ask them if you can add them to your social network. And follow up later if someone rejected your request, but you really want them in your network list.).

As for hurting your career, well that depends on how much you want go down the rabbit-hole of Linked-In and invest time in it - Getting the Best from the World's Biggest Networking Site. (Personally, I find it a waste of time, and many only use it as an address book of professionals they know).

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  • @SiHa I started out as a designer and so do actually know about this subject. (Do you know what "dark patterns" in UI designing are? If not, learn about it - darkpatterns.org ). The linked article may be 5 years old, but it describes very well how Linked-In uses dark patterns in their interface to very successfully hoowdwink people into granting access to their email contacts / address books.
    – sfxedit
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 12:16
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    OK - Maybe I overreacted after reading that linked blog post, which is really just a whine from an idiot. So "Dark UI Patterns" are a thing, I get that, and agree that they are a nuisance, I stand by my claim that you have to be pretty lazy to get duped by this - especially the "LinkedIn would like to manage your contacts" google popup. I have never received a single spam LinkedIn request from a contact, they all come exclusively from recruiters.
    – SiHa
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 8:27

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