In the year that I have been a PR student, one thing has been made abundantly clear, connections count. Social Media connections earn you double points. Everything in the general communications field is moving online and we, as students and professionals need to move with it.
Today I was working on my resume, and as part of the process, I went ahead and logged onto any online medium that my resume would be posted to or associated with. This, inevitably, led me to LinkedIn. I’ve been on LinkedIn for a couple years now. Well maybe less, I forget when I initially signed up, but I’m not new to the site. I’ve got a pretty in depth profile including letters of recommendation, industry connections and my resume. LinkedIn is an important site for anyone looking at their career, what it means and where it can go.
There is an inherent danger to LinkedIn, and I discovered it first hand, today. One of the frustrating aspects of the site is that it tries too hard to connect you to other members. I’m constantly seeing notifications that I should add So-and-So as a connection. In most cases, I have no clue who Mr. So-and-So is, and I dismiss it. Today I had a notification for someone I did know and I did want to add them. So I popped up the dialogue box, which didn’t show me just that one person, but the avatars of a dozen users. I clicked off the little check mark of the majority of them and hit send.
The part I missed was the itty bitty little text link that said “Send this to all 91 connections.” Imagine my chagrin when the next dialogue box states “91 invites sent!”
I looked about, hoping there was some undo button, but alas, not that I could find (it was also early and I hadn’t had nearly enough coffee). Throughout the course of the day I have been getting pelted with emails stating that Mr. Someguy and Ms. Thatlady have accepted my connection invitation. As of right now, I have had my invite accepted by the Sales Manager at a company I have never heard of, the Community Editor at WISC-TV-Channel3000 and a Customer Repair Advisor at TDS Telecommunications Corp. I can’t even tell you how I ended up with these people as suggestions, I’m sure they know a friend-of-a-friend and I know a few of them were imported from my email. I probably emailed them asking for a quote or some such thing once-upon-a-time. What I do know, is aside from being embarrassed by spamming 91 people with an email request, I’m a little frustrated that LinkedIn made it so easy to make such a mistake.
There may be a definite benefit to this. Being connected to a couple of journalists and an editor could be pretty handy, someday. It could also lead to more emails in my inbox that I don’t need to be distracted by as I try to make it through the busiest semester of my college career. It could also lead me to deleting my LinkedIn account in shame.