LinkedIn still creates discussion: recruiters love it, some people don’t see the point of using it, but there is always a lot of talk about and on it. However you feel about the site, there is one thing that most people agree on:

LinkedIn is not a dating site.

This isn’t the first time that topic has come up, but it’s out there again thanks to a new app which combines Tinder with LinkedIn to find dates for people. It’s called LinkedUp and users can filter profiles through industry, age, gender and proximity to find their perfect match. It’s opt-in, so you won’t be getting meet requests without your knowledge.

Well, not via that app, at least. If you’ve been on LinkedIn long enough, you’ll get those connect requests that have nothing to do with your industry, and the odd ambiguous date requests. A recent discussion looked at ways to deal with unwanted connection requests. The top was “What’s the best way to polite decline a request to connect on LinkedIn?”

Krista Canfield offered a very polite and friendly refusal, offering alternatives to connect. Others were not as lengthy.

Some prefer to simple ignore. Alan Hope said that there’s nothing wrong with ignoring an unsolicited request from a stranger. Others prefer to respond asking the sender to remind them how they met. Only then would they connect if the response was fair and offered something to both parties.

The dating question came up because on a website there are personal details and photos, there will be someone who wants to connect in the hope of finding love.

While LinkedIn recommends not adding strangers to your LinkedIn network, that’s harder to say than to do. If you work in a field where you deal with many industries or sources like PR or journalism, then every connection could be an idea, a source or a client.

So what do you do if you receive an unsolicited request from someone and you don’t want to immediately ignore the request?

Look at their profile

Does this person have any connection to your industry? Do you have friends (Not other LinkedIN connections – there is a difference) in common? If they do, you can consider adding them.

Ask them why

One of the suggestions in the discussion was to ask them why they wanted to connect. In most cases, the act of asking is enough to shut the person’s amorous intentions down. In one case, I had one person respond, telling me I was “beautiful and you never know when I might need some writing help.”

Ick. Ignored and reported.

Trust your gut

If you don’t get a good feeling about the person, don’t add him.

When I get asked to connect and I don’t know them, I immediately ask why they want to connect. In most cases, they don’t respond, which makes it even easier to just ignore their request. I evaluate the responses and even then I won’t add most of them.

I did have one man ask to connect because he was looking for a job in Canada and I write for Workopolis. He wanted me to send him jobs. I told him to create Job Alerts on the site.

How about you? Have you ever been propositioned on LinkedIn?

Renée Sylvestre-Williams