Groups and Associations: Sending invitations to connect

August 15, 2007

We recently launched an enhancement to the member to member invitation feature. The feature was launched to help you connect more efficiently and easily with your colleagues, classmates, and business partners. The feature enhancement we're rolling out provides users with more options to invite those fellow LinkedIn members who've collaborated with you on a professional level either through "Groups and Associations" and/or "Activities and Societies." The original options include "Colleague," "Classmate," "Business Partner," "Friend," and/or "Other."

The value of listing your groups, associations, activities, and societies on your profile is to help other members in these groups find you. If you have a group or association on your profile, click "View My Profile as others see it." Scroll down to the Groups and Associations section and click on one of the links. This action will conduct a search for other people with the same keywords in their profile. If you see someone you know in the search results, you can invite them to connect.

How does it work?

When you view another LinkedIn member's profile (someone you are not connected to), you may see an option to add this person to your network.

When you click "Add <First Name> to your network," you will be prompted to select how you know this person.

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If you choose Groups and Associations as how you know the person, you will be presented with a drop down list of Groups and Associations. The drop down list is comprised of the Groups and Associations that appear on your profile in the Additional Information section. If you don't see the specific group or association, you can choose other and type in a new group or association. After you send the invitation, this information will automatically be added to your profile.

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Similarly, if you choose Classmate as how you know the person, you may also see Activities and Societies. It will only appear if you have already entered some information in the Activities and Societies section of your profile, which appears under Education.

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A few notes of caution:

1. Only connect to people you know and who are likely to accept your invitation. If enough people say they don't know you, then you may need to enter an email address for each new invitation you send. This is one way we try to protect users from spam.

2. The Groups and Associations field on the profile is a text field where the comma should be used to separate multiple groups. We use this logic to help parse the field to create the drop down list and separate the groups and associations links on your profile.

To add groups and associations to your profile now, click here.

For discussion on LinkedIn Answers: Do you like the interface for inviting people to connect on LinkedIn?