Top 10 Worst LinkedIn Connection Requests of 2021

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Ranking The Worst LinkedIn Connection Requests of 2021

A core component of a vibrant LinkedIn strategy is building a strong, targeted and engaged network. But how you send LinkedIn connection requests and what you include in the message can be the difference between opening the door to a new connection and relationship or getting that door slammed in your face.

I’ll admit to having pretty high standards when it comes to accepting LinkedIn connection requests – this has helped me build a professional network filled with amazing people from around the world. I am liberal with the IGNORE button because I am focused on QUALITY not QUANTITY.

One note, many of these examples are clearly using automation tools to send outreach – I know this because they include the ~ in front of my name (this is my BOT detector).  Automation tools violate the LinkedIn user agreement and put your account at risk if you use them. As you will see below, they are obvious and often the targeting is incorrect. Don’t fall for them as a quick fix to automate connecting with people!

Without further ado…here are the top ten WORST connection requests messages I received in 2021:


This is probably a frequently seen connection request message…you might even have sent some yourself. This type of generic message doesn’t tell the recipient anything about WHY you want to connect – being in the same broad industry isn’t a compelling enough reason to get someone to hit ACCEPT. Try asking a question, bringing up a mutual connection or referring to a piece of content when reaching out.

Screenshot of #10 on list of worst LinkedIn requests of 2021



This is an even more generic message. Again, WHY would you love to connect? This is no better than sending requests with no message.  Taking a minute to reference where you came across someone’s profile or something that caught your attention makes a huge difference.

#9 on list of worst linkedin messages from 2021



If I ignored and marked your email (which you probably scraped from my LinkedIn profile) as SPAM, why would I accept this connection request? I was clearly caught up in a wide search from an automation tool. Also, no one likes being sold to in a connection request.

#8 on the list of worst linkedin connection request messages



Here’s another great example of mis-targeting. I don’t have the word “scale” anywhere on my LinkedIn profile. But the real problem is that it’s generic.  It’s like a fake fortune teller guessing that you ‘lost someone special’ or ‘are looking for happiness’. Plus would anyone say “conf”?

#7 on list of worst linkedin messages of 2021



Earlier this year I added my role as a Lead Moderator for the Thought Leadership Branding Club under my EXPERIENCE section. This triggered this automated connection request to sell me HR services from this user. I am not a decision maker for the TLB Club, but it’s also not a business that would need HR services. Lena said it right – it’s off the mark…way off the mark.

#6 on Worst LinkedIn Connection requests of 2021



I had to include this one because it’s a great example of how to spot a fake LinkedIn account. The message is pulling wording directly from my EXPERIENCE section, so the syntax is awkward. Something about “Sherry Rogers” profile seemed iffy and when I did a google image search, I found her photo on “Judith Huang” and a few other profiles from ClickedIn. In these cases, it’s important to click IGNORE, REPORT the profile as fake and BLOCK it.

#5 on List of Worst LinkedIn Requests



This one speaks for itself – complete and utter failure!

#4 on List of Worst LinkedIn Connection Requests of 2021



I was lucky to receive this message twice this year. The first time I had kind of a lengthy and defensive back and forth with the sender asking what specifically in my background would indicate I’d have any interest in a home renovations franchise. Then, about 6 months later I got the SAME exact message from the SAME sender! I guess if they get one YES for every 100 messages it’s a success…but what about the 99 people who hit IGNORE or worse?

#3 on List of Worst LinkedIn Connection Requests of 2021



This is a classic – getting pitched for the services you sell. Sigh…



And finally, this is number one worst connection request message I received this year – it made me laugh out loud when I read it. There is so much wrong with this message – it’s an automated sales pitch but the absolute miss on targeting is the worst part. Someone spent money to send this!

#1 on the List of Worst LinkedIn Connection Requests of 2021


LinkedIn Connection Request Dos and Don’ts 

As we head into 2022, remember that connection requests messages should be about the recipient, not the sender. Make good use of the 300 characters you have to show WHY you want to connect and would be a valuable addition to someone’s network.


Refer to a recent LinkedIn post

Send as a follow up to an event you both attended

Thank them for engaging on one of your posts

Share the benefit you took from a webinar, podcast or article by them

Use Clubhouse, a webinar, conference or meeting as a point of reference


❌ Use automation tools

❌ Be self-promotional

❌ Sell in the message

❌ Be too generic 

❌ Waste the opportunity to make a great first impression

Enjoy the read? Check out the worst LinkedIn connection requests from 2020!

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