Monday, March 2, 2009

On LinkedIn, Don’t Get LockedOut! – part v

part v – i'm lockedout of linkedin, now what?

Every time you receive an IDK you should make note of it and investigate why you believe you received the IDK. Keep a list of the IDK's and add screen shots (if possible) of your invites to your list to send to Customer Service later if needed.

You should also check your Inbox for Sent emails where a reply has not been received. Investigate why you believe your invitation has not been accepted. If you ascertain that you might have sent it to the wrong person, delete it immediately so it does not become an IDK later. Delete a previously sent invitation that has not been responded to by:

  1. Clicking "Inbox" in the left-hand frame.
  2. Select "Sent" link in the Invitations area.
  3. Sort the list by clicking the "Status" column.
  4. Search for the "Sent" invitations and click the "Join my network on LinkedIn" and not the name of the invitee.
  5. Click the "Withdraw" button. Note: You will receive a warning message asking if you want to continue to withdraw the invite. Plus, no email is sent to the invitee letting them know that you withdrew your invite. If they keep an eye on their inbox, they might notice your invite is now gone.

After deleting invites, don't invite them again unless you are sure they are who you think they are. If you can find an email address for them, send them an email first and ask if they want to become part of your LinkedIn network.

Note: Sending an email before inviting someone through LinkedIn is a good practice.

Here are some examples of the information I sent to LinkedIn's Customer Support. The names have been changed, to protect the innocent (and to have some fun).

Mr. Raymond Charles was a gentleman I met at a piano concert in PA over 3 years ago. He runs a jazz- radio station. We spoke for about 5 minutes about music and other things. He was in my Outlook Express address book, and being new to LinkedIn I sent the generic invite.
This was the first invitation that was returned "Doesn't Know".

Mr. Tom Jones used to work at my former employ. I fixed his PC, network and desktop applications when I worked at "Not Unusual Magazine". I am not sure he said he didn't know me.
This was also a generic invite.

Ms. Barbara Streisand and I worked for the same company. We met in London where we worked on a variety of different music projects. Prior to sending out the invite I checked her profile to make sure she worked for "Yentel & Daughters" before and she did. However, after sending out the invite and upon further investigation, I found there was more than one Ms. Barbara Streisand employed at the company.

I was checking LinkedIn for names of people I knew in high school. I found Mr. Tony Soprano. Since there was no LinkedIn Group for my high school, "FaGetAboutIt High", and I could not find any entries with this school as a keyword, I searched by name and found this Mr. Soprano. As you can see, I was very respectful in my invite.

Yo, Tony,
Are you the Anthony Soprano who used to attend "FaGetAboutIt High" in New York City? If so, I would like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. If not, I apologize for the intrusion.
Thanks and God Bless,
Genesius (Gene "The Fingernail") Jaromsky

No need for a fifth example, you get the idea.

Remember to explain how you honestly made a mistake. Presenting this detailed list and explaining why you have these "Don't Knows" helps the LinkedIn's customer service team to evaluate your situation and unlock your account. It shows that you understand why your account was locked, as well as shows them that you are serious about not repeating this issue again. I have heard from some of my colleagues that when they were locked out all they did was send an email requesting their account to be unlocked. So sometimes the "documentation" might not be needed, but it is a good lesson to monitor how you are inviting people into your network. It is also a good tool to help keep you compliant with LinkedIn's policies.

Note: Once you receive an IDK, you cannot withdraw it or delete it. I am not sure if LinkedIn starts you at zero after they unlock your account, or if the sixth and subsequent IDK's will lock you out again.

Click here for examples of what you should put in your invitation.

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