How to decline a LinkedIn invitation politely

Do you know how to decline a LinkedIn invitation politely? Most people get at least a few LinkedIn invitations from people they don’t know well or even from total strangers. I get many invitations from people I don’t know. There are multiple ways that you can decline invites.

How to decline LinkedIn invitations by ignoring the request

There is an “X” which is the ignore option. If you click that, you will ignore the invite.

LinkedIn then sends a note back asking if you don’t know the person or want to report them. If a person accumulates too many “I don’t knows” they will get suspended from LinkedIn. If they get reported, they could get banned from LinkedIn.

Unless they really offended you, just hit ignore and leave it. It’s an easy way to decline LinkedIn invitations without hurting any feelings.

How to decline LinkedIn invitations by sharing your connection policy

Formulate the rules you want as your connection policy. Write them down.

  • Perhaps you only want to connect with people on LinkedIn that you know in real life (IRL)
  • Only people you have had conversations with on social media
  • Perhaps you only want to connect with people who are clients (although that seriously limits your ability to build new clients.)
  • Perhaps you only want to connect with people you went to school with

Whatever your reasoning is, establish a policy and then be prepared to explain it. You can message people and explain your connection policy. If they don’t give you a satisfactory answer, then this is how to decline LinkedIn invitations.

How to decline LinkedIn invitations by making them tell you why you should connect

If you get an unknown connection request, you can try this:

“I can’t remember how we know each other, could you remind me of our connection?” (Think about running into someone in the grocery store who is acting like you are best friends, you are likely to just ask them to help you remember.)


“Thanks for wanting to connect. Can you tell me what drew you to my profile?”

You can also state you are careful about who you connect with on LinkedIn, would they let you know why they wanted to connect with you?

Ultimately, LinkedIn and your connections belong to you so you can set the rules.

Are you looking for a personalized approach to your job search? My interactive process will bring you more clarity about your value when writing a resume and help you find what you are looking for in your career! Let’s talk

How to decline a LinkedIn invitation politely

Resume Design and Job Seeking Tips

Here are Design Resumes' latest articles on job search, resume design, resume writing, and Linkedin optimization articles I've written.

FREE Resume and Job Search Tips by email

Get free tips and strategy direct to your inbox. just add your name and email below. I respect your privacy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

Here are ways I can help you land your dream job.

You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.