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.

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How to decline a LinkedIn invitation politely

About Julie Walraven

You quickly see why my unique interactive coaching and strategic resume writing process isn't a cookie-cutter solution. You and I create your personalized job search strategy and define your value and showcase your accomplishments in your resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letters, and so much more.