Can I (and should I) delete contacts on LinkedIn?

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If you are looking for instructions in order to delete contacts on LinkedIn, you’re on the right page. But first, let’s talk about why you should, or shouldn’t.

Delete contacts on LinkedIn (1)

The Pros and Cons of a Big LinkedIn Network

In my article ‘The Pros & Cons of a Big LinkedIn Network’ I explained in great depth what the benefits and disadvantages of a big LinkedIn network are. In a nutshell here’s the conclusion I came to: a big network = big visibility and therefore more opportunities. So given that knowledge, let’s analyze if it really makes sense for you to delete that contact Winking smile

Case 1: You want to delete contacts on LinkedIn because you’re giving your account a ‘spring cleaning’

Based on what we just said, the bigger your network, the more opportunities, I usually tell people not to bother with the spring cleaning. What’s the risk for you? Ok, you have some people in your network you don’t really know and wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending if someone asked you to. But let’s look at the gains:

  1. Big network = a profile that appears more often in LinkedIn search results. The LinkedIn algorithm takes into account the level of relationship in user searches. So if you have a network of 50 people, you obviously appear less often in searches than if you have a network of 1 000 people 
  2.  Access to more people: the bigger your network, the more LinkedIn opens up to you. No more profiles where you are unable to connect with the person because she is outside of your network. At some point, when your network gets to a certain size, you’ll always have a link (2nd or 3rd degree) with the person you want to invite.

So skip the spring cleaning, and instead invest this time in sharing some valuable information with your network.

Case 2: You want to delete contacts on LinkedIn because

  1. they sent you spammy messages
  2. post way too much content & it bothers you (in this case you could also just hide their content. Read this post to find out how)
  3. they sent you a marriage proposal !

Ok, fair enough! I hate spammy behavior as well and am happily married, thank you very much. So here’s how you delete these contacts:

  1. Go on the person’s profile
  2. Find the 3 dots to the right of their profile picture 
  3. Click on ‘Remove Connection’

delete contacts on LinkedIn

Simple as that. And no, your contact won’t receive a message saying that you have kicked him/her out of your network. 

And if you insist with the spring cleaning you can go to ‘My Network’, then click on ‘See all’ under ‘Your connections’ in the left column and from there you can scroll through all your connections and delete the ones you no longer want in your network. Same 3 horizontal dots. 

delete contacts on LinkedIn