A Simple LinkedIn Tip To Help Identify Impersonal Messages

Dr Stuart Woolley
4 min readNov 25, 2020
Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

It’s common knowledge that few people read profiles before messaging you on LinkedIn, but here’s an easy way to tell if you’re getting a mass mailed message or a genuine personal one.


I do spend more time than I should on LinkedIn. This is, however, not by design. I start out with a quick scan to see what my previous work colleagues are up to (very little, usually), see what jobs are recommended to me (the wrong ones, don’t start me on this one — I’m going to write about this too one day), and generally to see if anyone’s abruptly resigned (don’t tell me you don’t do this…).

Unfortunately, I end up getting bogged down in the endless meme parade of self-aggrandising souls posting (un)helpful tales of how they follow the Agile process (sigh) when planning meals for their cat, how I should most definitely plan to wade through shark infested waters, learn Olympic level archery, and climb mount Everest before breakfast, and also get a slick motorised standing desk to even remotely begin to succeed at my life.


Sometimes, though, I choose to just check notifications. But, then, I inevitably fall down the hole of being suggested to congratulate someone have a ‘work anniversary’ (seriously, who celebrates this? is it just me that’s missing out? do you get a prize?), find out someone is some kind of ‘thought leader’ (what? is this a cult now?), or someone else commented on something that I commented on 7 years ago (did I comment on that?).


More often than not, if feeling especially tight on time, I just go straight to the messaging section. Now, as primarily a software engineering type in the workplace anyway, I get a fair few messages primarily concerned with potential job opportunities.

As you may have noticed, I frame myself as Dr. Stuart, this is because back in the mists of time, many many moons ago, I completed a PhD in mathematics and computing. Although mostly I don’t generally use the title, except when my mother presses me to on the phone (“because you earned it”), I do use it on LinkedIn for several reasons:

  • It does actually attract attention for specific things
Dr Stuart Woolley

Worries about the future. Way too involved with software. Likes coffee, maths, and . Would prefer to be in academia. SpaceX, Twitter, and Overwatch fan.