I used to get put off when a stranger sent me a LinkedIn connection request without so much as a message of introduction.
My stance has changed.
Now, don't get me wrong: If I get a request from a stranger in, say, Uzbekistan, with a message that contains 15 exclamation points, I'm denying that request.
These days I see the social networking site as a business-card exchange of sorts — and a way to vet people.
I have found LinkedIn to be a useful tool in checking work history, references that aren't included in an application and helping me to learn more about a person so I can more easily break the ice when I meet them in person.
I also treat it as my online résumé updated in real time.
How do you use LinkedIn?