I just got another one – a generic connection request from someone I don’t know.
“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
I now have three options, two provided by LinkedIn and my own third option. The LinkedIn options are Accept and Ignore. Accept is pretty straightforward. Ignore seems innocuous but can be damaging. If a LinkedIn member has too many “Ignores” (no one knows that number except LinkedIn) their account can be suspended. My third option is to send a message inquiring why I should accept their invitation. Those who respond with almost any reason, I accept. Those who fail to respond I mark Ignore.
Here is how to get your invitations accepted by almost everyone:
First, look at that person’s profile carefully and identify things that you may have in common.
Second, think for a moment about how you found this person. Consider why you want to connect with them and be clear about your motivation. If you are intent on inviting this person to be a connection of yours on LinkedIn, then write your invitation to connect email carefully.
Here is how I go about inviting someone to connect on LinkedIn:
1. Start by going to this person’s full profile page and click on the “Connect” button from there. Do not do it from the “Who has viewed your profile” section. The reason you want to do it from the full profile page is that when you start here, you get the opportunity to write a custom request to connect. From any other spot, the generic note gets sent and this prevents you from putting context and personal touch around the invitation. Also, connecting from the mobile app also sends this generic request.
2. Write a custom invitation to connect email. Here are some things you can mention:
- If you’ve met before, remind them about that
- Explain why you want to connect
- Describe the mutually beneficial relationship that you can have by connecting
- Compliment them, a little flattery goes a long way
- Mention something that you have in common — did you go to the same university, do you share a hobby, do you have a mutual connection, etc.?
3. Keep the invitation to connect short and to the point. You are limited to just 300 characters, so make them count. Here are some examples of LinkedIn invitations that should get you accepted.
To a former colleague
It was such a pleasure working together at GX from 2006 to 2013. I remember you were considered to be the Guru of spreadsheets. If you have the chance, I’d love to catch up and learn more about what you’re doing in your new role at Microsoft.
To someone you know casually
I’m glad Aaron introduced us. Next time we run into each other, you’ll have to tell me more about what you do for Pfizer—I’ve always been interested in the healthcare industry.
To someone in the same LinkedIn group
I’m also in the Tulsa Networking Professionals group, and I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. They are always thought-provoking. I’d love to keep in touch and learn more about your work.
Using these as templates you can customize you request in almost any situation. Remember to always customize your request and connect from the user’s profile page.
Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice Rick has been a career consultant for over 25 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.
Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.