As an HR professional, I log into LinkedIn multiple times a day, whether to read a message, an article, or find someone I know. Almost every day I have requests waiting for me. Some are from people I know, and some are from total strangers. These requests all read the same, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
I am always surprised why everyone isn’t writing a personalized invitation. You don’t need a premium license to do this. You get 300 characters to write a message and that can make a big impact. Even if you know a person well, it’s a great opportunity to write something nice and reinforce the relationship. If you don’t know someone well, it is an opportunity to remind him or her how you met. If you don’t know them at all, it is your only chance to convince him or her to accept your invitation.
One important point to note: asking for something other than an informational interview or catch up call will be viewed negatively. If you don’t know someone, it is not appropriate start selling your product or service. Build the relationship, then you’ve earned some creds to do this.
These are some connections you should take the time to write a customized message.
Here are some connections you should take the time to make:
- A colleague
You might say something about being surprised you were not connected yet.
2. A new colleague
You could tell them how excited you are to be part of the team and you are looking forward to working with them.
3. A former coworker
You should wish them luck and see about catching up to learn more about their new role.
4. Someone you know casually
You could mention who made your connection and say you hope to run into them soon.
5. Someone you just met at a networking event
You should remind them where you met and ask to stay in touch.
6. Someone in one of your LinkedIn groups
You should mention the group you have in common and suggested connecting and staying in touch.
7. A recruiter
You should try to find a commonality (i.e. school, club, association, connection) and mention this and that you like what you see the company is doing.
8. An alumna
Alumni love to help alumni. Mention your school, and even the mascot and ask them to connect and for an informational interview.