Please, Personalize Your LinkedIn Invitations
LinkedIn makes it waaaaay too easy to send their generic, canned invitation to connect. I am writing this post today because I receive too many invitations to connect from people who don’t tell me why they want to connect or how I can help their network. Please, please, personalize your invitation to connection with me on LinkedIn!
My LinkedIn Philosophy
Everyone has a different philosophy for how they want their network on LinkedIn to work. I want to feel like I know my network. If I need something or have a question, the people in my network are people that I can go to. When I need to make a referral, I also want to be able to provide some additional insight about the person. I even state this on my LinkedIn profile, which I am sure few ever read or pay attention to, but this is what I say:
I value each and every one of my connections. I will gladly connect with people I know (meaning we have met face to face or engaged in meaningful conversation). I am more than happy to accept twitter followers at http://twitter.com/careersherpa.
- career opportunities
- consulting offers
- job inquiries
- expertise requests
- business deals
- reference requests
- getting back in touch
It can’t hurt to personalize this message.
In my view, giving more information rather than less is a good thing. Here is what would want to see within an invitation to connect:
- Explain how you know me or what we have in common
- Why you want to connect
- And be friendly! “Please” and “Thank You”
If you are looking for advice on what to include in your invitation, you can visit these two posts:
3 Critical Elements of Every LinkedIn Invitation from CAREEREALISM by Arnie Fertig.
11 Ways to Personalize A LinkedIn Invite from Tim’s Strategy
I didn’t accept your invite because…
If you are one of the many people who have sent an invitation to connect and it wasn’t personalized, I did not accept your invite. Sometimes I feel guilty for not accepting so I will send a message explaining my philosophy. Very seldom, gosh, only once, did someone respond to my message and explained why they wanted to connect. Yes, I immediately accepted their invite.
Here is where you personalize your invite
I can’t assume that everyone makes this mistake on purpose. I think it is most common among new users of LinkedIn. When you click on the “Connect” button you will see this box appear. This screen shot shows where you have the option to personalize your message…now, no excuses! Just be sure you click the connect button when you are on the person’s profile. If you don’t see this message, then you didn’t personalize the message.
My Reasons for this Post
The reason I am writing this is to educate. If you are a job seeker and not personalizing your invitation to me, I can only assume you don’t personalize the other messages you send out. I know it is dangerous to assume… The other reason I am writing this is to ease my guilt.
OK? All set? I feel so much better! I hope you will share this with those you know who are new to LinkedIn!