You finally got around to building that All-Star LinkedIn profile. You’ve updated your past jobs, triple-checked for typos, and uploaded a photo that’s a far better choice than the awkward selfie you used to have in its place.
With your profile in good shape, it’s time to start building and strengthening your network with intention. But before you get too excited and start connecting with everyone, make sure you know how to reach out the right way— that means not making these six insanely common mistakes.
1. Not Personalizing the Invite Message
When you click “connect” on someone’s profile, the default message will likely say: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” That may be fine if you’re inviting a good friend, but sending that standard line should not be your go-to approach for connecting with a person you don’t already have a history with.
Sending a personalized, polite message that briefly explains your reasons for connecting is a must. Muse columnist Sara McCord suggests you answer three questions: “Who are you? How did you find me? Why do you want to connect?” She also provides a specific template for reaching out to an alum—and staying within the character limit:
I see we both went to F&M (Go Dips!). I am a graduating senior interested in editorial and would love to connect with you because you write for some of my favorite websites.
Thanks so much,
If the other person accepts the invite but doesn’t respond (which is common), you can then follow up with a direct message. Just note that if the majority of your connection requests get rejected, LinkedIn may limit the number of invitations you can send, so make sure you’re targeting people correctly.
2. Inviting People to Connect on Your Phone
The mobile app’s default invitation doesn’t present you with a customized option before sending; fortunately, there’s a simple solution.