I just got an invitation to connect from someone on LinkedIn with the following message: “Since you are a person I trust, I want to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn.” I have some real issues with this invitation and here’s why:
- This message was obviously created using a LinkedIn template. The sender put absolutely no time or effort into writing me a personalized invitation or explaining how connecting to him might have value for him or me.
- I have never met this person in my life, so writing that I am someone he trusts is inappropriate and frankly a little bit creepy.
- This person is affiliated with a company where I have worked, so my guess is that he has mined the LinkedIn database to connect with whoever he can from the company. It appears that this person is doing a good job of gathering information on other people for his own benefit rather than fostering reciprocity and authenticity to build the relationship.
Here are some examples of alternative messages this gentleman could have sent me that probably would have resulted in an accepted invitation:
- Create common ground. Hi! I noticed that you and I are affiliated with the same company and since you are a career strategist and I am a recruiter, I think there may be ways that we can help feed each others’ pipeline. I’d love to learn more about what you do and share some information about my practice as well. Would love to connect.
- Start an authentic relationship. Barbara…I decided to skip the boring LinkedIn template and just introduce myself to you. We are both in the business of helping people find better jobs and more fulfilling careers and I would be interested in sharing best practices with you. Do you have time to talk?
- Focus on the affinity. I’ve recently been reviewing the profiles of people who have worked for the same companies as me and I came across your information. While I know we’ve never met, I’ve found that people who have worked for the same employer can often benefit from sharing information and experiences. Would you like to connect through LinkedIn?
- Give something before you expect to get something. I see from your profile that you help people who are in a job search. I work with many clients who would benefit from your expertise. By connecting on LinkedIn, I can share more information about these clients with you.
Invest the few extra minutes to craft personalized and authentic messages to people you want to connect with. You will be glad that you did.