Break the Script: Connecting on LinkedIn

Career Blog

Published: August 7, 2018 by Evelyn Hudson

Everyone knows LinkedIn is a great way to network. This is one of the best ways to connect with other professionals around the world. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to write personalized messages when connecting. Instead, they use the script automatically provided by LinkedIn.

If you are trying to connect with someone you don’t know, he or she may ignore your connection if you use the pre-filled script. Here are a few tips for writing an excellent message that will give you a better chance of making a connection.

  1. Include why you are connecting. Explain your reasons for wanting to connect with the person. Simply asking to connect is not enough. Say that you are interested in their career path and are looking to ask questions if that is the case. If you met them in person, remind them where you met and a personal message about something you discussed in person. Providing a reason for connecting gives you a better chance of the person accepting.
  2. State your career goals. Especially if you don’t know the person, write your career goals in your message. This shows the person you are trying to connect with how you two match up professionally. It also gives you a conversation topic for the next message. You might say that their career in collection development is something you want to emulate and you hope to ask them for advice in the future.
  3. Ask a question. Include a question in your message. This ensures the conversation doesn’t end with the close of your message. Use your connection message to learn more about your profession and get tips to reach your career goals. Asking a question also shows that you want to continue the conversation beyond the initial message and that you truly care about the connection.
  4. Personalize the message. Whatever you do, don’t copy and paste the same message over and over again. Write a new message for each person you connect with. Share an anecdote if you know them (see #1) or explain how you found them if you don’t know them. You might also include what you hope to gain from the connection.
  5. Keep it short. A busy professional does not have a lot of time to spend on LinkedIn. If you write a long message, they are unlikely to read the entire thing and you might come across as desperate. Keeping it short and professional is the best way to go. Your potential contact is more likely to answer and you are more likely to make the connection.

How do you write connection requests on LinkedIn? Share your examples in the comments!

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