Every week, I receive (and send) connection requests through LinkedIn. What continues to surprise me is the fact that the large majority of those who wish to connect fail to personalize the message. Now, let me explain first that I’m not too caught up with this since there are so many new smartphone and tablet apps that simply don’t let the user provide any personalization, thus the “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” standard messaging.
If you could hit the “easy” button and fire away simple connection requests without personalization, would you do it? Some say yes, but what are your results? Why are you really connecting?
Here’s the better question: What if you took 20 seconds to craft a quick note to provide the person you’re reaching out to with a frame of reference?
Put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving the connection request. For all intents and purposes, let’s just say they’re a recruiter for the most awesome company in the world and you want to work for them. You meet the recruiter at an event, perhaps a career fair. You exchange information and later go to LinkedIn to do a little research.
That little blue “connect” button is calling your name. Heck, LinkedIn even does most of the work for you. Instead of sending the boilerplate “I’d like to connect” blah-blah, you choose to stand out. Your connection request goes something like this:
It was nice to meet you at the career fair today in San Francisco. Cool that you’re also a Cal grad! I’ve already applied online as directed to your awesome company. In the meantime, I’d like to connect with you here on LinkedIn. Let’s keep in touch!
Now, if you were a recruiter and received tons of the basic boilerplate connection requests, wouldn’t this stand out to you?? It’s that simple.
What inspired me to write this post? These three great connection requests I received this week:
Did I connect? You bet. Thanks for the added thought in your request!
Here are some other really great posts on LinkedIn:
Is Your LinkedIn Profile Awesome? by Career Sherpa
College Students: Are You Linked In? by Emily Bennington
Want to connect? You know what you have to do… 🙂 http://www.linkedin.com/in/kbaumann