Inviting People to Join Your Network on LinkedIn by Sue Kaiden, CareerEdge

When asking people to join your network on LinkedIn, it is essential that you send a customized invite message. Even though you might be tempted to click on the button that sends the standard “I’d like you to join my professional network” message – don’t do it! Here’s why:

1) Unless you know the person well, they may not remember your name. I get a lot of invites from people and half the time I don’t have a clue where I may have met them. Take the time to remind them where you met or what you may have in common. Nine times out of ten, they will accept your invite.

2) If you haven’t seen them in awhile, take the time to give them a quick update on your situation. It’s an opportunity to reach out to someone so don’t waste it. Just remember to keep it upbeat!

3) LinkedIn veterans consider it rude to receive a standard invite. Some won’t accept your invite on principle. Don’t risk annoying a potential networking contact – take the time to send a tailored message.

4) Don’t invite people to your network if you’ve never met them. Unless people identify themselves as “open networkers” or LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers), they usually want to know you, at least a little bit. If you see someone with whom you’d like to connect, ask someone who is already connected with them to introduce you. That is usually a more successful approach.

So, next time you invite someone to your network, take the time to “add a personal note” to your invite message. I expect that you’ll get a better response!