April 20, 2017

When it comes to building your personal network, nothing compares to LinkedIn for ease and accessibility. But how do you reach out to someone you’ve met only once or twice? Or maybe someone you don’t know at all?

Don’t Send A Blank LinkedIn Connection Request

When you send a connection request, LinkedIn provides a blank message that says, “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” Not very exciting, is it? Would you be eager to connect with someone you didn’t know if they sent that message? Probably not. Chances are the person you’re sending that request to will share your feelings.

Why They Should Connect With You

When you find someone on LinkedIn you want in your network, consider why you want to reach out and let them know. Did their most recent article inspire you to try something new? Do you admire the way they do business? To be effective, your connection request should let them know you care about connecting, that you’re doing more than simply collecting people.

Common Ground

If someone shares a mutual connection or event in common with you, they’ll be more likely to accept your invitation – in real life and the virtual one. Look for people that both of you know, recent networking events you both attended or find some other common ground to break the ice and start the conversation. Finding things in common is an excellent way to pique someone’s interest and that makes them more open to accepting your LinkedIn invitation.

Professional Profile Photo

Because your photo is the first thing someone sees when they go to your LinkedIn Profile, be sure to have a professional looking picture. Group photos, blurry pictures, or images that distort or cover your face in any fashion are definite no-nos. Look at the profiles belonging to top influencers like Richard Branson, or Arianna Huffington for inspiration. The more professional you look in your profile photo, the better your first impression will be.

Use Their Name

No one enjoys to receiving a “To Whom It May Concern” email or connection request. Address your connection request by name. “Dear Richard,” or “Hello Arianna.”  And double check that you’ve spelled their name correctly.

Make It About Them (Not You)

Even if your ultimate goal is selling ‘you’, don’t start off a connection request bragging about your latest achievements. Everyone likes to feel special, and your connection request is no different. For increased connection results let them know you appreciate what they do.

Making real connections on LinkedIn is easy if you follow these tips. And when you’re in the market for a new job, networking with your connections is an ideal way to speed up the process.

If you’re looking for work, or just interested in exploring the current market, reach out to the specialized recruiters at Inter-Connect Employment Services today. (And don’t forget to check out our LinkedIn Profile.)

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