When reaching out to connect with someone new on LinkedIn, thoughtfully crafting your network invitation message is key. A good first message can make the difference between a new connection accepting your invite or ignoring it. Here are some tips for writing effective LinkedIn connection messages:
Personalize the Message
Avoid sending generic connection requests like “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” Take a minute to personalize your message with details about why you want to connect with this person specifically. Reference how you may already know them or be connected – did you meet at a conference, work at the same company, or share a mutual connection? Or explain why you’re interested in connecting based on their background and experience.
Showing you’ve taken the time to write a unique note tailored to them makes people much more likely to accept your invitation. Generic messages often get ignored or even rejected.
Keep it Concise But Warm
Get right to the point in your message, but maintain a friendly tone. You generally want to keep a first connection request on LinkedIn fairly brief – a few sentences or short paragraph at most. Long-winded notes can come across as overbearing.
Start with a warm but professional greeting like “Hi [name],” or “Good morning [name],”. Follow with 1-2 sentences briefly explaining your purpose for connecting. Close politely with something like “I look forward to staying in touch!”
Highlight Shared Connections
If you don’t already know the person, mentioning any shared connections you have on LinkedIn helps provide some common ground. After your main message, you can say something like “We both know [shared connection] who connected us” or “I see we’re both connected with [shared connection].”
Pointing out mutual connections gives the recipient context around why you want to build a relationship, making your request more relevant to them.
Reference Their Company or Industry
Similarly, referencing the person’s current company or industry helps explain your interest in connecting. You can say something like “I also work in [industry] at [company]” or “I’m interested in learning more about innovations in [their industry].”
This shows you share professional interests or goals, even if you don’t have overlapping connections.
Keep it Casual
While you want to maintain a polite, professional tone, your message doesn’t need to be overly formal. A casual but courteous voice can help set a friendly rapport.
Using first names and inclusive language like “I’d love to connect” or “Hope you’re doing well!” goes over better than stiff, formal wording.
Avoid Asking for Favors
When connecting with someone new, don’t ask for favors like job leads or introductions to their network. Wait until you’ve established a relationship before making requests.
Focus your initial message on introducing yourself and expressing interest in their background and experience. Once connected, you can gently start exploring potential areas for mutual benefit.
Proofread Before Sending
Be sure to carefully proofread your message before hitting send. Check for spelling and grammar errors that could leave a bad first impression. Also double check you’re sending the message to the correct recipient.
Take a minute to review your note with a critical eye, making edits to ensure it’s clear, polished, and mistake-free. This attention to detail tells the recipient you value their time.
Customize for Different Contexts
Your approach can vary slightly depending on the circumstances around connecting with someone. If you’re reaching out to:
- A close contact, colleague or friend – Keep things warm and casual, referring to how you already know one another.
- A new professional contact – Focus on your common interests, goals or connections.
- A recruiter or hiring manager – Express enthusiasm for their company and highlights from your background that could be a potential fit.
Tailor both your tone and content to the type of relationship you’re hoping to build.
Follow Up if Needed
If the person doesn’t respond to your initial connection request within a week or two, consider sending a brief, polite follow up. Thank them for considering connecting, reiterate your interest in their experience, and say you hope to stay in touch.
Avoid pestering them repeatedly if they continue not to respond though. Take the hint and move on if your attempts to connect don’t get traction.
Nurture the Relationship
Once connected, periodically engage with the new contact by commenting on or sharing their content, congratulating them on work milestones, and sending messages to catch up. Nurture the fledgling relationship to build familiarity and trust over time.
With care and effort, your new LinkedIn connections can become valuable professional relationships leading to career growth opportunities down the road.
- Personalize every first connection message to show you’re interested specifically in them.
- Keep it reasonably concise but with a warm, friendly tone.
- Look for common ground like shared connections or industry interests.
- Avoid asking for favors when connecting for the first time.
- Proofread carefully before hitting send.
- Follow up if they don’t respond, but don’t pester repeatedly.
- Nurture new connections to build lasting professional relationships.
With thoughtful relationship-building, LinkedIn can become an invaluable platform for expanding your network and enhancing your career over time. Approach every new connection as an opportunity to grow both your circle and skills.