When reaching out to someone on LinkedIn, the message you send can make or break your chance of getting a response. The key is crafting a message that provides value to the recipient while also making it easy and worthwhile for them to reply. Here are some tips on what to include in a LinkedIn message to increase your odds of a successful connection.
Customize Your Greeting
Avoid generic greetings like “Hi” or “Hello.” Instead, personalize your message by using the recipient’s name and job title. This shows you took the time to look at their profile and aren’t simply blasting out mass messages. For example: “Hi [name], I saw on your LinkedIn profile that you are the [job title] at [company]. I wanted to reach out because…”
Explain Why You’re Connecting
Don’t just say you want to connect, explain why. Share the reason you wanted to reach out, whether it’s networking, exploring career opportunities, seeking advice, etc. Be clear about your intent from the start so the recipient understands the purpose of your message. For example: “I’m interested in learning more about [industry/role] and was hoping to connect with someone experienced like yourself.”
Highlight Common Ground
Look for commonalities you share like same school, company, interests, connections, etc. Point out this shared ground in your message to establish an initial rapport. For example: “I see you also went to [college]. I remember my time there fondly.” Or: “I noticed we are both connected to [name]. Small world!” This helps get the conversation started on a personal note.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Pose questions that invite detailed responses, not just yes/no answers. This stimulates the conversation and shows you are interested in learning more about them. For example: “What motivated you to get into [industry]?” Or: “What advice would you give someone looking to transition into [role]?” This gives them an easy opening to respond meaningfully.
Compliment Their Work
If relevant, politely praise their accomplishments, contributions, work projects, etc. that you came across. People appreciate genuine compliments. Just keep it professional, not personal. For example: “I read your recent article on [topic] and found it very insightful.” Or: “The work your team is doing at [company] around [initiative] is truly inspiring.”
Offer Your Own Insights
Share an interesting perspective, helpful resource, or useful tip based on your own experiences. Avoid obvious information. Provide something novel that shows your knowledge. For example: “When I was new to [industry], I found [resource] really valuable for learning the ropes.” This positions you as someone worth connecting with.
Explain How They Can Help
Be clear on how the person can assist you. Whether you are seeking advice, job leads, industry knowledge, etc., explain precisely how they can help. But don’t ask for too much. Offer to return the favor. For example: “I’d love any advice you can share on breaking into [role]. I’m happy to exchange ideas and brainstorm together.”
Extend an Invitation
Invite them to continue the dialogue on a call, over coffee, at an event, etc. Give them a next step suggestion so the conversation doesn’t end with the message. For example: “Would you be open to discussing this more over a quick phone call?” Or: “Let me know if you’ll be at [event], maybe we can connect in person.”
Share Something Personal
Open up a bit to establish a human connection. For example, mention shared hobbies, hometowns, alma maters, sports teams, etc. Don’t overshare, but providing some personal details makes the conversation more relatable. For example: “I see we both grew up in [city]. I have fond memories of [reference].”
Briefly explain who you are and highlight your credentials and accomplishments. Share your value proposition so they understand what you bring to the table. But don’t boast. Remain humble and focus on fit over qualifications. For example: “As a [current role] at [company], I’ve delivered [achievement] and have experience with [skillset].”
Express upfront gratitude for their time and consideration. People want to help those who appreciate their efforts. A simple “Thank you for any guidance you can provide” goes a long way.
Read your message backwards to catch typos, grammar issues, and repetitive language. Use a spell-checker. Ask someone else to review it and give feedback before sending. A polished message shows extra effort.
Keep It Short
Get to the point concisely. Long blocks of text are daunting on screens. Shoot for 3-5 sentences max. You can elaborate in follow-ups once a conversation starts. Lead with the most important info and end with a clear call to action.
Follow Up Politely
If they don’t respond after a week or so, follow up. Send a simple note checking in and restating your interest in connecting. For example: “Hi [name], just circling back on my earlier message. I’m still very interested in [purpose]. Let me know if you have any availability to discuss.” But don’t harass them.
Personalize Invitation Requests
When sending an invitation request, customize the note to say more than just “I’d like to connect.” Explain who you are, why you want to connect, and how you can help them. This encourages acceptance of your request when it’s not just a generic click.
Comment Thoughtfully on Posts
Commenting on someone’s posts can be another way to strike up a connection. But avoid short generic comments like “Interesting!” or “Great Post!” instead offer insightful relevant reactions to the content.
Use a Warm But Professional Tone
Aim for proper but approachable language. As if you were talking to someone at a networking event. Avoid overly formal or casual styles unfit for the platform.
Consider Using Emojis Selectively
Emojis can infuse personality when used sparingly. But don’t overdo it or use irrelevant emojis that look unprofessional.
Make Dual Requests
When seeking advice, job leads etc. offer your help in return. People give more when it’s a two-way street. Just be sincere in your willingness to reciprocate value.
Align with Shared Contacts
Mention mutual connections to establish credibility. For example: “[Name] suggested I reach out to connect with you.” But get permission first and make sure you have a relationship with the person you’re naming.
Frame as Conversation not Pitch
Avoid sounding like you are pitching or imposing. Frame the message as the start of a dialogue, not a one-sided ask. People want to feel heard too.
Show Interest in Them as a Person
Express genuine curiosity and interest in who they are beyond just their job. Ask about hobbies, passions, background etc. People connect with those who care about more than just their utility.
Explain Your Passion or Purpose
Briefly share what motivates you, what makes you excited about your work. When people know your “why” they relate better on a human level.
In summary, making connections on LinkedIn requires thoughtful relationship-building, not transactional messaging. Personalize your outreach, offer real value, and appeal to shared interests. With the right approach, you can turn messages into meaningful professional relationships.