November 21, 2014

“I’d Like to Add You to My Professional Network on LinkedIn.”

add you to my professional network

The form letter for connecting on LinkedIn is one rather irritating thing about the otherwise great social network. It reads, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

The form letter reads a bit lazy and presumptuous if you think about it. It’s lazy because it simply takes a click and it is sent. It is presumptuous because the sender is assuming that the response will be positive even though there is no context for the request.

Ninety percent of the requests I receive are the LinkedIn form letter. . .which you can – and should – edit.

I have interviewed several senior executives about LinkedIn and without prompting, unanimously their pet peeve is. . .invitations with no explanation and no context on why the person wants to connect.

Not exactly a great first impression for you and your company.

If you want to make a great first impression, tell someone why you’d like to connect and make it a value proposition that works both ways. Even if you have met them before, if you are not one of their closer business associates – assuming they will remember you without prompting is a dangerous assumption.

Additionally, many of the form letter requests I get come from people with incomplete profiles, or profiles that tell me next to nothing about who the person is or what the company does.

Make sure to properly fill out all of the sections in your profile and edit the LinkedIn form letter before you send any more invitations.

Connecting Photo via Shutterstock

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Mark Amtower


Mark Amtower Mark Amtower is an award-winning Government Contracting consultant; LinkedIn and social media coach; keynote speaker & Amazon best-seller. You can reach him through LinkedIn or at Federal Direct.

7 Reactions

  1. I rarely, if ever, accept an invite with the form letter unless it’s someone I’ve met and remember the context. If you’re trying to expand your network to people that you aren’t personally acquainted with, this is key.

  2. I totally agree that a good introduction is essential. Unfortunately it is not always possible to change the standard form letter. On the iOS app for instance some “connect” links immediately send the invite with the standard form letter. Annoying, but every now and then I forget about it and the invite is already sent before I was able to make the invite personal.

  3. You invite someone to join your professional network on LinkedIn. After a very long time … no response, you forget about it. But then, out of nowhere, your invitation is accepted. It is when you realize the “professional headline” says “Actively Seeking Employment”

  4. YES, I have mixed feelings about that LinkedIn form letter! I absolutely HATE receiving requests with the default text alone and I don’t make it a practice to send connection requests that way either. (The first thing that goes through my mind when I receive these default messages is, “who are you?” and “how do we know each other?”) When you choose not to personalize the message, it shows laziness and a lack of care or concern. I do like that the form letter pre-populates the text “network on LinkedIn” and my name, but from there I customize the message to include the date and event where we met in person. If it’s been a long period of time, I’ll provide additional details as a reminder. Just yesterday I was reconnecting with a former colleague after 9+ years and before I could edit anything, the request was sent. After a few seconds of being appalled, I went back to the profile to send another request where it would allow me to edit the message first. (Hopefully she’ll see the second request and not think I was randomly adding folks.) SPECIAL NOTE: If you click to view the actual profile, then LinkedIn will allow you to edit the message before being sent to the connection!

  5. I accept most invites I receive. I can’t recall any of them being personalised. To be honest, I didn’t think they could be ’til I read this post, so thanks.

    What I do get from some people is, when I accept their request, I receive a further message thanking me and sometimes a conversation ensues.

  6. I agree but as Peter Simoons mentioned in his comment… the mobile apps just send the form letter automatically if you hit connect. I work at a university and many of the requests I receive are from students wanting to connect or desiring mentoring. Our career center teaches them to revise the form letter but they are all on mobile and can’t. LinkedIn needs to step up and correct this.

    I avoid this by always using a computer when I desire to connect.

    Another interesting flaw is that it appears (currently) that if you view someone’s LinkedIn profile using the LinkedIn app there is no history recorded.

  7. I agree with the comments on using the form reply response. I think Linked In should change the reply response format easier, so that you can personalize your message.

    I also really don’t care to learn of someone’s birthday.

    Michael

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