How often does this happen to you? I experience it several times daily.

You check your email and see something like this:

Invitation to connect on LinkedIn — Inbox
I’ve blanked the name to protect the guilty.

Do I recognize her name? No. Did she give me a clue? No.

Avoiding the work I should be doing, I click through and see this:

  Teresa Biagi | LinkedIn-1

So, this Teresa person lives in Canada and has three connections. Why on earth would I connect with her on LinkedIn? Ain’t gonna happen.

If you’re new to LinkedIn, here are some tips for connecting with people:

  1. Start by requesting connections with people you actually know in real life: colleagues, employers, clients, friends, classmates, fellow members of associations, and so on.
  2. When you do send LinkedIn invitations, always always always personalize them. I suggest something like this:

Hello, Joe. I see that we’re not yet connected on LinkedIn, and I’d like to add you to my network. (This is short and sweet and ideal for someone who will recognize your name instantly.)


Hi Varinder. Since we’re both members of the Society of Technical Widget Makers, I thought it would be great to connect on LinkedIn. Thanks. (You’ve jump-started the person’s memory, which is helpful.)


Hi Diana. We both worked on the SAP project back in 2008 at XYZ Corporation. Hope all is well with you. I’d like to stay in touch on LinkedIn. (In this case, the person may not remember you, but you’ve provided a tangible clue.)

By personalizing each invitation, you’re adding a human touch, and also jogging the memory of the recipient.

If you send the standard LinkedIn invitation, you’re likely to be ignored. And if your profile is almost blank, you’re wasting your time in general. Beef up that profile before inviting people to join your network.

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