7 Simple Steps to Write the Perfect LinkedIn Invitation

Whether you’re new to LinkedIn or you’re an All Star Power user, if you intend to connect with new people on LinkedIn make sure you come across like a professional – not a stalker or spammer. Here is How.

I know, that it is all too easy to use the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” template, but beware for most LinkedIn users, it is actually an annoyance if not used right.

Imagine you’re at a professional event. You know, those cheese and nibbles meetups, when you spot someone across the room. Oh! Is that the cool guy who writes these smart blogs about job hunting? You walk up to him, extend your hand, and say (drum roll please):

“I’d like to add you to my professional network.”

Huh???  Did you really just say that? It does sound a bit weird, doesn’t it? No one would do such a thing in real life. So, when you stop to think about it, why would you do such a strange thing on LinkedIn?

It’s not rocket science – it’s actually pretty simple.

Try this 7 simple steps if you want to connect with strangers and enhance your LinkedIn network.

Step 1   Use a professional photo

Like it or not, impressions count and your profile photo is the first thing a person sees on your LinkedIn invitation, so make it a good one. Don’t do one of these lazy photo cropping jobs where you cut yourself out of a group photo. Need help? use this link for simple and effective LinkedIn profile photos.

Step 2    Start with a personalised greeting

Begin your message with a “Dear [name]” or “Hi [name]” — and make sure you’ve spelled their name correctly. Nothing frustrates people more than misuse of their first or last name.

 Step 3    Be Honest about the how you know them

Did you chat at a conference? Did a friend recommend that the two of you connect? Are you following each other on Twitter? Remind the person how s/he knows you (or might know you) somewhere in the message. Need some ideas? Read this

Step 4     Briefly explain why you’d like to connect

It’s really important to explain why you want to connect. If you fail to do that, most LinkedIn users will assume that you are just out to increase your number of connections and that there isn’t anything meaningful for them in the proposed connection.

Step 5     Ensure to explain what you do

Always include one- or two-sentences on what you do. Most LinkedIn networkers want to assist if you fit into their tribe.

Step 6     Use professional and polite parting words

It’s not who you know, it’s who wants to know you, so it’s always nice to include a few kind parting words about their work, job experience, or company.

Step 7     Sign off on a high note

As with everything in our professional lives, start and finish on a high note.

Whether you’re trying to recruit someone, complimenting them on their work, or telling them how much you enjoyed meeting them at that cheese and nibbles event, a personalised LinkedIn message using the 7 above steps will help you to secure another valuable professional contact.

Keep it short and simple, don’t be a stalker and remember to hunt wisely!