How to Send LinkedIn Invitations and Messages
Tips for Sending LinkedIn Invitations and Messages
LinkedIn makes it very easy to message others on the site to ask them to join your network, to request job or career advice, or to ask them to write you a recommendation. However, while it is easy to send messages, they should still be well-written and professional. Below are a few guidelines to remember when writing a message on LinkedIn.
Guidelines for Sending LinkedIn Invitations and Messages
Salutation: When composing a message to a current contact, format your message like a professional email.
Include a salutation; if you are on a first-name basis with the person, you can use their first name. Otherwise, use their title (Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. XYZ).
Self-Introduction: If you are messaging a contact, the understanding is that you already know one another. However, if you connected with this contact a long time ago, and are worried they do not remember you, you can certainly begin your email with a brief re-introduction ("I cannot believe it has been over a year since we attended XYZ Conference together").
Enforce Your Willingness to Help: If you are messaging someone to ask for a favor (a recommendation, job advice, etc.), be sure to announce your willingness to help them as well (e.g. "I would be more than happy to write you a recommendation as well.").
When you do something for a contact on LinkedIn, they are far more likely to do something for you.
One great way to get help is to start by writing a LinkedIn recommendation. Giving to get works really well and if you've offered an unsolicited reference, you'll be at an advantage when you need assistance.
Thank You: If you are messaging someone to ask for a favor, be sure to say thank you towards the end of your message. If they complete the favor for you, be sure to follow-up quickly with a thank-you message.
Don't Overdo It
Don't take advantage of your network. Be judicious about who you ask for help and how often you request assistance. Also, be careful about who you ask for help if you are currently employed. Don't send a mass mailing to a lengthy list of connections. Instead, be selective about who you ask for help and take the time personalize your request.
Tips for Sending LinkedIn Invitations to Connect
Personalize Invitations to Connect: When sending a connection request, LinkedIn provides the generic message, "I'd like to add you to my professional network." Never use this message on its own; instead, personalize each request. Below are a few guidelines for writing an invitation to connect.
Introduction: Begin with a self-introduction if you do not already know the person.
Why You Would Like to Connect: Explain why you want to be contacts with the person; perhaps you read an interesting article they posted, you both work for similar companies, etc. If you would like to connect because you want career advice, you can include this in your invitation.
However, do not directly ask for a job or for a recommendation until the person has accepted your invitation.
Mutual Benefits: Emphasize how the potential contact could benefit from your connection. Something as simple as, "Please let me know if I can be of any help," will show the person the potential benefit of being your contact.
Say Thank You: Always end by saying "Thank you."
Follow-up: If the person does not respond in about a month, you can send one more request. After that, it is best to stop. Some people simply keep a small list of close contacts.
What Not to Do When Sending a LinkedIn Message
Don’t Send a Generic Message: You’ve deleted LinkedIn’s canned language in your message request … but you’ve replaced it with your own template, which you use for all invitations. Insert buzzer noise here.
Just as you wouldn’t send the same cover letter with every job application, you shouldn’t send the same message with every invitation to connect. Personalize your invitation, and you’ll increase your chances of getting a response.
Don’t Ask for More Than You’re Prepared to Give: Not ready to recommend this person, either because you’re too busy or you don’t know them in person? Don’t ask them for a recommendation. It’s that simple.
Don’t Stalk: Once you’ve sent your initial message and followed up once without a response, let it go. Repeatedly sending messages won’t convince them to connect with you -- just the opposite.
Don’t Treat LinkedIn as a Dating Site: Hopefully this goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: LinkedIn is not Tinder or Match. No matter how much you like someone’s head shot, or feel that their professional experience indicates that you two are soulmates, LinkedIn is not the place to forge a love connection.
How to Send a LinkedIn Message
Here's how to send messages to your connections:
- Go to your Messaging page or directly to your connection’s Profile.
- From your connection’s Profile, click the Message button, and then type your message in the space provided.
- From the Messaging page, click the Compose icon, and then type in the recipient’s name. You can message up to 50 contacts at a time.