Smart ways to invite people YOU DON'T KNOW to connect on LinkedIn

inviting people to connect on LinkedIn, maximizing LinkedIn, growing your LinkedIn network,
Connect with many people to expand
your network into hiring companies.
Because I am open to connect with job seekers (and anybody else on LinkedIn), I receive all types of invitations to connect. About 90 percent of the invitations I receive just include the default invitation message, “I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” 

But did you know you can easily replace the default message to reflect your personality and convey why you want to connect?

Customizing your invitations can greatly increase the chance that recipients will accept your invitation.

inviting people to connect on LinkedIn, LinkedIn invitation to connect,
Default LinkedIn invitation message

Default invitation message
Although LinkedIn recommends that you only send invitations to people you know well, many more people who you don’t know are open to connect with you if you explain who you are and why you want to connect.

Changing your message to be more personal and informative can improve the response rate to your invitations and build a relationship with new connections.

Instead of using the default invitation message, customize your message like I have done below by highlighting the default text, deleting it and replacing it with your own message.

LinkedIn invitation to connect, customizing your LinkedIn invitation message, inviting stranger to connect on LinkedIn,
Example of customized invitation

Customized invitation message
Modify your message to show recipients why you want to connect. Examples:
  • "I read your blog regularly and love your advice.” (Bloggers never tire of such messages!)
  • “You may recall that I met you at the networking event. I was the person who was very impressed with your business card.”
  • “I see you also worked at XYZ Corp. I’d like to invite you to connect.”
  • “I see that you're also an alum of the University of Missouri. Go Tigers!” Similarly, send messages to your particular school … “I see you were a 1995 Business School grad, too. I bet we had Econ 101 together. Let's connect.” Also invite people from your fraternity or sorority even from a different college saying something like, “I see you are a Kappa Kappa Gamma from ABC University. I was one at the University of XYZ.”
  • “I’ve enjoyed reading your comments on the [GROUP NAME] discussion board. We share a lot of the same perspectives.”
  • “I know we have not yet met, but my friend Joe Blow talks so highly of you, I wanted to invite you to connect to introduce myself.”
  • “I heard you speak at __ event and was so inspired by your message.”
  • “I’ve seen you in the XYZ Co. Cafeteria, but have not yet had the opportunity to introduce myself.”
  • "I'm a fellow St. Louisan and notice that we have 34 mutual connections so I thought I would invite you to connect in case our knowing each other might be mutually beneficial." 
As you can see, these invitations are more engaging than the standard LinkedIn default message.

choose the best LinkedIn invitation to connect option, LinkedIn invitation options,
Choose the best connection option

Consider the best connection option
When you invite someone to connect on LinkedIn, the system gives you options to explain how you know the person. Choosing which option to use can be tricky because two options require that you know the person’s email address (the Friend and Other options) and one option … the “I don’t know” the person option doesn’t work at all. The “Groups” option works well if the system “knows” that you both are in the same LinkedIn group. The other options … “Colleague”, “Classmate” and “We’ve done business together” … typically work because the options are based on your work/school history, NOT the person with whom you are inviting.

Connection considerations

LinkedIn open networkers, invite LinkedIn open networkers to connect
Open networkers are typically open to accepting all invitations
  • People (like my friend Robert Shindell) who include the word “LION” or their number of connections after their name are called LinkedIn Open Networkers. Open networkers will accept all invitations … so by all means go ahead and invite them to connect, but for best results, still modify your message to let them know why you want to connect with them.
LinkedIn open networking basics
LinkedIn open networking

  • Did you know that you can send InMessages to anyone in the same LinkedIn group? That means if you belong to a LinkedIn group with 20,000 people, you can send a well crafted connection invitation to anyone (or everyone) in the group to greatly expand your network.
  • You cannot include a link or attachment in an invitation to connect.
  • Recruiters or hiring managers may be resistant to accepting connections from job seekers … they fear you will use the connection to pester them about job openings. Rather than asking them to connect, invite people to connect who can influence the hiring decision at your target companies.
  • Accept invitations! In all the time I’ve been on LinkedIn, I have accepted invitations from all who have asked and have had on a few problems with spam or inappropriate contact. So don’t resist connection requests; each connection expands your network which can help you learn about the right people within target companies.
  • Not everyone will accept your invitation, often because they don't really use LinkedIn. Don't get discouraged; keep on inviting others to connect.
  • You can only customize an invitation if you ask the person to connect from their profile. 
  • If you don't want to connect with someone, simply click “Ignore”. 
  • Invite me to connect … and practice customizing your invitation while you are at it! I will accept and then you can ask my questions or let me know how I can help you.
Just do it!
Customize your connection invitations starting now to reflect your personality and purpose. Doing so can help you land a job ... or a better one! -- Kathy

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1 comment :

  1. People are definitely more prone to reply positively if their message is personalized.


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