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Seven Tips for Writing a Great LinkedIn Invitation

January 22, 2013

Tags: CDO, 2013

Connecting with people on LinkedIn is pretty easy — but is the generic template "I'd like to add you to my professional network" hurting your opportunities? Personalizing your message is key to maximizing your networking power. Below are seven great tips on writing LinkedIn invitations from's approved experts.

  1. Be Honest
    "Explain why you want to connect with the person," says author Amanda Haddaway. She explains that there's nothing worse (on LinkedIn) than receiving a standard request and not having any idea who that person is or why they want to connect. Dorothy Tannahill-Moran says honesty is the best policy when trying to connect with someone, especially if serious networking is your goal. If you want to work for their company, tell them that you are looking for insights about the company.
  2. Tell Them How You Know Them
    Jenny Yerrick Martin says that she always appreciates a brief mention of why the requester wants to connect. "Whether they saw my post on a LinkedIn group, found me through my website, or know someone who knows me in real life, that extra step usually gets me to accept the invitation."
  3. Find Something In Common
    When trying to find something in common with your potential connection, Haddaway suggests asking yourself these questions:
    • Is it a mutual career field or interest?
    • Do you have connections in common?
    • Are you connected through LinkedIn Groups?
    If the answer is yes to any of these, then use that connection in your request.
  4. Make It Personal
    "One-size-fits-all invitations are a waste of time," says Cheryl Simpson. She advises that you should always personalize your invitation to connect in some way, by mentioning a shared group membership, noting a common contact, or pointing out similar backgrounds, education, or experience. If all else fails, tell the prospective contact what you hope you will both gain from the connection.
  5. Be Enthusiastic
    "If you're approaching the CEO/founder of [a] start-up on LinkedIn ... You'll want to start and end by showing your enthusiasm for their business," says Kathy Ver Eecke. By leading with your enthusiasm and passion for their business, rather than your expertise, background, and skill set, you will get their attention and break the ice.
  6. Reference Their Profile
    Ben Eubanks suggests taking a moment to check out your potential connection's profile and referencing something in it, such as their alma mater, their previous jobs, or other interesting point. "Reaching out without offering some reason is a quick way to get your message relegated to the spam folder," he says.
  7. Thank Them
    Amie Fertig says it's important to thank the person in advance for agreeing to connect. Not only that, but you also want to offer to help him/her in any way possible and encourage them to call on you. That way, your potential contact feels like they can benefit from the connection.