On a social platform where connections are driven by the click of a button and the value of your network determined by your connections, fostering engagement is of utmost importance in building effective relationships. While this notion holds true across multiple platforms, we need to focus our efforts on reaching beyond the automated connection feature on LinkedIn.  To take a moment and pause before clicking the blue “connect” button that sends a generic request to connect with an executive recruiter, colleague or potential mentor. And to rethink sending this message…

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. 

Perhaps you know the person with whom you are connecting. But in circumstances where you met briefly at an event or are connected by association, this sentence ultimately delivers your first impression.  This isn’t to say that by sending an automated note you won’t expand your network. You will – but personalized invitations to connect are far weightier and memorable than those that aren’t.

While you’re not given the option to personalize your message on the LinkedIn mobile app or through the generated list of “people you may know,” personalize your message when given the opportunity.

To leverage your network and improve your presence on LinkedIn, try these tips for sending impactful invitations to connect:

Introduce Yourself – If you don’t already know the person, begin with a brief introduction.

Explain Why You Want to Connect – Whether you met at a recent industry networking event or received a referral from a colleague, it is important to share your motivation to connect.

For example, “It was a pleasure meeting you at the HR Conference in Dallas on Tuesday. I appreciate your time taken to discuss your involvement in the organization as I am actively involved in the Atlanta chapter.”

Emphasize Mutual Benefits – Perhaps you can bring value to their network. Extend an invitation to offer your assistance with the following call to action;

“Please let me know if I can be of any assistance in the future.”

Express Gratitude – And in closing, a simple thank you goes a long way!


Weigh in – Do you send personalized invitations to connect? Why not start now and begin growing your network effectively…