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How to add value when sending a LinkedIn connection request | Networking | Job search

Need a job? You have probably heard that it's all about who you know. 

Let's make you more friends on LinkedIn!

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The first step of networking is to switch out of "I need a job" mode and switch into giving mode.

Adding value is the only way I know how to network - more on that in this post.

Here, I am focusing on how to add value during the specific situation of sending a connection request on LinkedIn. 

When sending connection requests on LinkedIn, get in the habit of adding a note.

This greatly increases your chances of actually making that connection.

Especially when you don't know the person.

What should you say in the note?

That is what this post is about.

I know you are trying to make as many connections possible and as fast as possible.

I share real connection request examples at the end of this post.

Throughout this post, I share ideas for things to write in the note that will add value.

I won't provide a script though because it is best to use your own language when sending a connection request.

It can be flawed, but it better be genuine. 

I really think that giving or adding value should be genuine and enjoyable.

So, what does it mean to add value?

The simplest way to add value is to make it about them.

You want to make your interaction with the person as much about them as possible.

You need to assume that the other person has no interest in you, your degree, your background, your dreams, and your wishes.

Unless!

It has something to do with them as well.

In the connection request note, only share things about yourself that you KNOW will be of value to THEM.

Such as:

You went to the same university. 

You are in the same geographical area as them. 

You majored in the same subject as them.

You are currently a member of the same group or organization.

You have the same hobby. 

It's not worth sharing if THEY don't get anything out of it. 

You have 300 characters. Make them count.

Spend very few characters talking about yourself.

It needs to be about them.

As you can imagine, for that to happen, you need to review their LinkedIn profile.

It does not actually take too long to do this.

The first three lines below their picture, tell you their name, job title, and location.

Sometimes the headline has more information than just their job title making it even quicker for you to learn more about them. 

They might have media and badges that tell you about their work and organizations very quickly.

They might have cool accomplishments. 

Spending around 20-30 seconds on a profile can actually tell you a lot of information and certainly enough to find something that you can talk about in your note.

Upon reviewing their profile, if you are just plain awe-struck by them, then tell them THAT!

Compliment their profile! In a non-creepy way, of course.

There are a lot of awesome professionals on LinkedIn so maybe you are impressed with them.

If you are inspired by them, tell them that.

Nowhere in the note should you say anything about needing a job - that would be about you!

If you saw them give a talk somewhere - tell them that! That would be really good.

If you read a paper by them or a post by them, those are all GREAT things to mention in your note.

Always mention whatever you know about their professional contributions, accomplishments, and achievements

WHILE

acknowledging that they are a person. 

Don't get too personal though like commenting on their physical features - that could (would) be creepy!

Simplest and most basic way of treating them like a person is to address them by their name!

Don't just write "Hey!" or "Hi!" or "Dear fellow *group* member," - that's lame and not nice.

They will know that you didn't even customize the script to say their name. Their NAME!

Another simple way to acknowledge they are a person is to start by asking how they are or by saying you hope they are well.

Additionally, if there is something else you know about them such as:

They started a new job

They completed a work anniversary

They are moving (if they started a new job they might be moving too)

You can mention these kinds of "personal" things while congratulating and/or wishing them luck with the same. 

Here is a connection request I got and accepted:

Dear Oindree,
I am a CSA associate and just read your transition story in the private group. Congratulations! Also, It is not too frequent that I find another physicist on CSA. K***

P.S. please tell me how on earth can one include those colored symbols in the headline? They look so cool!

Love it! Also, postscripts are just awesome, pretty much always.

Here is another:

Hi Oindree, I am a fellow member of CSA and I enjoy reading your blog posts! Would you like to get connected on LinkedIn? -J*****

Short and sweet, and definitely gets the job done!

I'd say don't lose your personal touch when sending a connection request. 

Keep it fun and real.

Share your questions and comments below!

If you'd like me to review a script you wrote, just post it below.

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