3 Ways To Personalize LinkedIn Connect Requests

LinkedIn_Connect

As social networks continue to evolve, one thing is “constant”; change is the norm, not the exception. What worked in the past may no longer work, or a new menu, layout, or process is required to accomplish the same task.

The same is true in the way LinkedIn connect requests are now handled. Research was done recently to determine the best way to “personalize” connect requests, and here are the findings.

Background:

A few years ago, LinkedIn made changes so that all ways to connect provided a pop-up window that allowed one to “personalize” the request, a basic “best practice” rule that should be followed, whenever possible.

I wrote an article entitled, “LinkedIn best practice tips: to connect or not?” that highlighted the ways to “personalize” requests at that time – well that has since changed.

Upon interviewing several people regarding whether or not a pop-up window to “personalize” the request was provided, it became evident not everyone is using the same LinkedIn profile, and that some people (without their knowledge) are given slightly different profiles that perform differently when connect requests are made.

LinkedIn was contacted and I was even told that I had been placed in a ‘Beta’ group with a profile that resulted in some connect requests that could not be “personalized”.

From a “best practice” / social “netiquette” perspective, a “personalized” request is always better, and will have a higher connection success rate. Some people absolutely REFUSE to connect with anyone who sends them the generic, non-personal, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” request.

Following submission of a support ticket to re-instate the ability to “personalize” all connect requests, these guidelines were received from LinkedIn support, and it goes without saying, subject to change.

3 ways to personalize requests are:

  1. To send a “personal note” in an invitation, click the “Connect” button found in the top section of the member’s profile.
  2. You can send personalized invitations by clicking “People You May Know” page here: http://www.linkedin.com/pymk-results by clicking the envelope icon that appears when you move your cursor over someone’s name.
  3. A final way to send personalized invitations is from the Imported Contacts page. From there, check the box next to contact you want to invite, and then check the box next to “Add a personal note to your invitation”.

Imported

You can no longer send invitations with personal notes from the “Add Connections” page. This includes invitations sent during the process of importing a contact list and those sent by entering an individual’s email address. Enhancements to this feature are still under consideration for a future release.

Best practice tip:

Always include a personal message with any connection request — the chances greatly improve that your request will be accepted.

Parting thoughts -

Despite the best efforts of some to “personalize” connection requests, depending on the profile being used, and the way in which the request is generated — the ability to “edit & personalize” prior to sending the request may not be available.

Given that LinkedIn continues to place people in different profile groups, and does NOT allow all connection requests to be “personal” (why not?), hopefully the three ways provided that DO allow editing prior to submission, will provide ways to connect more successfully.

Bottom line: Be polite, and “personalize” connect requests, when possible.

The famous line by Col. Nathan R. Jessup (aka Jack Nicholson) from A Few Good Men seems to have it covered. “You have to ask me nicely.”

– September 4, 2012 Richmond Social Media Examiner article, “LinkedIn best practice tips: to connect or not?

To read The Examiner article, and find out more social media tools and tips, check out other Richmond Social Media Examiner articles.

Posted in Best Practices LinkedIn by Daulton West. Comments Off

Best Of Richmond Social Media Examiner Job Search Articles

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What will separate you from the pack and what steps can you take to get a phone appointment that might lead to a job interview?

Here a few Richmond Social Media Examiner articles that provide tips to help increase your visibility, create better brand awareness, and provide an “online voice” to better attract the attention of your target companies:

4 ways social media can help tune-up your job search
8 tips for creating a social networking plan for your job search
3 sites to help in your job search: the social media ‘Power Trio’

To get the latest career, job search, and branding tips, here are a few Twitter ”follow” recommendations:

@AlisonDoyle – Alison Doyle
@Absolutely_Abby – Abby Kohut
@MegGuiseppi – Meg Guiseppi
@DL101 – Diana Lewis
@TimsStrategy – Tim Tyrell-Smith
@CareerRocketeer – Chris Perry
@JobHuntOrg – Susan P. Joyce
@careersherpa – Hannah Morgan

Of all the social media sites, the ‘Power Trio’ of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can prove very beneficial for building a wide network to help with a job search. Having career professionals, industry leaders, and like-minded professionals in your ‘power trio’ network enables one to leverage their knowledge, stay on top of the latest industry trends, and better utilize social media in a job search.

Many industry leaders leverage these sites to post articles, share blog posts, and have guest writers on their sites that contribute quality career, job search, and branding information that benefit everyone.

Now, more than ever, to compete with many applicants for the limited job opportunities, one needs to be in “sales”, to really sell yourself and show that your skills are the best fit for the job opening.

The way networking is done today has evolved and changed drastically. Social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and more recently, Google+, provide an online community to showcase your skills and expertise. Social networks can provide the tools to amplify your brand, and create a “social footprint” that can showcase your talent, and skills, to a prospective employer.

In today’s job market, the hiring manager or someone at their company, will more than likely check social media sites to see what content exists for a potential employee. A strong social media presence shows you are current and keep up with the latest tools and technologies.

Posting updates on social networks allows one to share valuable content, relating to a job or industry, and may provide the Social SEO (higher marks in search engine results) that will separate you from the crowd and boost your visibility.

Frequent updates on social media sites can amplify your brand recognition, give a wider reach to your “online voice”, and make you a “trusted” resource – someone who adds value.

Best practices tip worth repeating:

Help others get the contacts they need, and recommend their work to others. Be a “people connector” and “problem solver” (companies hire people to “solve problems”, not just to fill a job opening). Share job search tips, and social media tips with your network.

If your social media activity attracts the attention of the company where you seek a position, the content you share might highlight you as a more desirable candidate, possibly leading to that next job interview.

For more social media, job search, and career tips, view Richmond Social Media Examiner articles by Daulton West, Jr., aka ASocialMediaChampion4U.

Follow me on Twitter @DWestJr

SUGGESTED LINKS

Social Media and the Job Hunt (SMCEDU-RVA event)

Using Twitter for career networking

5 best practice tips: use social media to engage, not enrage followers

Posted in Best of - Examiner Articles Social Media 4 Job Search by Daulton West. Comments Off