Wednesday, November 28, 2012

LinkedIn Invitations: Think About What You’re Sending

Since my LinkedIn network is large, I’m the recipient of many daily LinkedIn invitations.  The first line of text under my LinkedIn summary reads like this:

SecurityRecruiter, Accepts All LinkedIn Invites from Security, Risk, Compliance, Privacy, Audit Professionals
I do believe that some visitors to my LinkedIn profile read this message because I do receive unsolicited invitations to connect from Security, Risk Management, Compliance, Privacy and Audit professionals.  However, the vast majority of invitations I receive don’t come from my target audience.

Think about the Message Your LinkedIn Invitation Sends
Every day I receive invitations to connect on LinkedIn from people all around the world who have put very little thought into what their LinkedIn profile looks like.  Here is an example of a LinkedIn profile that sat behind one of yesterday’s invitations to me to connect.

A LinkedIn invitation from someone who has no title and is located in the United States.
Seriously?  Come up with some kind of title even if it is temporary. 

If someone is unemployed, they can at least come up with a title that suggests that they’re an active job seeker.  I would respect such a title over no title at all. 
Also, unless someone works in the CIA or a similar organization, I like to see where someone is located within the United States.

This individual whose LinkedIn profile has no title and whose profile suggests that he is located in the United States has 102 connections and no content whatsoever on his LinkedIn profile.  Why would anyone who is serious about networking want to give up space in their LinkedIn network for the person behind such a mysterious invitation?
Invest Time to Build Content

Anybody who is serious about creating a business presence on LinkedIn should get serious about building a personal strategy for using LinkedIn.  My strategy isn’t a strategy that fits everybody.  However, it is clear to me when I receive invitations from individuals who have a strategy and those who don’t.
Change the Standard LinkedIn Invitation Verbiage

It takes only a few seconds to change the standard LinkedIn invitation:

Jeff, I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

Try something like this:
Jeff, I found you in a Cyber Security group that we share on LinkedIn.  I’d appreciate being part of your network.  If there is anything I can ever do to be helpful, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

The point isn't that you use my chosen words in an invitation.  The point is that even the slightest change to the standard point and click LinkedIn invitation will cause your connection invitation to stand out in even the most overwhelmed Linkedin Inbox.

Just a few thoughts to share that will lead you to more successful leveraging of the power of LinkedIn.'s Security Recruiter Blog