Professional etiquette is key as you embark on the process of building your professional network. In particular, use sincerity when asking others to become a connection. I like to follow these guidelines:
- Personalize every invitation. Referring to your common ground with this individual is a great way to be personable. Perhaps you went to school together, volunteered at an organization or know each other in another capacity. Either way, recalling this common ground is a great way to establish your present relationship and professional connection.
- Be transparent. If you’re asking to connect with someone you don’t know very well, or who may not know you, it’s best if you identify your reason for wanting to connect with them. In many cases, people love to help and will be more than willing to do so if you use honesty and kindness. Which brings me to my final piece of advice:
- Be kind. Use positivity and enthusiasm (while remaining professional) when reaching out to others.
A sincere LinkedIn invitation might look something like the following:
“Hi Annie, It was great meeting you last night. You had some wonderful things to say about the cause we both care about. I’d love the opportunity to connect at a later date with you and some of your colleagues to chat more about this cause!”