Jun 07, 2012

What do you say in your LinkedIn friend requests?

I hate that canned request to connect language on LinkedIn. What do you use instead?


One thing that I hate is getting a friend request and not having the slightest clue who the person is that sent it.  What I like to see, and what I do for my own requests, is a brief summary of who I am, how we are acquainted (or what acquaintances we share), and some context to the request.  Back when I was a young lad in those early days of Facebook, I friended pretty much anyone without much though, and the result was a bloated friend list of people that I really didn't know and had little incentive to interact with.  I don't intend to make the same mistake on LinkedIn, and I won't respond to someone that sends me a generic request unless I already personally know them.  The character limit on request enforces a "short and sweet" request, so I try to make every word count.        

I think that a short, professional note should suffice. LinkedIn is different than Facebook and other social networks. So any communication on it should reflect that and should be more business-oriented than on other services. Be specific on why you are contacting the person, and make sure that you use appropriate spelling, etc. Let the person know that you value their time and that you are interested in connecting for professional reasons.
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