What are the best practices for growing your professional network?
I recently received a question from a respected Career Coach who shared that for years they he has taught clients to personalize invitations. The Coach then observed that this no longer works because of a change in LinkedIn that restricts or eliminates the invitation. The example cited was that “if someone invites you, you just see a notice that you have an invite. Click on it and you see the person’s name and the option to except or ignore it. There is no message.”
This led the Coach to raise the issue with LinkedIn Customer Service and could not get a straight answer, since sometimes the message was found in the “archived” mail folder which makes no sense. So what is the best practice regarding the use of the generic vs. customized connection request’s?
Like any tool, it is how we use it that determines the outcomes we see. Therefore I am basing my response upon the science (hard data) that reflects the way I utilize LinkedIn and the way that I use it on behalf of my clients; enabling me to see the sort of results shown here:
My research and data suggest that it is far less about whether the request is generic vs. customized but it’s FAR more about who is asking and how they are presenting themselves. Since every connection request is scrutinized with the following in mind “will the addition of this person raise the quality of my professional network or not?”. If yes then there is a high likelihood of acceptance, BUT if the profile is poorly put together then even customized requests get declined.
Opinions are a challenge as more the more people you ask the more opinions you get the more confusing things become. I don’t utilize opinions I utilize the data to make changes to optimize results. Checkout the approach I use in this article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dont-just-redecorate-your-linkedin-profile-elevate-graham-riley?trk=pulse_spock-articles. We have a repeatable process that yields consistent results.
Follow Graham @GrahamKRiley
CareerToolbox International, LLC