Yes, those pesky little manners that your mother harassed you about matter! And they matter even more when you are actively working your job search!
Just today, I had someone send me an invite to connect on LinkedIn.
I received this message in my inbox.
I’d like to add you to my professional network. – John Doe
Technically, there is nothing wrong with this, is there?
And yet, does this tell me how I know John Doe, or why he wants to connect with me?
Does this give you any warm fuzzies?
Or is this a cold, stark, generic note that is making me feel like I’m just another number to this John Doe?
And honestly, is THAT the type of impression you want to give people when you are the one trying to connect?
So, please, pretty please, please with a cherry on top, use those manners your mother taught you!
It won’t take long – maybe 15 extra seconds to add one or two sentences to this message. Or write something else entirely. What would be the difference in the impression this message would give?
Julie, I met you very briefly at XYC meeting last week, and appreciated your comments about ___. I’d love to connect with you here on LinkedIn, and perhaps continue our conversation. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you in the future, and I look forward to speaking to you soon!
See, that wasn’t so hard!
And do you see how it hits all the important points in a short amount of time?
- This is how you know me.
- can we connect?
- Can I help you in some way?
- Lots of polite, professional, warm fuzzies!
I can tell you, I have never turned down a connection that sent me a personalized message. I have, however, turned down connections from complete strangers who sent me only the generic, automated message – especially if I got the impression that they might only be using me to get to my contact list.
As just a word of warning: If you are using the “add connections” feature in LinkedIn where it goes through your email address list looking for connections? If you click on the names and hit “send invite,” it will send the generic message immediately, without giving you a chance to change it. I got caught in that a month ago, so what I recommend to all of you, is to click on each person’s link individually and send the connection request individually.
YES, it takes more time, BUT that is also the impression you want to make. That YOU are the type of person that takes that extra moment to consider each person individually, and not as another number or a notch on your belt.
Manners matter. Your mother was right.