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Default LinkedIn Invites Suck: Put Some Thought Into Them!

8/16/2011 5:03:43 PM

Default LinkedIn Invites Suck: Put Some Thought Into Them! By Bob McIntosh, Guest Contributor

One thing that turns me off more than an episode of the Bachelorette or flies buzzing around dessert is receiving a default invitation from someone who wants to join my LinkedIn network. To me, a default invitation is a sign of laziness, a statement of want without a sign of reciprocation. And this defies the true definition of networking.

The default invite on LinkedIn is: I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. While it clearly states a hopeful networker’s intent, I need more. Something that tells me why we should connect.

Sending the default invite is akin to going up to someone at a networking event and saying, “Hi. What can you do for me?” It’s insincere and sends the message, “I’m inviting you to be in my network, but I could care less if you join.” Is this the type of message you want to send to a potential networker?

Brian C Webb, P. Eng. , a LinkedIn member, puts it this way: “It is like someone throwing their business card at me at a networking event and then walking away in silence…” What an insult.

Dave Mason , another LinkedIn member, says his response to receiving a default invite is to click “Ignore.”

I and others, I’m sure, are more likely to accept an invite if a thoughtful note is attached to it. So what should you write if you want someone to join your network?

1. You might have something in common with whom you’re trying to connect. “Hi Susan, I’ve been following your updates and feel that we have a great deal in common. Would you accept an invitation to be in my LinkedIn network?”
2. Maybe you’re the bold type. “Hey, Bob. You and I are in career development. Ain’t that cool? Let’s link up!” I like this confidence.
3. You might want to take the calculated approach. “After reviewing your profile, I’m impressed with its quality and your diverse interests.” A little flattery never hurts.
4. Do you need assistance? I received an invite with the following message: “Please have a look at my profile and tell me what you think. I’ve been on LinkedIn since before it was, well, LinkedIn!” I looked at his profile and was impressed. I gladly accepted his invite.
5. Inviting someone to be part of your LinkedIn network is a perfect way to follow up with that person after a face-to-face meeting. “Sam, it was great meeting with you at the Friends of Kevin networking event. I looked you up on LinkedIn and thought we could stay in touch.

These are some mere suggestions that would entice someone like myself to accept an invite. I’m really not that demanding, and I’m probably guilty of zipping off a default invite. All I want is someone to take the time to send a thoughtful note; rather than just hitting the Send Invitation button.

About the Author

Bob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer at the Career Center of Lowell, where he leads more than 20 workshops on the career search. Bob is often the person jobseekers and staff go to for advice on the job search. As well, he critiques resumes and conducts mock interviews. One of his greatest accomplishments is starting a LinkedIn group, which is one of the largest of its kind in the state, and developing three in-high-demand workshops on LinkedIn. Bob’s greatest pleasure is helping people find rewarding careers in a competitive job market. Please visit Bob's blog at

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