Have you ever sat looking at the LinkedIn profile page of someone you didn’t know on LinkedIn, and wondered if you should connect with them? It can feel awkward to send a connection request to someone you don’t know— after all, why would someone accept a LinkedIn request from a stranger? Don’t worry, there’s an easy, professional way to send that connection request!
Start with their name: A lot of people receive spammy messages and connection requests on LinkedIn. If you want someone to keep reading, use their name. …
Explain how you found them: They don’t know who you are or where you came from! Did you see an article they wrote? Were you looking for people with their job title? Did you go to the same school?
Tell them why you want to connect: Do you just want to stay up to date with their content, do you have a question, or would you like to talk?
Sign it: A connection request is a mini-letter!
Here is an example of a LinkedIn connection message to illustrate:
I was looking through our class directory at Duke and noticed that you work as a UX Designer. I’m currently a front end developer who is considering a career switch, and I wondered if you’d be willing to tell me about your career experience thus far.
With a message like this, you should get a positive response more than half of the time. Of course, keep in mind that people who are not active on LinkedIn may not check their messages regularly, and that people with certain roles are likely to receive a high volume of requests. Don’t take it personally if you don’t hear back right away.
What should you do if they don’t respond?
If they’ve accepted your connection request, it’s okay to follow up once or twice, but if you still haven’t received a response after that, it’s best to move on. LinkedIn is a platform for building professional relationships, so it’s important to respect people’s time and attention.
If they haven’t accepted your connection request, you may want to leave a thoughtful comment on one of their recent posts or share their content to start developing a relationship.
One important note: The LinkedIn Mobile App doesn’t support adding a note after you click Connect, so be sure to send your connection request and message on a Desktop version of the site.
This article or portions of this article was written by Karissa Justice and originally appeared on Work Can Be Better.