How to Customize LinkedIn Invitations to Connect

by Meg Guiseppi on April 18, 2016


When you’re proactively job-hunting, you need to keep a keen eye towards expanding your LinkedIn network to include people who can help you meet your career goals.

Considering that you may not know many of these people, you need to do your best to compel them to want to connect with you.

Without a second thought, most people quickly hit the “Connect” button on LinkedIn when they invite people to connect, and send off the invitation.

You know what happens next, because you probably receive many of these invitations yourself.

The recipient gets the following current default message:

“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

Such an anemic message offers no real reason to connect with the person.

Maybe you aren’t aware that you can personalize your invitations to connect.

Imagine how much a thoughtful customized message will differentiate you, reinforce your personal brand and position you as someone of interest. The recipient will probably readily accept your invitation.

Let them know why they should, or may want to, connect with you. Let them know a little about you and your brand. Let them know if you belong to one or more of the same LI Groups or alumni groups . . . or participate in any other activities they do.

For ideas on how to write branded, personalized invitations, see How to Connect on LinkedIn with People You Don’t Know . . . and Get Action.

It takes a little bit more effort to write a short personalized message for each new connection, but that time is well spent.

How to Personalize LinkedIn Invitations to Connect

According to LinkedIn Help, in an article updated in January 2016, here’s how to personalize LinkedIn invitations to connect from your desktop. [Please note: LinkedIn can, and does, change functionality regularly and without notice, so this may not still work as described here.]:

  • Move your cursor over the Down arrow, next to the “Connect” button in the top section of someone’s profile (just under their name).
  • Select “Personalize invitation” from the dropdown menu.
  • If the above option doesn’t exist, you can personalize your message by clicking the “Connect” button in the top section of their profile.
  • A prompt will appear that contains a text box to personalize your invitation message.
  • Note: This prompt will only appear if you don’t have “Personalize invitation” in the dropdown menu.

More About LinkedIn for Executive Job Search

Get the Most Out of LinkedIn

Essential Checklist to Optimize LinkedIn For Executive Job Search

If All Else Fails in Executive Job Search, Read the Directions

If All Else Fails in Executive Job Search, Read the Directions

How to Network Your Way Into a Great-Fit Executive Job


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