I opened my LI inbox this morning to find an invite from someone I do not know, and have never heard of. This person sent me an invite with the basic LI message selecting the "friend" option. Well, I don't know her from Eve, and without a personalized invite, I'm unlikely to accept it. I'm going to guess that it was just a mistake on her part...but it begs the question. Do you know what you are doing when you send out those invites? In case the answer is no, let's do a very quick run through:
Where do I invite someone to join my network?
This process is so easy. You can either add connections in bulk using the Add Connections feature, or go the route of sending a personalized invite (which is what I strongly recommend) to people individually. Simply search for them by name and once on their profile, you will see Add Name to your network:
From here, you can select the appropriate option between colleague, classmate, done business together, friend, other, and the never recommended: I don't know Jack. And I encourage you to put the emphasis on appropriatehere. It's too easy to be viewed as a spammer if you are sending out messages to people that you don't know, haven't talked to, or didn't work with. When you have no shared connection, group, or history with the person, other is a perfectly acceptable option to select since you are seeking to create a symbiotic connection (and if you are seeking to spam, get off my blog immediately as my blog has a self destruct feature for spam artists). The system will typically ask you for that person's email address (depending on whether they are in an open link network or not-most are not), which you should then enter. Don't have email and don't feel like putting on your Inspector Gadget hat to find it? Then send them an Inmail (LinkedIn's email service) letting them know that you would like to connect, why you want to connect, and asking them if they are open to it. It's not the fastest way of adding connections to your network, but it's probably the most "offense free" way of doing it.
And that's it's-once they accept your invite, you are off to the networking races. Remember to add value with every connection. Good luck and happy hunting!
Michelle currently serves as a Job Search coach helping professionals make the leap from looking to landed. In addition to her time spent coaching individuals, she delivers a variety of training sessions from Social Networking, Working with Recruiters, Online Resume Posting, and Interview Prep.
Michelle possesses over 15 years of diverse experience in functional areas such as recruiting, human resources, coaching, training, organizational development, staffing, sales, sales management, retail, and banking/finance.
Prior to working as a job search coach, Michelle made her career in the Placement industry working most recently for the 2nd largest Staffing Company in the World. For this multi-national organization, Michelle served as an Agency Recruiter, Corporate Recruiter, Senior HR Manager, and Area Vice President. During her tenure with this organization, Michelle was also tasked with various Organizational Development programs including the creation of a company wide Career Progression Program. Michelle also served on the three person team that introduced a new “Gen Y” based hiring model that included a greater emphasis on college recruiting/branding and internships. As a result of this experience, Michelle considers her greatest strengths to be talent identification/retention, talent development, and coaching for performance improvement.
In addition to these areas of expertise, Michelle is rapidly growing her knowledge base around Social Media and Web 2.0 as it relates to the work world. She writes a regular blog on job searching that can be found at: http://hireme.typepad.com/michellemorettini/. Want to connect to Michelle?
Send her an invitation on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/michellemorettini.
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