Home > Recruitment Technology > You Say You Want Me To Join Your Network On LinkedIn?

You Say You Want Me To Join Your Network On LinkedIn?

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of LinkedIn as a resource for networking and recruiting.  Since I started blogging as “The Jobs Guy“, I receive on average 5-10 requests a week to join the networks of people I don’t know.  When those requests come in, I reach back out to them to let them know that I’d like to have a conversation with them so we can discuss how we can best network with one and other.

Last week I was assigned to a search that I have never worked on and is in an area of technology that I have very little credibility in.  So, how can I get the best of the best in this skill set to respond to me even though 99% of them are out of town and have never heard of me. Certainly not with the following invitation.

Last week I received 6 requests from people I did not know, all 6 invitations read:

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

“Insert Sender’s Name Here”

For example, one of these invitations came from the owner of a small mortgage company 10 states away.  When I receive an invitation of any kind, I ask myself the question, “Would the recipient want to connect to me if I sent them this introduction”?  Let’s take a closer look.

1) With this generic introduction, it’s just that, GENERIC !!! What sets you aside from any of the other 70,000,000 people on LinkedIn.

2) Have you given me a reason to believe we can be mutually beneficial to one and other?

3) On that note, does the sender’s motivation appear to be strictly self serving?

My success with LinkedIn is due in large part to my ability to network my way to the right people thru my groups and connections. It is also because I feel that the more transparent you are, the more people will want to work with you.

Think about how the following message would have been received had you been the recipient. Would you feel more compelled to respond and network with me based on this message versus the generic.

Hoping to network with you and be a resource to you in the future

Good Morning XXXX,

My name is Steve Feinberg from XXXXXXX in Minneapolis. We are a certified EPIC partner and tier one vendor to many of the EPIC clients based in the US.

The reason for my e-mail is to connect and be a resource to you in the future . I know that you are currently on assignment, but I would like to discuss what will be important to you when you begin to look for your next position. At that time, I hope you will consider working with me.

I realize that you must get bombarded with e-mails and calls whether you are available or not. This is why I hope to hear from you when it is convenient to introduce myself.

I see you are connected to XXXX XXXX and he happens to be a former colleague of mine.  Please feel free to contact him for a reference.

In advance, I look forward to hearing from you and the opportunity to network with you in the future.


Steve Feinberg

So the next time you send an invitation to someone you would like to connect to on LinkedIn, make it personal. You’ll have a better chance of connecting and growing your network with people who have a mutual interest in you and your business.

  1. Anne
    June 21, 2010 at 11:45 am

    well said! I hate receiving those generic LinkedIn invite – Thank you for stating what I think is the obvious! well done!

  2. June 21, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I receive requests like this from time to time, too. Frankly, I usually allow them because the “what’s the harm?” bell goes off in my head as having a large network is not usually a bad thing. But I believe your argument is quality over quantity. I can see that too. And on this one, I would be most likely to side with you:

    “Thanks, but no thanks for the form letter. Your lameness precedes you.”

    Ansel Taft

    • Steven Feinberg
      June 26, 2010 at 10:39 am


      Thanks for your comments. I actually blogged on quality over quantity over the past couple of months. I have unfortunately wasted a lot of time thinking that these Open Networkers with 1000’s of 1st line connections are ever intending to take the time to answer a request to network. I have had numerous occasions where I accepted their request a year or two ago and over the past 6 months gotten no response from them after reaching out. I’m looking to genuinely network, not build a house of cards with no stability or foundation. Just my .02

      In regards to the form letter, are you calling me lame, or are you saying form letters are lame in general? I work with plenty of people who thank me for personalizing a letter like the one I posted as an example.

      Regardless, I appreciate your time and support and hope you will continue to chime in.


      Steve Feinberg

  3. June 24, 2010 at 3:14 am

    Thanks for tispost! I agree with yu but my niche is very narrow. If I wai for people to call on me I’ll be dead before receiving any requiremnt.

    If I talk to you about morphopsychology, do you gie me any feed back.

    Ec 11:6

    The seeds are brought by the wind… and it grows.

    • Steven Feinberg
      June 26, 2010 at 10:14 am

      Thanks for the comments. No matter how narrow the skill set, networking can help you to find companies that can utilize your skills.

      Let me know how I can help in the future.

      I look forward to your future comments and appreciate your support.



  4. June 24, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Superfluous connecting on LinkedIn is like superfluous violence in a movie. If you have to wonder why, then it shouldn’t be there. I always try to add something of relevance, whether it’s an observation, a compliment, or a request for information, LinkedIn is for building relationships, not desperately seeking “Susan.”
    Cool post.

    • Steven Feinberg
      June 26, 2010 at 10:11 am


      Thanks for your comments and support. I look forward to reading your blog as well.

      I post my regular blog every Monday between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm CST.

      Thanks again and I look forward to your future feedback.



  5. June 29, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Good post and a valid perspective.

    I do seek to build a network because I believe that over time I will gain a sense of who people are with their comments and posts.

    Often my approach is to reach out when we link with a question and/or comment, and a request that people let me know how I can be helpful. I have actually had the opportunity to help a few people with information and introductions because we linked.

    Pros and cons to the generic invite certainly. I’m open.

  6. Mike Greenberg
    June 29, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Great article. With an efficient networking program like Linkedin, it’s easy to forget the personal interaction.

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