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Posted: November 16, 2012

Why I ignored your LinkedIn invite

Customize or forget it

Shawna Simcik

In the last week, I have received 20 LinkedIn invitations to connect with the generic message, “[name] wants to connect with you on LinkedIn.”  If you are too lazy to customize this message, I ignore your request. Don’t get ignored, follow these steps to get connected. A great LinkedIn invitation typically has one or more of the following:

  • A personalized message. A great example is, “I’ve enjoyed getting to know you on Twitter and appreciate your retweets. How about we connect here too? I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” I am more likely to accept this request than the generic message. The general request without a personalized message demonstrates a lack of thought.
  • The Golden Rule. The golden rule of networking is, “networking is about giving; not getting.” Remember this very important concept. Never ask for something right away, such as, “I notice you are connected to Mr. X, could you provide an introduction?”  Just keep it simple and start building a relationship via LinkedIn. Once we have gotten to know each other, I am more apt to provide an introduction to my network.
  • If we have met, tell me how we met. If you are at a large gathering, your intended connection might not remember every person he or she met. It’s always a good idea to say, “I enjoyed meeting you at the breakfast this morning.” If we haven’t met, don’t click on the “friends” request. This is a misrepresentation of our relationship.
  • Attention to detail. Make sure your spelling and grammar are correct.

Networking is about establishing and then building and maintaining a relationship with someone.  The rules don’t change just because it is not face-to-face. As you network via LinkedIn, please remember it is as much about how you can help as it is about how you can be helped. Every move you make electronically is a representation of your “personal brand.”

Shawna Simcik, MA, CMP is genuinely passionate about utilizing innovative resources and market knowledge to drive organizational, career and individual excellence. As President of Business Leadership for a fast-growing, certified Woman Owned Business, Shawna specializes in Executive Recruiting, Leadership Development and Career Transition. Reach her at. or  To learn more, follow her at @shawna_icc or contact her at 303-865-4400.


Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

Readers Respond

Dan and Peter, Thank you for your comments. I received this additional comment in my inbox and thought I would share it. "Thank you for your article, it provided a lot of food for thought.. Too many times we think about such connections as logical/electronic connections. We email, and IM like there’s a robot at the receiving end of the message. We don’t give due consideration to how the message will be received, perceived, or the effectiveness of the message we’re trying to convey. Your point about LinkedIn invites are the same, if we want to connect with someone, we should pay them the courtesy of a proper introduction. Thank you" By Shawna Simcik on 2012 11 19
I look at this a slightly different way. It doesn't matter to me whether you customize your invite or not. If I don't know you well enough, I'm simply not going to accept the invite. Nothing that can be said in the invite changes that. By Peter on 2012 11 17
Shawna, excellent points...especially on the Golden Rule. By Dan King on 2012 11 16
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