Within the past week, I received two LinkedIn messages that irritated me.
They didn’t respect my time.
Both senders required me to take time out of my packed schedule to help them accomplish their objectives when they could have easily taken action to accomplish them on their own.
I’ve gotten similar sorts of messages from other LinkedIn users in the past. I’m writing about this not to shame you or anyone else who has sent messages like these—I assume most are sent with good intentions. But if you’re sending messages like the two I’ll share in this post, you might not make that all-important best first impression.
Two Types Of LinkedIn Messages That Might Be A Turn-Off
1. We should connect, so here’s what you need to do to connect with me.
It goes something like this:
“Hi Dawn, My name is [fill in the blank] and I would like to add you to my LinkedIn Network. We are in the [fill in the blank] group together. Since we are a 2nd or 3rd connection, send me an invitation to connect ([the sender’s email address here]) so that we can stay in touch regarding future opportunities.”
The problem with this message: If the sender really wants to stay in touch with me, she could view my LinkedIn profile or my website to find my email address—and she could send me an invitation to connect.
Messages like this imply your time is expendable, but the sender’s needs to be protected.
The moral of the story: When you want to connect with people on LinkedIn, don’t make them do the work. Ask for an introduction from someone else who is already connected with them or find the information you need to initiate the invitation.
2. Repeat what you’ve already shared about yourself in your LinkedIn profile summary.
It goes something like this:
“Tell me more about what you do.”
The problem with this message:
At face value, the message is innocent enough; it’s an effort to engage and interact.
BUT, messages like this fail to mention why the sender would like to know more. If the job title and type of work of the sender don’t indicate any type of synergy between us, there doesn’t seem much point in me taking ten minutes out of my day to respond. And even if there is synergy, I’d like to know the reason and purpose for sharing more information about what I do.
If, like me, you provide a good amount of detail in your LinkedIn summary and experience fields, you might wonder if the sender looked at your profile at all. This general question would have us rewriting much of what’s already in our LinkedIn profiles. Who has time for that?
The moral of the story: Always read someone’s profile first and then ask specific questions about what they do—if you really want to know. And always share why you’re asking for more information. While most professionals are happy to respond to legitimate, purposeful requests for information, most don’t have time to spend 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there to reply to inquiries that have no apparent purpose.
Although neither of the pet peeves I’ve shared would individually squander hours of your time, minutes matter—and they add up. Just like you and me, our connections and prospective connections are busy professionals. Respecting their time is the first step to making a positive first impression.
Have any LinkedIn pet peeves? What types of messages irritate you?
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