If you’re not sure what opener you should use to attract a potential employer or grow your network, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll go over the basics of how to write a LinkedIn connection request message, explain what you should avoid, and provide you with a few templates for LinkedIn connection request messages.
What is a connection request message?
A LinkedIn connection request message is a message used to grab the attention of the person you want to network with.
When you visit a potential connection’s LinkedIn profile and click “Connect,” you’ll be given two options: “Send” and “Add a Note.” If you hit “Send,” LinkedIn will send this message along with your request:
I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.
This cookie-cutter message isn’t great for making any connection, but it’s especially unhelpful for anyone trying to contact recruiters who look at hundreds, if not thousands, of LinkedIn profiles and messages every week.
Clicking “Add a Note” allows you to include a customized message to better grab someone’s attention and help you make connections that could lead to future opportunities.
What to include in a connection request message on LinkedIn
It’s true that writing customized notes takes more time than using the standard message, but if you know what to include in a connection request message on LinkedIn, you can have your message sent in under two minutes.
In each LinkedIn request message, you should do the following:
1 Include a greeting
Say hello to the person using their first name. Include professional titles, such as doctor or reverend, when appropriate.
2 Introduce yourself
Tell them your name and position. If you have a connection in common, mention them! If you’re a student, tell them your grade, your school, what you’re studying, and your plans (i.e., are you planning to obtain a PhD or pursue an internship or employment).
3 Explain how you found their profile
Tell them how you found their LinkedIn profile—was it provided by a mutual connection, did you meet them at a networking event, or did you find it on a job board or through searching LinkedIn?
4 Mention what you two have in common
You’ll want to find a shared interest, school, employer, or other thing that you and the person you’re sending the LinkedIn connection request message to have in common.
5 Say why you want to connect
Explain why you’re sending the LinkedIn connection request message. Are you simply trying to grow your network and make some connections in your industry, or are you looking for a new job?
6 Include a complimentary closing
End your message with a complimentary close—such as “Thanks for your time” or “Hope to hear from you soon”—followed by your name.
7 Maintain a good tone
Keep your message’s tone professional. Ideally, it’ll also be fun and conversational.
8 Follow up
This isn’t part of the connection request message, but be sure to follow up with your new connection. You can continue the conversation online or try to connect with them over a phone call or for a quick coffee break.
What to avoid in a connection request message on LinkedIn
Here are a few things to avoid in a connection request message on LinkedIn.
1 Generic wording
It bears repeating: Don’t send the generic “I’d like to add you to my network.”
2 Immediate pitching
Avoid making a PR or sales pitch too early in your message. Try to establish a connection with the person and then make your pitch.
Keep your message concise—no longer than 75 words.
LinkedIn connection request examples
Here are three LinkedIn connection request examples that you can use as templates.
1 Reaching out to a recruiter
My name is [name], and I found your profile through [industry company profile]. I’m a [career] with [x] years of experience in growing steady revenue for companies like yours. I’m seeking new opportunities in [field] and would love to discuss how my background and skills may be suited for a position.
Hope to hear from you soon, [name]
2 Reaching out to a fellow alumnus/alumna
I’m [name], I was doing some alumni research and noticed we both graduated from [school]! Did you ever have Professor [name] for [class]? They were my favorite.
I wanted to learn more about your experience at [company]. Would you be willing to hop on a call or grab coffee?
All the best, [name]
3 Connect with people who have the kind of position you’re looking for
Hey there [name],
My name is [name], I found your profile through our mutual connection [name] and I see you’re a [position at company name]. I hope to work in a similar [position/field/industry] and would love to learn about how you got there.
I’d like to connect to learn more about your current role at [company].
Thanks for your time, [name]