networking

How to Make LinkedIn Connections Without Being Creepy

LinkedIn has made networking, connecting with your dream employer, and finding new clients easier than ever before. But you only get one shot at a first impression, and unfortunately, most people miss the mark.

And in the digital world where you may never meet a connection in person, that first impression may be the only chance to connect with someone.

It’s safe to say there’s a little bit of pressure here, but knowing LinkedIn etiquette makes it even easier to reach out to new contacts when you’re new to the game. With that in mind, here’s how to make connections on LinkedIn without being creepy.

Make sure your profile is up to date

Before you start reaching out, make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized so that you’re making a great first impression. Update your professional headshot, work experience, summary, and headline before reaching out.

Research your target

Before you engage with strangers, know a little bit about precisely who you would like to connect with. What company do they work for? What position are they in? What can you find about them on Facebook? Look for any personal connections or common experiences you can note that may come in handy – just don’t take it too far.

Briefly introduce yourself to new contacts

Though some may recommend skipping this step entirely, a quick salute to your name and profession may bring light to the reason for your inquiry. You wouldn’t just get right to your pitch at a networking event without a formal introduction, would you? (If so, you should read this.)

Get to the point

Be sure to share your intent in the first message you send, because you may not have another. Beyond that, no one appreciates the suspense of the dreaded words “can we talk?” without knowing the purpose behind the conversation. Briefly and concisely state your purpose for connecting in two short sentences or less.

Ask a question for the next step

Instead of ending your message with a “thank you” or “I look forward to hearing from you,” end your message asking if you can email them or if they have time for a 15-minute call the following week.

Asking a question will more likely enable you to receive a reply.

Making connections on LinkedIn may just help lead you to a new position, new hire, or new client.

Don’t feel overwhelmed, and follow these simple steps to get started connecting with people online.

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Whether you’re on the hunt for a new position or looking to diversify your skill set, your LinkedIn profile is the key to staying relevant and connected.

Instead of letting yours become outdated, be proactive to make sure your profile is always up to par to make sure you don’t miss out on potential opportunities.

Ready to start? Be sure to update these key factors to make sure your profile remains relevant.

Your profile photo

First impressions matter, so think of your photo as the first way you’re perceived virtually. Invest in yourself and get some professional headshots taken. (No selfies, no pictures with other people, and please, no wedding photos.) Allow your attire to reflect your field, and dress accordingly.

Headline

Your headline is a chance to reflect your skill set as a person, so take advantage of it. Think beyond your current position, and use your headline as an opportunity to communicate three vital attributes: your job, what you do, and your specialty. It’s your time to shine.

Summary

Think of your summary as your sales pitch, and more importantly, your hook. Your summary is your opportunity to introduce yourself to your reader and really make an impression. Make sure you’re sharing what sets you apart, your skillset, what motivates you. Make a compelling statement and entice your audience to want to keep reading more about you. 

Keywords

Search engines aren’t the only place where your keywords come into play, so make sure your LinkedIn profile has keywords reflecting the market you want to be in. Using keywords in your headline and summary will enable recruiters to find you when the time comes for you to look for your next gig. Use them wisely, and sparingly.

Congruence

It’s important to put your best foot forward and ensure you’re consistent in your paperwork. Make sure the way you present yourself online is accurate, and that your bio is an accurate demonstration of your work history. Be consistent, and as a result, you’ll find yourself with a lot less headaches trying to keep up with all of your different personas if you’re leveraging your experience. Your LinkedIn profile is your chance to list all of your experience, so spend less time embellishing, and more time listing your accomplishments.

Facts and figures

Just like you would on your resume, have the stats to back up your performance. Use metrics to stand out and prove your work, and demonstrate your proven record. You’ll be asked about your experience in the interview arena, so take this extra step to display all of your hard work. 

Call to action

Consider adding a call to action to your summary to optimize your LinkedIn. Are you ready to be hired? Invite recruiters to connect with you. Looking to network? State your career objectives. Give your audience a way to connect and move beyond what’s presented on your profile. You never know when it may benefit you.

Engage

The latest social media algorithms have proven engagement is essential for success online, and LinkedIn is no exception. Connect, connect, connect. Think of LinkedIn as an online networking event where you save the small talk for your computer screen, and take every opportunity to build your network. Your contacts are your most valuable asset, and with LinkedIn, the possibilities to meet others are endless.

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