Intro to my series “Job Hunting via Social Media” here - http://bit.ly/fImNhh
As a part of this series, my last two posts have been on building your LinkedIn and what to put on your LinkedIn site. This blog post will be focused on adding connections, how to approach adding a connection and how connections on LinkedIn can benefit you.
Connections on LinkedIn are similar to "friends" or "followers" on other social media platforms, but it is a more professional connection. Your connections on LinkedIn can recommend you for your works, jobs, internships, etc. on LinkedIn which will be visible to others, so it is important to have people you know on LinkedIn because they can help you and you can help them.
When adding connections on LinkedIn, make sure you know them or you have had some kind of contact with them. I don't add people I haven't personally talked to in real life or online on places like Twitter or my blog before. Remember that your connections, and others, can see what is on your LinkedIn so make sure you are keeping it professional at all times, especially if you add potential employers as connections on your profile.
How to add connections:
Search for someone you know in the search box on the home page when you first sign into LinkedIn [make sure it says people next to the search]. When the search pulls up their name, click their name to go to their profile to make sure it is them first and once you know it is them, click "add _____ to your network."
You can also get introduced to a person through a mutual connection you have, this is another option for adding people.
So you have found someone you want to add on LinkedIn, what do you say in the request to be a connection? It's best to explain how you know the person first so they know that they actually do know you or have worked with you before. You can also explain you want to connect with them further than Twitter or blogging by connecting on LinkedIn. Here are two examples of requests I have recently sent to others:
If you know someone from a mutual group, select group. If they are a friend, colleague, etc. you should select those options. Be as descriptive as possible, but keep the request short because you can connect further after the connection has been made through messaging or another option.
As always, be professional in a request. LinkedIn is not about the number of connections you have, it's about being professional and building real connections in which both of you can benefit from the connection.
Feel free to ask any further questions about adding connections!