Get your LinkedIn messages read

Just because LinkedIn is there to help professionals connect doesn’t mean you don’t have to put any thought into the messages you send. Whether you’re sending a message to connect with someone or you want to ask a favor, there’s a good chance you won’t get a response with a poor message. Remember to:

Ask specific questions. Avoid sending something general, like “How can we help each other out in this industry?” Ask questions that give the other person something to work with. Share what you have in common, why you think you should connect and where to start. For example, “I noticed we have the same alumni and work in the same industry. I’m interested in connecting with others in the area and I wondered if you’re interested in having a conversation about XYZ.”

Give more than a vague introduction. Avoid things like “I’m reaching out to fellow admins in the area. How is everything?” There’s no good way to answer that question from a stranger, so explain yourself more. Tell the person what you do and how it’s similar to their position. Explain that you’d love to connect and see if you can learn from one another.

If you’re asking for something, make it easy for them to follow up. When you’d like someone to make some introductions for you, give them examples of what you’re looking for and what you can offer. Work to establish a relationship before you ask for favors, and always be polite and professional.

— Adapted from “The 3 Kinds of LinkedIn Messages That Are Unlikely to Get a Response,” Emily Liou, The Muse.