Are you making this critical LinkedIn mistake?

Every day, thousands are committing an easily avoided blunder.

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They don’t indicate why they want to connect with you, nor do they personalize the request. Instead, they opt for the default invitation, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

I wrote about this mistake nearly two years ago, Personalize Your LinkedIn Invitations, and here we are in March 2012 and the “madness” (yes, I’m a college basketball fan) continues.

Here are some tips to think about when dealing with LinkedIn invitations:

1. Generally speaking, connect only with people you know, trust, and respect. Anyone can build a massive network of people they don’t know, and those collectors are generally “takers” rather than “givers.” Steer clear of them.

2. When you send a LinkedIn invitation, personalize it. As I mentioned in the earlier article, using the standard default message is another way of saying: “Hello. I’m lazy. This invitation isn’t important enough for me to spend the 15-20 seconds it would take to write a personal message telling you who I am, how we know each other, and why I want to connect.”

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