Do you know the rules of digital networking etiquette? If you’re wondering how to get back in touch with former bosses, if it’s OK to ask a new contact for job advice, or if you should personalize LinkedIn invites, read on. And if those things have never crossed your mind, PLEASE read on.
- LinkedIn Tip – Mom Was Right, Manners Matter by Irene Koehler: Personalize your LinkedIn invites (and any other invite or communication, for that matter). No one wants to receive an invite that says, “I’d like to add you to my network.” That really translates to, “I didn’t want to take 30 seconds to say something personal,” or “I don’t remember where we met, but I want more contacts.” Are either of those the messages you want to send? Koehler’s article gives tips, including sample phrases, to craft personal but non-cheesy messages.
- 5 Networking Tips So Your Contacts Won’t Feel Used by Alexandra Levit: Once you’ve politely and personally invited someone to join your network, don’t promptly start taking advantage of them. You wouldn’t walk up to someone in the grocery and say, “Oh gosh, look at that! We buy the same milk. Let’s be friends. Oh, and by the way, would you tell me about your job and possibly hook me up with some contacts?” Levit explains the best way to network without alienating your contacts. (This is also great if you’re facing the awkward situation of contacting someone that you should’ve kept in touch with but didn’t.)
At the heart of both of these articles is this idea: If you wouldn’t do it to somebody on the street, don’t do it to someone online. Just because the communication is digital doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be personal and work on relationship building before favor asking.