Maybe you just got your MBA or maybe you are looking for the next step in your career. You may have your sights aimed on Silicon Valley or one of your dream companies that you’ve been wanting to work at for as long as you can remember. As an employee of a large tech company, I receive hundreds of LinkedIn messages a month from curious, determined and even sometimes demanding people.
You may be lucky to share some connections with a hiring manager, or perhaps even a common Alma Mater, but in the end if you haven’t met before, you are essentially strangers.
Imagine you are approached by a “stranger” on the sidewalk and they said the following things to you, how would you feel?
- After initial introductions, they call you by the wrong name.
- They then tell you all about their degrees or certificates.
- Then, they quickly request (or even demand) 15 minutes of your time.
Then, you were approached by a 2nd “stranger” on the sidewalk and they say the following:
- They give an intriguing introduction. They tell you about their personal experience with your company.
- Then, they ask you about leadership books that you have read throughout your career.
- Lastly, they ask if you have any advice to give regarding your specialty.
Which person will you feel most willing to talk to? Perhaps the second one?
These two scenarios are examples of LinkedIn messages that I have received over the last two years. Those that take the second approach, I tend to be more willing to respond to.
Capturing Their Attention
There are various ways to capture the attention of the person you are messaging. Below are a few excerpts from some compelling and intriguing examples that have grabbed my attention in the past.
Ask A Question:
I saw that you grew into leadership positions within coveted companies, and I was wondering, which books did you read to develop the traits you currently have?
State Your Personal “Why”:
I am looking for a role which will accelerate the planet’s transition from fossil fuels. I am very motivated by this mission and is one of the key reasons that I pursued an MBA. My desire is to work for a company which focuses on a sustainable future.
Start Off With A Short Story:
Growing up in a country without stable electricity and breathing poisonous air that burns my lungs has made me determined to help accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
The Common Thread
All of these excerpts above aim to make a connection with the person they are messaging. Whether it’s a question, or starting off with a short story, each person grabbed my attention in their own unique way. When crafting your initial message, the ultimate goal should be to forge a connection and build a lasting relationship (not bluntly ask for an interview).
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build a relationship with a random person you meet on the street. Your goal is to build a long term relationship with them. What would your plan of action be to forge a connection with this person?
Feel free to comment below with your action plan.
To be continued….
Be on the look out for more advice in our next #GetNoticed post on the Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn Message Writing.