In my previous blog, I talked about personalizing the text for LinkedIn requests as opposed to using the generic text. Rule #2 is to make sure your reason for connecting is professional development focused. Wanting a job with the person’s company is not a good enough reason to connect. That is short term thinking, and your approach will come across as selfish and one-sided. Instead of making this mistake, change your focus.
If you find someone on LinkedIn you would like to get to know step back and ask yourself why? If this person works for a company on your list of target employers, you are going to be more successful if you make sure you have not just a short term but also a long term reason for the connection. More than likely, this target contact has had professional experiences you do not, connections to professional organizations that can help you strength your knowledge, and insight as to how you can succeed in your chosen profession and the target company.
Before connecting with anyone on LinkedIn, ask yourself if you have thought of long term mutual benefits for you and the person you are asking to connect. Ask yourself not just what’s in it for you but what’s in it for the other person as well. If you think long term, you will have a better chance of defining that answer. Your connection requests will be more professional thus more productive.