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When you want to connect with someone on LinkedIn, you have the opportunity to write a customized message to him or her. This is a great way to start a conversation with your new connection and give him or her a reason to accept your request. Related: 5 TERRIBLE Lies Your LinkedIn Profile Is Telling Recruiters However, there are tons of people out there who abuse this feature and/or just don’t know how to use it effectively. Here are some things you should NEVER say in your LinkedIn invitations (like, ever):

1. “I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

Here’s what going through my head when I get one of these generic invitations:
  1. Who are you? Do I know you? SHOULD I know you?
  2. Why do you want to connect with me?
If you aren’t willing to spend three minutes to fill out a customized message letting me know who you are and why you want to connect with me, then why should I spend my time on you? Tip: Make sure you connect with people by going to their actual profile and clicking the “Connect” button. Otherwise, LinkedIn will automatically send a request using the generic message without giving you the option to customize!

2. "Since you are a person I trust, I wanted to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn."

Again, who ARE you? And why do you trust me? More importantly, why should I trust YOU? This is probably the worst generic invitation ever. Don't even think about using it - it will likely work against your favor.

3. “I would love to connect with you. Perhaps you could proofread my blog and give me feedback?”

This is what I’m thinking when I get one of these invitations: “Hmm, I don’t know you at all and you’re already asking me for something? Um, nope!” Sending an invitation like this is the equivalent to walking up to someone at a networking event and asking them to review your book before you even shake their hand. When you’re trying to build a professional relationship with someone, you ALWAYS offer before you ask. If you’re not offering value from the beginning, you appear pushy and, for a lack of a better term, selfish.

4. “You’re very pretty, I’d love to get to know you better.”

Um, gross. HELLOOOO this is LinkedIn, not a dating site. On a scale of one to creepy, this is extremely creepy. Just nonononono. Photo credit: Shutterstock
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