Networking on LinkedIn.com

In this course, you will learn how to effectively message new contacts on LinkedIn.com for networking purposes. This is a great way to keep in touch with all kinds of people who can help you in your job search now and in the future.

Getting Started with LinkedIn.com

Let's get started by practicing how to log into LinkedIn.com and navigate to the My Network page.

LinkedIn.com

The first step to do any work with your LinkedIn.com account is to navigate there using a web browser and entering the URL www.linkedin.com

Enter Email

Your user name is the email you used to create the account. If Morley Creative Services created your account for you, they used the email address you requested.

Enter Password

Your password is a code consisting of a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Be sure to enter it exactly, as capital letters count. 

Navigate to LinkedIn.com

You will find the address bar at the top of your Internet Browser. Click in the address bar, remove previous content, and type in the web address for LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com

Then hit the "Enter" key on the keyboard.

Enter Login Credentials

To place to login is at the very top of the page. In the image above, the red arrow is pointing to the boxes you will fill in. You only need to enter your email address and password.

Do not fill out the new account box in the center of the page. 

Click on the part of the screen where you should enter your email address.

Click on the part of the screen where you should enter the password.

Let's try putting the correct information into the boxes on the log in page.

Practice Login Email

We are going to use a sample email address as a user name for practicing login. You'll need to use this email for the practice login that comes next in the lesson:

[email protected]


Practice Password

We are going to use a sample password to practice logging in. You'll need this password for the practice login that comes next in the lesson. The password is:

JobHunter2018

Using the practice information you were just given, write in the the correct user name (email) for our practice login. You can use the menu on the left side of the screen to click back to review that information again, as needed.

Using the practice information you were given, write in the correct password for our practice login. Remember to type it exactly as written, using upper and lower case letters.

Great! Now that you know how to log in to LinkedIn.com, let's work on finding the My Network tab so we can get started networking like a pro!

My Network Tab

The My Network tab is the place on LinkedIn.com that allows you to find and message contacts that can help you in your job search. It is also helpful for maintaining existing connections with people you know .

Anyone could be the key to getting into the next job you'd like to have. Take care of your network, and it can help you find new employment, even if you're switching fields or re-entering the workforce after a hiatus.

Click on the My Network tab to show that you know where to find it on your LinkedIn.com home page.

You know how to log into LinkedIn.com and find the My Network tab!

You're on your way to connecting with new contacts

Now that you can log in and find the My Network tab, you're ready to dig in and find out the best way to message new contacts and get them to join your network.

Searching for Contacts

Searching for Contacts

Two Ways to Search

When you wish to add new contacts to your network, you generally have one of two situations:

1) You already know the name and information of the person you wish to connect with, and now you're looking for them on LinkedIn.com

2) You are looking for suggestions of people that you could connect with to grow your network, but don't have anyone specific in mind.

Searching for a Contact: When you have someone in mind

Find the Search Box

To get started, you need to be logged in to LinkedIn.com. If you need help, look back at that section in the lesson. 

Find the search box at the top of the page. It's located next to the LinkedIn logo in the top left corner of your home page screen.

Searching by Name

In the search box, type in the name of the person you wish to connect with. 

For practice, we are going to look for Miranda Morley, the owner of Morley Creative Services.

Entering the Name

As you type the name of the person with whom you wish to connect, LinkedIn will suggest possible people. You may be able to immediately identify that you have found the person you are looking for, as we can in this example when we searched "Miranda Morley."

To open Miranda's profile, we just need to click on her name. If, however, the suggested person/people that appear are not who you were looking for, you can always click on "See all results" to find all the LinkedIn profiles with that name.

Searching for a Contact: When you want to pick from a list of suggestions

Using Suggested Contacts

Sometimes you don't have a name in mind and you're just looking for new people to add to your network.

On your My Network page, LinkedIn will suggest people that you may know based on information in your profile and who you've already connected with on your network in LinkedIn. This is a great way to add people to your Network that you know, but might not think of off the top of your head as potential contacts. 

The more people who are in your network, the more likely it is that someone might send you information about a job they think you'd be interested in or the easier it is to get references from people you don't have personal contact information for.

Growing your network can only help your job prospects now and in the future.

People You May Know

On your My Network page, you will see in the center of the screen a long list of suggested contacts, like you can see in the picture above. If you see someone that would be a good addition for your network, then you can connect with them (we'll show you how later).

Navigating Suggested Contacts

Use the scroll bar to move down the page

When you first look at the My Network page, you'll see six suggested contacts. But there are many more! Use the scroll bar on the far right of the page to look at additional suggestions.

Open the Profile of the Desired Contact

Open the Contact's Profile

Once you find someone with whom you'd like to connect, click on their name in order to open their profile. 

Do NOT click "Connect" because we are going to send a message. The next section will explain why and how.

Verifying that You Have Selected the Correct LinkedIn.com Profile

Why do I need to verify the identity of the LinkedIn.com contact?

Make sure you have a match

It's very important that when you message this person that they be the individual you intended to message. Let's check to make sure before we send a message. This is especially important if:

*They do not have a profile picture

*The name matches more than one profile

Use the Business Card

Check the job title and company name on the card you received from the person and use that information to determine if the profile you found on LinkedIn.com belongs to that person.

Read the LinkedIn.com Profile

Read the job title and company description right below the person's name. Do they match?

Another Way to Match

You can also verify that you have the correct LinkedIn.com profile if you know what the person looks like and the profile has a picture. All you need to do is make sure that the person in the profile picture is the person you want to connect with.

Let's get started: Locate the information about the person's job title and company on a LinkedIn.com profile and click on it.

How to use a business card to verify identity of contacts

Does the job title match?

The job title on the business card and on the LinkedIn.com profile should match. If they don't match, but you think you have the right person, scroll through the other info on the profile to see if that was their job title in the past.

Does the employer match?

The employer of your contact should be listed on their business card. If you don't see it but think you have the right person, scroll down to their work history to see if they worked there in the past.

Let's try comparing a business card that Mark received at a job fair with a LinkedIn.com profile with the same name. Did Mark find the right profile?

Laura Johnson's Business Card 

Mark received this card at a job fair. Check the job title and the company.

Laura Johnson's LinkedIn.com Profile

When you look at the profile information, do the job title and company match? Is this the right Laura Johnson to contact?

  • They match! Go ahead and start networking!
  • Nope. Mark needs to try looking for a profile that matches.

Let's check to see how well you understood this lesson!

Which of the following should match between a business card and a LinkedIn.com profile to be considered a match?

  • Name
  • Job Title
  • Company

Mark is still trying to find a match for his business card. Did he find the right Laura Johnson this time?

  • It's a match! These both represent the same Laura Johnson
  • Nope. Mark should keep looking. These two don't match.

The person pictured on the right is the same person that is represented in the profile on the left.

Sample LinkedIn Profile

Use the picture on this profile to compare with the other image of a person.

Sample Desired Contact

Use this image of the desired contact and compare it to the profile picture to see if it's the same person.

  • The person pictured on the right is the same person that is represented in the profile on the left.

Writing a Strong Networking Message

Why you should send a great message

Why should you send a message?

When you connect with a new contact, you do have the option of just clicking "Connect" and skipping the part where you write a message.

But you don't want to do that. Here's why:

Writing a message:

  • Encourages the individual to start a relationship with you
  • Helps differentiate you from other requests they have received
  • Prevents your request from being considered spam

The Four Parts of a Good Message

Four Parts to a Great Message

So now you know why you should send a message. But what should you write?

Four Parts to a Great Message

  • Greeting
  • Personal Connection
  • Receiver-Centered Call to Action with Next Steps
  • Closing

Write a Greeting

A greeting is the part of the message where you say hello! If you skip the greeting and jump right into the message, it seems less friendly and personal.

A greeting can be very simple, such as:

  • Hello, [insert Name],
  • Good afternoon, [insert Name], 
  • Dear [insert Name],

Include a Personal Connection

Help the new contact remember who you are and how they know you. This is best done by sharing a detail from your relationship with this person that is 

  1. Relevant to the context of LinkedIn.com 
  2. Consistent with the reason you wish to connect with the person
  3. Is likely to be something the new contact remembers about meeting you, working with you, or knowing you from another context.

Use a Receiver-Centered Call to Action with Next Steps

This sounds complicated, but it is actually pretty simple. When you send the message, you want it to appeal to the reader and encourage them to actively work for you in your network.

  • Receiver-Centered. This means that the message will keep the reader in mind and will write from the perspective of what they can do for you, not your own perspective. For example, write "I would like to set up an appointment to discuss this over the phone" instead of "I need information on this"
  • Call to Action. Ask the new contact to do something to move your new LinkedIn relationship further. What would you like this person to do for you to help you in your job search or career?
  • Next Steps. When and how should the new contact complete this action? Suggest times, places, or other details that make it possible for the new contact to do the action you requested.

Finish with a Polite Closing

Your message is incomplete without this last step. Finish off your message with a nice closing that will leave the new contact feeling positive about the connection.

For example:

  • Thank you for your assistance, [insert your Name on the next line]
  • I look forward to hearing from you, [insert your Name on the next line]

Identify the part of the message that is the "receiver-based call to action with next steps" by clicking on that part of the message.

Practice by writing a greeting to a Dr. Phillips who you met at a conference.

This message is missing one of the four components of a good message. Can you determine which one is missing? Select the correct answer.

  • Greeting
  • Personal Connection
  • Receiver-Centered Call to Action and Next Steps
  • Closing

It's your turn to try to write a strong message with all four parts.

The Background Info for Your Message

Here's the situation: you met Ms. Nancy Green the other day at the park when your kids were playing together. She's currently working as a nurse at a hospital where you would like to work. You would like to speak with her on the phone about tips she has for getting an interview at the hospital and what kind of openings she knows are available.

Write a LinkedIn message to Ms. Green that includes a Greeting, Personal Connection, Receiver-Centered Call to Action with Next Steps, and Closing.

Proofreading the Message

Proofreading the Message Before you Send

Proofreading

Before you send that message to a new contact, take the time to proofread the message first. 

Why should you take the time to do this?

Messages with misspelling and grammar mistakes:

  • Reflect poorly on your writing skills
  • Make a bad impression on your new contact
  • Might cause a contact to refuse the connection


How to Find and Fix Errors

Before you send the message, re-read it carefully to make sure that everything is just right. Some things to be particularly careful about:

  • Correctly spelling the contact's name
  • Using Mr., Ms., Dr., etc correctly and based on the context
  • Using complete sentences

Using Titles

In general, unless you know a contact by first name basis in real life, you should use Dr., Mr., or Ms. Do not use Mrs.

Correct Spelling

One great way to check your spelling before you send a message is to compose the first draft in a word processing program, like Microsoft Word. Then use the spell check tool when you're done writing. 

Complete Sentences

Every sentence should have a subject and a verb. If you have a sentence missing one of these two elements, then you have a "fragment" and you can fix it by adding the missing part of the sentence.

Punctuation

Be sure to use commas, periods, and other punctuation correctly. If you need help, the Purdue Online Writing Lab is a great resource.

Which of the following greetings is correctly punctuated? You may select more than one answer.

  • Hello, Ms. Matthews
  • Dear Dr. Johnston,
  • Good afternoon, Karen,
  • Good morning, Kevin

Which of the following Personal Connection sentences is correctly spelled?

  • I enjoyed discussing our mutaul passion for developing technologies in engineering yesterday.
  • I enjoyed discussing our mutual passion for developing technologies in engineering yesterday
  • I enjoyed discussing our mutaul passion for developing technologys in engineering yesterday.
  • I enjoyed discussing our mutual passion for developing technologies in engineering yesterday.

Proofread this sample message.

HelloMr. Brown,

Thank you for sharing your with me about the direction your company is moving in the next year at yesterday's meeting. 

I would like to help your company move into the next  of success. I have advanced skills in communication technology that could be of assistance.  Please call me at your earliest  to discuss ways I can help you  your goals.

 

I look forward to hearing from you soon

Janelle Smith

Sending the Message

It's time to send the message

Sending a Message

You're just a click away from sending your carefully composed and proofread message on LinkedIn.com

Before you Send Checklist

  • You wrote a message. 
  • The message has all four parts: Greeting, Personal Connection, Receiver-Centered Call to Action with Next Steps, and Closing
  • The message is carefully checked for spelling and grammar errors.

Click the "Message" button on the Contact's Profile

The Process of Sending a Message

Sending a message in LinkedIn is relatively simple. 

  1. Open the profile of the person you wish to send a message to.
  2. Click "Connect"
  3. When the pop-up window shows up, click "Add a Note" (this is an opportunity for you to add your message)
  4. Insert your carefully composed and proofread message.
  5. Click "Send Invitation"


Below, you can see what the buttons on the LinkedIn.com website look like.

Choose "Connect"

When looking at the desired contact's profile, there will be the buttons you see in the picture underneath the person's name and job title. Choose "Connect."

Click "Add a Note"

After you click "Connect," this window will pop up. Be sure to select "Add a Note" in order to attach your message to your connection invitation.

Include a Personal Message

This box is where you will place your well-written message. It's a good idea to write the message first in Word or another word processing document and then copy and paste your message into this box when you're ready. 

To copy and paste, select the text of the message and right click. Choose "Copy." Then in the message box, right click again and choose "Paste."

If you write your message in the box instead, be sure to take the time to include all four parts and to carefully proofread the message before moving on to the next step. Take care not to accidentally click "Cancel" or "Send Invitation" until you are finished composing and editing your message.

Click "Send Invitation"

When you are sure that your message is ready, click "Send Invitation." You will not be able to edit the message or change the recipient after this point, so be sure to double check your work before pressing "Send."

Your Turn: Show What You Know

Test Instructions

Show What You Know

In this section, you will go through the full process of writing a message to a new contact on LinkedIn.com to show you understand how to perform this skill successfully. If you would like, you can consult with Morley Career Services about your performance. 

To log on to LinkedIn.com, what information will you need? Choose the most accurate answer.

  • A user name and password for this account
  • Email address associated with your LinkedIn.com account and the password

True/False Questions

  • After entering the log in information, I should click "Sign In."
  • Every time I want to log into LinkedIn.com, I need to fill out all the boxes in the center of the homepage

I want to work on networking with new contacts. What part of the LinkedIn.com page should I click on to do this, now that I'm logged in?

What part of the screen should I use if I want to type in the name of a new person to message?

What is the purpose of the bar that the red arrow is indicating?

  • This is the scroll bar. I can use it to move the page up and down in order to look at additional information on the page.
  • This is the toolbar. I can use it to select different sections of my profile.

Which of these two profiles belong to the same person represented on the business card? Hint: To enlarge the images of the profiles, click on the magnifying glass.

Evaluate the evidence you see and determine if the statement below is true or false.

Image of Potential Contact

Possible LinkedIn Profile Page

  • This image of a potential contact matches the person represented in the LinkedIn.com profile shown here.

Select all correct choices below. When I find the new contact I'm looking for, I should:

  • Click "Connect"
  • I should click "Send Now" and skip writing a message when the window pops up asking me if I'd like to "Customize this Invitation." (See image below)
  • I should click "Add a Note" and write a message when the window pops up asking me if I'd like to "Customize this Invitation." (See image below)

A strong message contains which of the following elements?

  • Greeting
  • Closing
  • Invitation
  • Personal Connection
  • Receiver-Centered Call to Action with Next Steps

Write a complete message (with all four parts) using this scenario as context

The Scenario

An ex-supervisor of yours, Jamie Wright, that you enjoyed working with and who oversaw you while you provided exceptional service in your old sales job would make a great reference. You'd like to catch her up on what you've been doing lately and ask her to write a reference that focuses on your customer service skills.

I proofread my message in the previous question before submitting it.

  • I did proofread carefully before submitting my answer.
  • I forgot! Oops!

After composing my message and proofreading it, where should I click on the screen to send my message?

The End of the Lesson

Congratulations!

You have completed the lesson on sending a message to a new contact on LinkedIn.com! If you have any further questions about the process after completing the lesson or wish to discuss your results on any of the test items, please contact Morley Creative Solutions at morleycreativesolutionsllc@gmail.com