Connect with us


Write a LinkedIn Connection Request That’ll Get Accepted



Last Thursday, when I logged into LinkedIn, I had nine connection requests (on average, I get around 35 – 55 per week). Three were from recruiters, five from complete strangers, and one from a past co-worker. They all said the exact same thing, which is LinkedIn’s default connection message:


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


I’m no longer surprised when an invitation isn’t customized — I’m surprised when it is. Nothing announces, “I’m lazy,” more than an uncustomized request.


In last week’s column, I mentioned the importance of having LinkedIn connections to increase your profile’s visibility, reach, presence, and influence. The more connections you have, the more likely you’ll appear in search results and have a higher search ranking.


Richard Branson once said: “Succeeding in business is all about making connections.” In 2021 there are no truer words.


Your first step towards increasing your LinkedIn connections is to connect with your low hanging fruits; people you already know. With pen and paper, list everyone you currently know and have known but lost touch with. Think of current and former colleagues, bosses, customers, suppliers, friends, relatives, neighbors, etc. Search for them on LinkedIn.


TIP: Use LinkedIn’s search feature to search past companies you worked at and then click on ‘See all XXX employees on LinkedIn’


Connecting with people on this list should be as easy as clicking on the ‘connect’ button, adding a simple note, something along the lines of “Hi Bob, great to have found you here. Let us connect.” (In some cases, you may want to give some details to refresh the person’s memory of how you know each other.), and then click the send button.


Now create lists of, for lack of a better word, strangers you’d like to connect with. Start by listing the companies you’d like to work for. Using LinkedIn’s search features and Google, find hiring managers, department heads, leadership team members, and those holding a human resource title at the companies you want to work for. Your next lists will be professionals in your field (focus on those in your region) and recruiters who work with your industry.


The key to getting strangers to connect with you is your introduction. You must customize each connection request (you have 300 characters to do so).


I like to open with, “We’ve never met,” and then why I’d like to connect. I have found being truthful about not knowing the person gets their attention.


Here are a few simple examples:


  1. Professional in your field (295 characters with spaces):


Hi Arlene,


We’ve never met. I came across a comment you left in the LI group Electrical Engineers Networking in Canada. I particularly liked your insights regarding using our industry jargon when interviewing, which I found thought-provoking. I’d like to connect and stay in touch.


– Nick Kossovan


  1. Hiring Manager (283 characters with spaces):


Hi Karam, 


We’ve never met. I’m currently searching for my next opportunity. For the last 15 years, I was at Telus, where I moved up to VP of Sales. I believe I’d be an asset to Rogers and would love to chat about how my background might fit any openings you may have. Can we connect?


– Nick Kossovan


  1. Recruiter (299 characters with spaces):


Hi Eric,


We’ve never met. I came across your profile and want to reach out to discuss potentially working together. I’m a social media strategist with 6 years of experience seeking new opportunities. I’d love to chat about whether my background might be a fit for any of your openings.


– Nick Kossovan


The time you spend crafting your invitations will be time well spent. A customized invitation to connect will be a pleasant surprise for the recipient and significantly increases your chances of being accepted.


As we all know, LinkedIn offers a huge opportunity to connect people who can assist you in your job search and career. Spend a few thoughtful moments writing irresistible LinkedIn connection requests, and you’ll start quickly building up your network!


Next week I’ll begin discussing how to create the hardest working document in business today, your resume. I’ll be guiding you on how to create a resume that WOWs!



Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send him your questions at

Continue Reading


Hundreds more unmarked graves found at erstwhile Saskatchewan residential school



An indigenous group in Saskatchewan on Thursday said it had found the unmarked graves of an estimated 751 people at a now-defunct Catholic residential school, just weeks after a similar, smaller discovery rocked the country.

The latest discovery, the biggest to date, is a grim reminder of the years of abuse and discrimination indigenous communities have suffered in Canada even as they continue to fight for justice and better living conditions.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “terribly saddened” by the discovery at Marieval Indian Residential School about 87 miles (140 km) from the provincial capital Regina. He told indigenous people that “the hurt and the trauma that you feel is Canada’s responsibility to bear.”

It is not clear how many of the remains detected belong to children, Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme told reporters, adding that oral stories mentioned adults being buried at the site.

Delorme later told Reuters some of the graves belong to non-indigenous people who may have belonged to the church. He said the First Nation hopes to find the gravestones that once marked these graves, after which they may involve police.

Delorme said the church that ran the school removed the headstones.

“We didn’t remove the headstones. Removing headstones is a crime in this country. We are treating this like a crime scene,” he said.

The residential school system, which operated between 1831 and 1996, removed about 150,000 indigenous children from their families and brought them to Christian residential schools, mostly Catholic, run on behalf of the federal government.

“Canada will be known as a nation who tried to exterminate the First Nations,” said Bobby Cameron, Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. “This is just the beginning.”


Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which published a report that found the residential school system amounted to cultural genocide, has said a cemetery was left on the Marieval site after the school building was demolished.

The local Catholic archdiocese gave Cowessess First Nation C$70,000 ($56,813) in 2019 to help restore the site and identify unmarked graves, said spokesperson Eric Gurash. He said the archdiocese gave Cowessess all its death records for the period Catholic parties were running the school.

In a letter to Delorme on Thursday, Archbishop Don Bolen reiterated an earlier apology for the “failures and sins of Church leaders and staff” and pledged to help identify the remains.

Heather Bear, who went to Marieval as a day student in the 1970s and is also vice-chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, recalled a small cemetery at the school but not of the size revealed on Thursday.

“You just didn’t want to be walking around alone in (the school),” she recalled. There was a “sadness that moves. And I think every residential school has that sadness looming.”

The Cowessess First Nation began a ground-penetrating radar search on June 2, after the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia outraged the country. Radar at Marieval found 751 “hits” as of Wednesday with a 10% margin of error, meaning at least 600 graves on the site.

The Kamloops discovery reopened old wounds in Canada about the lack of information and accountability around the residential school system, which forcibly separated indigenous children from their families and subjected them to malnutrition and physical and sexual abuse.

Pope Francis said in early June that he was pained by the Kamloops revelation and called for respect for the rights and cultures of native peoples. But he stopped short of the direct apology some Canadians had demanded.

Thursday was a difficult day, Delorme told Reuters. But he wants his young children to know “we will get the reconciliation one day with action like today.”

($1 = 1.2321 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto and Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Alistair Bell, Grant McCool and Daniel Wallis)

Continue Reading


Teamsters votes to fund and support Amazon workers



The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a labor union in the United States and Canada, said on Thursday it has voted to formalize a resolution to support and fund employees of Inc in their unionization efforts.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Continue Reading


Citigroup names new sales head for Treasury and Trade Solutions unit



Citigroup Inc has named Steve Elms as the new sales head for the bank’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) unit effective immediately, according to an internal memo shared by a company spokesperson.

Elms, who will oversee the management of the global sales teams, has been involved with the bank’s TTS division for over 10 years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

TTS is a division of the bank’s Institutional Clients group. The segment offers cash management and trade services and finance to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations around the world.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru and David Henry in New York; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

Continue Reading