I just came back from a conference; what’s the best way to use LinkedIn to connect with people I met there?
First, make sure you have a profile photo. Next, try to get to 100-percent “completeness” by filling out all the sections LinkedIn asks you to. (It just became easier to get to have a complete profile, since LinkedIn recently de-emphasized the importance of recommendations.) Look up the people you met IRL (“in real life,” as the kids say it) and send them an invitation—but never use the default greeting (“I’d like to add you to my professional network”). Nothing screams “I’m lazy” louder than not bothering to write a personalized line or two. And don’t forget to see if the conference has a special LinkedIn group where attendees can continue to network; many do.
@ColumbiaJourn professor Sree Sreenivasan (@Sree) answers your social-media-etiquette questions. Send your queries via #asksree on Twitter or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line = CJR etiquette).