You’re on LinkedIn to network, and in some ways, it’s never been easier. The platform updates you when someone lands a new job, is mentioned in the news, or is celebrating a work anniversary. And taking it one step further, it’ll even create an automated message for you so you don’t have to spend too long thinking up what to say.
While that sounds like a great idea—because you can connect with less time and effort—it can actually backfire. I know because I recently celebrated a work anniversary, and my inbox is filled with one message after the next that reads, “Congrats on the anniversary! Hope you’re doing well.”
It’s a lovely thought, but in reality, that’s all it is—a passing thought. I feel like the sender—while being nice—didn’t take the time to write anything specific for me to respond to. So, I haven’t gotten back to anyone (which kinda defeats the entire point of sending the message). Maybe I sound cold, but I don’t think I’m alone in skipping past a form email.
Naturally, this got me thinking on what I would’ve responded to. It is just a work anniversary, it’s not like I needed flowers. And the answer’s surprisingly simple: One personalized line. That’s all—that’s the big secret. If someone had shifted the wording just a bit and mentioned anything about me, it would’ve stood out (and I’d have known the person was hoping I’d write back). Not to mention, one additional piece of information would’ve given me a jumping off point to respond.
To help you do this, I’ve come up with a few templates for you to use. And, it gets even better: Since this strategy doesn’t just apply when sending “congrats” messages, I’ve also included options for other situations.
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