PERSONAL-BRANDING QUICKIE

Lookin' to LinkIn? Great! When you see the prompt "include a personal note: (optional)," ignore the word "optional." Nor should you go with the boilerplate "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn." This is a banner opportunity to transmit your personal brand. Your invitation doesn't have to be fancy; simply provide some context about how you and your potential contact know each other and explain why you'd like to connect. Whatever you say, don't let an autoresponder do the talking for you.