Just sorting myself out on linked in. Scary place. What is the etiquette regarding requesting connections? Should I just send the automated connection request or do you write a personal message to everyone you connect to e.g. my previous boss (a technophobe who has two connections) his boss (who I met only a couple of times) university tutor etc
I usually just send the standard message, as I expect people are used to it by now, like a fb friend request.
I connect with people who are friends as well as professional connections, as they might have a useful connection further down the line. So don't worry about whether it's ok to connect, just go for it! The worst that can happen is that they don't respond!
I send the standard request and then when someone accepts I send a longer message along the lines of "what are you up to these days?".
A useful tip I heard was that if you have been out of the workplace for a while, remember that your connections or potential connections will remember the pre-kids/professional "you" so you can take a lot of confidence in that!
Also, a very useful feature is the one that lets you see who's been looking at your profile. I will usually try to connect with those people if I know them.