You will sometimes come across a profile on LinkedIn that you must connect with while looking for work. The problem is they are a 3rd-degree connection, most likely never heard of you, and inviting them to connect feels awkward.
In this post, we explain how to turn that desired connection from a 3rd-degree to a 1st-degree as part of your LinkedIn networking efforts.
Search for 3rd-degree connections with shared 1st-degree connections
This tip is about finding the right people. Not everyone uses LinkedIn the same (or properly). You may have close friends or colleagues in your LinkedIn network as 3rd-degree connections. Here is how to find them:
1. Use LinkedIn’s People search tool
2. Search using the “Connections” filter
3. Apply the filter “3rd+”
4. Click “Shared Connections”
5. Clicking on this will show you a list of the 1st-degree connections you share. See who you know.
6. Go back to your original 3rd+ degree search.
7. Finally, click “Connect” ONLY on those 3rd-degree connections with shared 1st-degree connections. You may get asked to add a note. So, here what you do next.
Add a note explaining who you know and why you are trying to connect
Never use any form of automated templated on LinkedIn. They look lazy and show absolutely 0% personality. Here are some ideas for adding notes when you believe the 3rd-degree connection should be a 1st-degree connection. Keep in mind, notes have character limits:
When you both worked for the same company
I invite you to connect because we both had the pleasure of working for ABC company. Do you still talk to anyone from the company? It would be great to catch up soon and find out what you’re up to!
When you both went to the same college
Of course, I had to connect with a fellow Seahawk! I was an Economics major and graduated in 2010.
I am now working for [company]. We should connect and keep in touch! I would love to know what you’ve been up to.
Ps- You see that NCAA game? Hard fought win!"
When you want to work with a complete stranger
"Hello [Mr./Ms.Last Name],
I am really impressed by [say something about their profession]. I’m also in [your line of work], and interested in connecting with you. Please accept my invite and stay in touch. Would be great to chat sometime.
Looking forward to possibly working with you,
When you share a mutual close friend
Turns out we know the same person. I have been friends with [this person] for 10 years and we worked on many projects. Please connect with me. We should all chat together sometime and see what we can come up with."
Whenever trying to connect with people you do not know, always remember to be friendly. Keep in mind that people use LinkedIn differently. So, if someone connects with you without replying, be sure to send them a thank you message for accepting the invite. After all, you reached out first!