Degrees of Connection in your LinkedIn Network
People in your network are called connections. On LinkedIn, there are 1st-degree, 2nd-degree, and 3rd-degree connections. Your network consists of these various connections, including fellow members of your LinkedIn groups.
Building your network involves sending invitations to connect with other LinkedIn members and your email contacts, as well as accepting invites from other users. The degree of connection you have with another LinkedIn user determines how you can interact with one another.
1st-degree connections are people you have directly connected to, either by accepting their invitation or having your invitation accepted by them. You will see the 1st degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile. You can contact 1st-degree connections by sending them a message on LinkedIn.
2nd-degree connections are people who are connected to your 1st-degree connections. You can tell that a user is a 2nd-degree connection by the 2nd degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile. Think of it as having mutual friends on Facebook. LinkedIn users can send an invitation to their 2nd-degree connections by clicking the Connect button on their profile page. You may also contact your 2nd-degree connections by sending them an InMail.
3rd-degree connections are people who are connected to your 2nd-degree connections. It will show a 3rd degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile. If their full first and last names are displayed, you can send them an invitation by clicking Connect. However, if only the first letter of their last name is displayed, then the option to Connect won’t be available. You may still contact them through an InMail.
Fellow members of your LinkedIn groups are considered part of your network. The Highlights section of a member’s profile displays the groups that you are both part of. LinkedIn allows you to contact fellow members of your LinkedIn groups by sending a message on LinkedIn or directly through the group.
Lastly, there are LinkedIn members who are outside of your network, which means you both belong in completely different circles and have no mutual contacts. Because they are out of your network, these profiles will have limited visibility. Sometimes the option to send them an InMail is available, which is a good way to introduce yourself.
Viewing New Connections and Contacts
You can view a list of your synced and imported contacts from the Contacts page. Click the My Network icon at the top of your homepage and click See All below your connections on the left rail. Then click Manage synced and imported contacts on the right rail. Finally, click the Sort by dropdown above your connection list and select Recently Added. This is usually selected by default. This allows you to view and sort your contacts list to show the most recently added.
For your 1st-degree connections, you can see them all listed in the Connections page. You can sort your connections by name or by most recently added.
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