Understanding Your LinkedIn Network
Before you start communicating with others on LinkedIn, you need to understand how LinkedIn classifies its members in terms of their connections to you. This distinction is important because it determines what, if any, restrictions LinkedIn places on your ability to contact people.
Your LinkedIn network consists of three levels of connections:
- 1st-degree connections: LinkedIn members you connect with directly. Either you sent them an invitation to connect and they accepted, or you accepted their invitations. Your connection list on your profile displays your 1st degree connections. When LinkedIn refers to "your connections," this means your 1st degree connections.
- 2nd-degree connections: LinkedIn members who connect directly with your 1st degree connections.
- 3rd-degree connections: LinkedIn members who connect directly with your 2nd degree connections.
For example, if you connect directly with your colleague Nicole, she is your 1st degree connection. If Nicole connects directly to Ben, her former classmate, Ben is your 2nd degree connection. If Ben connects directly with Drake, one of his co-workers, Drake is your 3rd degree connection.
LinkedIn also considers fellow members of groups as part of your network. See Lesson 11, "Participating in LinkedIn Groups," for more information about LinkedIn groups.