On LinkedIn, people in your network are called connections. Your network is made up of your 1st-degree, 2nd-degree, and 3rd-degree connections, as well as fellow members of your LinkedIn groups. You can build your network by sending invitations to connect with other LinkedIn members and your email contacts, or by accepting invites from others. The degree of connection you have with another member affects how you can interact with them on LinkedIn.
1st-degree connections – People you’re directly connected to because you’ve accepted their invitation to connect, or they’ve accepted your invitation. You’ll see a 1st degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile. You can contact them by sending a message on LinkedIn.
2nd-degree connections – People who are connected to your 1st-degree connections. You’ll see a 2nd degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile. You can send them an invitation by clicking the Connect button on their profile page, or by contacting them through an InMail. Learn more about InMail.
3rd-degree connections – People who are connected to your 2nd-degree connections. You’ll see 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.
- If only the first letter of their last name is displayed, clicking Connect isn’t an option but you can contact them through an InMail.
Fellow members of your LinkedIn Groups – People who are considered part of your network because you’re members of the same group. The Highlights section of a member profile displays the groups you’re both a part of. You can contact them by sending a message on LinkedIn or directly through the group.
LinkedIn Member (Out of Network) – LinkedIn members who fall outside the categories listed above. Profiles out of your network have limited visibility but you can build your network with other valuable connections to see more profiles. If the option is available, you can also send them an InMail to introduce yourself.