LinkedIn Basics

Understanding How To Use LinkedIn

If you are on LinkedIn, you may need to understand some of the commonly used buzz words.

Here is a short explanation of each of these terms.

Understanding it will allow you to speed up your success curve with LinkedIn.

1st, 2nd and 3rd Degree

  • 1st degree connections – These are your trusted friends and colleagues who have sent/received and accepted an Invitation to connect. You can reach these people by sending a direct message through LinkedIn. Generally, these are people you know from current or past employment, school or past collaboration. They are known as “My Connections” in your “Settings” and are sometimes referred to as direct connections.
  • 2nd degree connections – People 2 degrees away. These are the trusted friends and colleagues of your 1st degree connections. You can reach them through an Introduction or InMail. They are considered part of “My Network” in your “Settings”.
  • 3rd degree connections – People 3 degrees away. These are the trusted friends and colleagues of those who are 2 degrees away. You can reach them through an Introduction or InMail. They are considered part of “My Network” in your “Settings”.


InMail allows you to send messages directly to LinkedIn users you couldn’t reach before. It allows you to contact or be directly contacted by 2nd or 3rd degree contacts as well as LinkedIn users who are not in your network. It is not necessary to send InMails to members who are 1st degree connections or members of the same group. You can communicate directly to these members at no cost by using the “Send message” link in the upper right area of the member’s Profile.


Introductions are LinkedIn messages that allow LinkedIn members to contact or to be contacted through shared or mutual connections. Connections can introduce you to anyone in their network by forwarding an Introduction message through a chain of their trusted professionals. LinkedIn users who are two degrees away from one another can be introduced by a shared connection. The shared connection would forward an Introduction to their 1st degree connection on your behalf. Introductions expire after 6 months if they are not responded to by the receiver.


Recommendation is a comment written by a LinkedIn user to advocate a colleague, business partner, or provider of a professional service including service providers who are not LinkedIn. Below are some of the benefits of getting recommended:

1.      Helps you hire and get hired.

2.      Helps to find customers and partners for the services you provide and need.

3.      Builds reputation and strengthens your relationships.

4.      Makes your network more valuable to everyone in it.


People who are part of OpenNetworker are people who know the incredible value of being open to new opportunities and new connections.  OpenNetworkers do not turn down any connection invites.  By being a part of OpenNetworker you can subscribe to be part of a distribution list to grow you connections.


Linked In Open Networker is a member of the business-oriented social networking site LinkedIn who positively encourages connections from any other member, whether or not they have had a previous business relationship. The abbreviation LION is used, and is usually placed somewhere in the profile page.


Toplinked is the sister group of OpenNetworker.  By listing Toplinked, LION, or OpenNetworker in your profile you invite others to send you connection invites.  These people find you by doing searches on Social Platforms and you in turn show up in search results.

Are You Presentable ?

Do you have a professional picture of you from shoulder up? Is your photo most of you or more of background scenery ?

I notice some people who have a very low self image, use their kid’s picture instead of their own, or they are so blurred or unnoticeable in their profile photo. Although this happens more on facebook than linkedin.

I often come across individuals who do not have a completed profile. If I feel that I want to do business with someone or add them for future interaction, the last thing that I want to see is a blank profile, no history or a missing image – hey I want to know who I am dealing with!

You want people to see words that describe accomplishments and these are normally action verbs like – achieved, authored, created, directed, launched, or motivated.

Showcase Your Latest Accomplishments

What were your greatest accomplishments over the past year? Talk about them here. Did you do any volunteer work in your community? Business connections can get a better sense of you as a person by reading about how you spend your time.

Almost everyone on Linkedin is either looking for a second source of income or already working on it.

If you are looking around for good opportunities where you can work from home, I highly encourage you to look at – WORLDIMART


Best regards,

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