After using the Seven Different Strategies to Find People Who Will Agree to an Informational Interview, and completing the LinkedIn Advanced People Search strategies, you can screen your search results to identify the best people to give you the right career advice and assistance. Here’s how:
Understanding Your LinkedIn Connections In your LinkedIn search results, look for the small box to the right side of a person’s name that shows the type of connection you have to him or her (see arrows in next image). There are four types of connections:
- 1st degree connections are people you are directly connected to on LinkedIn.
- 2nd degree connections are people who are connected to your 1st degree connections. (You can ask your 1st degree connection to introduce to you a 2nd degree connection.)
- 3rd degree connections are people who are connected to your 2nd degree connections.
- Group connections are people who belong to the same LinkedIn groups as you do.
- No connection – if there is nothing but ‘white space’ to the right of the person’s name, you have ‘no connection’ to them on LinkedIn.
While you can – and should – reach out to anyone who may be able to give the career advice and assistance you want, start with your 1st degree, 2nd degree, and group connections, as well as anyone who attended the same colleges or universities as you did.
Evaluate Each Person’s LinkedIn Profile
Each person with a profile on LinkedIn decides what information he or she will share about their professional, educational and personal background. Most people list their current and past employers, current and past job titles, skills and responsibilities, the colleges and universities they’ve attended, and what they have studied. This is usually enough information for you to decide if a person could provide the type of career advice and assistance you are looking for. Depending on the type of LinkedIn membership (free or paid) and connection (e.g., 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree or Group) you have, LinkedIn will show you the person’s:
- Full first and last names… or their just first name and the initial of their last name
- Full profile or a profile summary (Profile summaries are just a portion of the full profile, and it’s generally not enough information to determine if someone can provide the advice or assistance you want.)