How to ask a LinkedIn connection to introduce you to someone. Tip #1: Don't just send a Get introduced request!

LinkedIn, how to use LinkedIn,
The Get Introduced tool
can be useful if used wisely.
The LinkedIn Get introduced feature is a great weapon in your job search arsenal because it allows you to reach employers who you don't know. But like with any weapon, it should be handled carefully to avoid problems, such as confusion and missed opportunities.

How Get introduced messages work

Through the LinkedIn Get Introduced feature, you can send a request to a LinkedIn friend (connection) to ask him or her to forward your message to one of his/her LinkedIn friends (a 2nd degree connection to you). Or, you can get introduced to a friend of your friend's friend (a 3rd degree connection to you). Here's how:

Step 1: Find the target person using LinkedIn. 

  • Click the Advanced link at the top of any LinkedIn page. 
  • Select the People option on the left navigation bar. 
  • Type the target company name in the Company box and the target person's probable title in the title box. For example, if you are seeking a financial analyst position, look for the Controller or Director of Finance. Choose whether to include current or past employees in your search or just current employees).
  • If it is a huge company with multiple locations and you only want to search for a local employee, add the company's local office zip code into the postal code box. 
  • Fine-tune your search by adding keywords, such as "accounting" in the Keywords box (optional).
  • Click Search. 

LinkedIn, LinkedIn advanced people search, LinkedIn search,
Find the right person by using LinkedIn's Advanced People Search.

Step 2: Find the right person within the search results. Look to see if the person is a 2nd degree or 3rd degree connection to you or a member of the same LinkedIn group as you. 

LinkedIn, LinkedIn advanced people search, LinkedIn search,
Use Advanced People Search to find the probable boss for the position that you want.

Who should be your target recipient? Here are my preferences (in order): 

  1. The likely boss of the open position
  2. That person's boss or the division or department leader
  3. The company CEO, particularly if it is a small company
  4. The in-house recruiter (although you may want to go around him/her)
  5. Any person at the target company if you cannot find the target recipient

Step 3: Consider who your best 1st degree contact is to introduce you to the target person. For example, if you want to be introduced to a 2nd degree connection, say, Becky Barnes, Vice President of Sales at Mega Corp., consider if your 1st person connection, Lester Milquetoast, is the right person to make the introduction. Is he a reputable, respected person? Is he someone who will follow through with such a request? Does he believe in your abilities enough to recommend you as he passes on your introduction?

LinkedIn get introduced, how to get introduced on LinkedIn, LinkedIn introductions,
Connecting with a 2nd degree connection is fairly straight forward. Ask one of your 1st degree connections to forward your message to the intended recipient.

If you are in a LinkedIn group with the intended recipient, you don’t have to go through a 1st degree connection. Simply contact the target person directly through the group. Here's how:

  • Click Interests at the top of your home page and then select Groups.
  • Click the group's name from your list of groups.
  • Click the Members tab.
  • Type the person's name into the group's Search box to find the person's name in the list.
  • Click the Send message link.
  • Create your message and click Send Message.

inviting LinkedIn group members to connect, LinkedIn, how to invite LinkedIn group members to connect,
You can send a message to anyone in the same LinkedIn group.

Prepare your 1st degree connection
If you have many 1st degree connections like I do, you may not know them well enough to feel comfortable asking them to introduce you to another complete stranger. In this instance, don’t give up, but do think smart. Before you send the Get introduced request, send a LinkedIn message to prepare your 1st degree connection and/or to get his/her valuable insight.

Write something like, Lester, I notice that you are a 1st degree connection to Becky Barnes at Mega Corp. I am interested in working there. Would you be comfortable if I were to send you a Get introduced request for you to forward to her? Any information you can pass along about Becky or Mega Corp., or any good word that you can put in for me to Becky or other people who might be hiring, would be greatly appreciated. I am looking for a position as a (TITLE). If you’d like, I can email you my resume so you can speak knowledgeably about me to Becky. Let me know your email address so I can send it to you. Thanks for your help.

Don’t abuse your relationship with your 1st degree connections by sending them too many Get introduced requests. Instead, establish a relationship with them where you can be of help to them in some way. Let them know how their help benefited you and thank them for their assistance.

3rd degree may be a degree too far
If the person you want to reach is a 2nd degree connection from your LinkedIn friend (your 3rd degree connection), realize that your friend likely does not know the person any better than you do (the person is their friend’s friend, not his/hers). So while it’s possible to do a 3rd degree introduction, it may not be an effective interaction. In this scenario, it might be better to reach out to the targeted person directly through a LinkedIn group or by trying to find their email address on Google and sending them a direct message.

Get introduced
Once you have established that it is all right to send an introduction request to a connection, send an effective Get Introduced message. Here's how. Don't miss this step! It's tricky and if you word it badly, you will look foolish to both your connection and the recipient.

While it pays to be careful when sending a LinkedIn Get introduced message, it can be a great way to become acquainted with the right person at your target company, so give it a whirl … getting introduced could help you Get a Job!

What tips or horror stories do you have about sending LinkedIn Get introduced messages? Share them! Thanks, Kathy

Related articles
Get introduced wording
Inviting people to connect
Inviting recruiters to connect and what to say


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