How to strike gold with 2nd degree LinkedIn connections.

This is the third in a 4-part series on LinkedIn for job search / career networking. It's also an excerpt from our just launched

Ridiculously Awesome LinkedIn Kit

. If you missed the first two posts, they're right

HERE

 and

HERE

.

Clearly, your 1st degree LinkedIn connections can be enormously valuable when you're actively looking for a job, or even just networking for career / business purposes. They're easy to find. They're your people and, with a simple mouse click, you can ask them questions, reach out for advice, etc.

But are you also leveraging the enormous power of your 2nd degree connections on LinkedIn?

These are, as you probably know, the people that your 1st degree connections know and are connected to on LinkedIn. 

There's a gold mine to be found in these 2nd degree connections, and the process of getting to them is supremely simple.

If you do a simple people search on LinkedIn and discover you don't have 1st degree connections, but have 2nd degree connections just click on  "Shared connections" underneath your connection's photo and headline. From here, you can determine to whom you are mutually connected. Next, you can simply reach out to your 1st degree contact and ask him if he'd be willing to introduce you to that person / contact. 

I usually approach with something like, 

"Hi Bill - I just noticed that you're connected with Ed Wiseman over at Pink Industrial. I'd really love to work for Pink. Would you be willing to introduce me to Ed so that I can ask him a few quick questions about his experience there?"

Boom. 

Assuming your connection follows through with the intro, you could have a pretty quick foot-in-the-door at an organization of interest. I've used this technique dozens of times. Once, I had a LinkedIn connection introduce me to his person so quickly that I had a meeting booked with her 15 minutes later. 

It can literally work this quickly. And when it does? It feels amazing. 

Stop wasting hours and hours submitting blind applications; start networking your way in to opportunities. LinkedIn is your ticket, and your 2nd degree connections can be extremely valuable in the process.

Need more help learning how to harness the power of LinkedIn for job search and career networking? Check out our Ridiculously Awesome LinkedIn KitWe'll walk you step-by-step through the process of setting up a killer profile, and teach you how to use this tool to your best advantage.