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What’s The Difference Between 1st, 2nd and 3rd Connections on LinkedIn Featured Image

What’s The Difference Between 1st, 2nd and 3rd Connections on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn connections are categorised by the level of relationship you have with each member. Placing them as either 1st, 2nd or 3rd-degree connections.  Here is a rundown of the different types of connections on LinkedIn… 

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What do 1st, 2nd and 3rd-degree connections mean? 

The best way to understand these differences is to break them down individually. 

1st-degree connections – LinkedIn members who you’re connected with

2nd-degree connections –  The connections of members you’re connected with

3rd-degree connections – Members of LinkedIn you or your connections aren’t connected to

Your 1st, 2nd and 3rd-degree connections on LinkedIn are categorised by how well you would know that person off the platform. The higher the number the more distance between you and them. 

1st Degree Connections

Your immediate pool of connections is your first-degree connections. You can interact with their content and if their profiles are locked down for privacy reasons you’ll be able to see their content and profile pictures. There are a lot of privacy options on LinkedIn which limit users outside of 1st-degree connections from viewing personal information. 

2nd Degree Connections 

You’ll see connections you have in common with 2nd-degree connections on their profiles. Some privacy settings may block you from viewing their profile picture and information. But, you’ll be able to find them easier in searches and through the “people you may know” feature. 

3rd Degree Connections

These are essentially strangers to your LinkedIn profile. They will be harder to find without using LinkedIn’s prospecting tools and you won’t have any connections in common with these users. You shouldn’t attempt to directly connect with 3rd-degree connections as you could be seen as a spam account trying to connect with people outside your pool of connections. 

How to Grow Your Network on LinkedIn 

The best people to focus on to grow your network will be 2nd-degree connections. However, if you’re just starting out you’ll see a limited number of 2nd degrees, as they are people your connections know. If you don’t have a lot of connections the pool will start off small. First connect with your clients, friends and team members to get your pool of 2nd-degree connections larger.  Then you can start working on connecting with more people outside your immediate network. 

LinkedIn will limit your account if you invite too many 3rd degree connections at once, or if you have a big list of pending requests. So make sure you’re clearing your connection requests and avoid connecting with 3rd-degree connections. 

When you invite someone to your network they will have the option to decline and even note that they don’t know you. Too many people do this to your requests and LinkedIn will see your account as spamming people. To avoid this engage with your potential connections, and ensure you have mutual connections to make the request more likely to be accepted. 

So, that’s the difference between 1st, 2nd and 3rd-degree connections on LinkedIn. Now you can start building and growing your network. 


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