If you have fewer than 500 Connections on LinkedIn you have some work to do. Decision makers may view the number of your connections as an indication of how involved you are within your profession. While you can have many more than 500 connections, all LinkedIn will display is a maximum of 500.
You want to have connections as they provide the links between you and your next opportunity.
Connect first with those you know and people you would like to know whose email addresses you already have.
Be careful not to violate LinkedIn’s protocol rule by inviting people you do not know and who will be likely to report you to LinkedIn. This could result in limits on your access to LinkedIn. Translation, they will require that you pay for a “PREMIUM” profile.
Once you begin in connect you will be able to see connections ranging from 1st: degree connections: those you are directly connected with, 2nd degree, those people who are connected with your connections and 3rd degree, those who are connected with a connection of a connection OR a member of a GROUP.
Connect from an “ADVANCED” search list which you can generate by using “Key Words”. This is a great alternative to connecting from the individual’s profile page. If you connect from the person’s profile page you are required by LinkedIn to show some connection, through work or school or you must provide the email address for the person with whom you wish to connect.
Connecting from the search list is easy. If the word “connect” appears next to the person’s name, simply clicking on “Connect”. This will send a “generic” message. Note: you are not able to edit the message, “I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn connections”. While LinkedIn frowns on sending requests to connect to people you don’t know it is effective in connecting at a ratio of one out of every three requests.
Join Groups and watch the results of each search explode in the number of viewable profiles.
GROUPS are a great way to see and attract new viewers, identify the potential new connection and broaden your understanding of your work world. Be aware that LinkedIn requires that you be accepted into a group. You need to wait for confirmation. Groups that are “Locked” have special membership requirements. Read the group description for membership requirements.
Be strategic in your thinking when connecting to others.
Have a reason for connecting with people. Focus on people who work in your industry, with similar academic qualifications, with similar responsibilities and titles and in a geographically desirable area.
For more information on how to improve your LinkedIn profile, you can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org