What Does 1st, 2nd, 3rd Mean on Linkedin? [2023 Guide]

1st, 2nd, 3rd: wondering what do these numbers mean on linkedin profiles?

1st 2nd 3rd meaning linkedin

I tell you everything about how the linkedin networking platform works in this article.

And also:

  1. How to connect with anyone on LinkedIn
  2. How to bypass the new linkedin limitation on invites
  3. How to react your connection requests get denied

Let’s expand your professional network.

What Does The 1st 2nd and 3rd Mean on Linkedin?

1st-degree connections are individuals directly connected to you on LinkedIn. 2nd-degree connections are those who share a mutual contact with you. Meanwhile, 3rd-degree connections are one step further, being connected to your 2nd-degree contacts.

What Does 1st Mean on Linkedin?

1st-Degree Connections are people you’ve directly connected with by either sending or accepting a connection request. You’ll see a “1st” label next to their name, showing that you both are directly linked on the platform.

1st linkedin meaning

When someone is your 1st degree connection on linkedin you also got access to their contacts details like emails & phone numbers.

1st degree connection linkedin email phone number

To get access to this contact details, just click on “contact info” and a popup will appear.

1st linkedin contact details

Emails & phone numbers are not always there.


  • 30% of people share their emails with 1rst degree linkedin connections
  • 5% of people share numbers with 1rst degree connections
  • 15% of people share their twitter

So you got it, if you are prospecting on linkedin, and you want to manually get the contact details of someone, you should turn him into a first degree connection on linkedin.

Otherwise, you can use tools like Evaboot or Datagma.

What Does 2nd Mean Linkedin?

2nd-degree connections are people who are not directly connected to you but are connected to one of your 1st-degree connections. While you can see their profiles, you aren’t directly linked to them

2nd degree meaning on linkedin

When you visit their profile, your mutual connections are displayed just above the “Connect Button”

You can’t send them direct messages, you must end a connection request first.

second degree linkedin connection request

If you want to skip the connection request step, you can send an linkedin inmail.

Inmails are Linkedin paid messages that allow you to direct message 2nd and 3rd degree connections even if you are not connected with them yet.

You can get inmails by subscribing to one of linkedin premium offers like:

  1. Linkedin Premium
  2. Linkedin Sales Navigator
  3. Linkedin Recruiter

You can click on the “Contact Info” button, but you won’t have access to their contact details

2nd degree linkedin connection contacts details

What Does 3rd Mean on Linkedin?

3rd-degree connections are people linked to your 2nd-degree contacts. When you search or view profiles, you’ll spot a 3rd icon beside their names You can connect with them by sending a connection request, but the button is not at the same place.

3rd degree connection meaning on linkedin

Inmails will also work with 3rd degree linkedin connections.

inmail third degree connection on linkedin

This option is obviously only available for Linkedin premium users.

However, if you are not a premium linkedin users you can still send direct message to 2nd and 3rd degree connection if you are the same linkedin group or event.

More on that in this video:

What Does 3rd+ Mean on Linkedin?

3rd+ degree connections are people you’re neither directly connected to nor share a mutual contact with. Essentially, there’s a gap of more than two people between you and them.

3rd degree connection linkedin


Now you know everything about linkedin 1st 2nd 3rd meanings.

Let’s see how to get the most out of this information to connect with anyone on Linkedin.

Linkedin Prospecting: How To Connect With Anyone ?

If you want to maximize your connection degree acceptance rate, you need to personalize. You can’t copy-paste the message to everyone.

1. What to avoid when you contact linkedin members

The linkedin connection etiquette is the first contact you make with someone when you are networking.

You don’t have a second chance to make a good first impression.

People usually make 2 mistakes:

First one, they simply don’t make any effort to personalize their messages.

bad example linkedin connection request etiquette

I receive dozens of non-personalized connection requests like this every week.

linkedin etiquette connection request

If you don’t make effort for people, they won’t make effort for you, simple as that.

The second mistake is to try to close the deal right away, without taking the time to build a relationship.

linkedin connection request bad practices

Before asking for anything, you need to give something.

While will I book a meeting or complete the form of a complete stranger?

What’s in it for me?

2. What to do when you send a linkedin connection request

My first advice is to only add a note if it’s super relevant. If you have no ideas of what to say, say nothing.

Connection request without notes actually get higher acceptance rate than connection request with notes, but that’s because everybody send awful notes.

If you send a note:

  • Personalize
  • Talk about them, not you
  • Be short

Take a look at this example:

  • The name of my company is the first word in the message
  • She knows what the tool does
  • Just asking to exchange, not to sell something.
  • Don’t talk about her or her product

This a very good example of what everybody should do.

linkedin connection request best practices

Pro-tip: if you can, make them feel like you could be a client of their product or service. That is what she did and really like the approach. When I started reading the message, I felt like she could a potential client, and it gets me really interested.

3. What if my Linkedin connection request is not accepted?

Even if your note is excellent, more than 50% of your connection won’t be accepted.

What to do with these people then?

Obviously, you can give up on them so easily.

You need to find their emails.

Export Sales Navigator leads for free

The thing is, you don’t have access to the emails of your 2nd and 3rd degree connections on linkedin.

If you are using linkedin for lead generation, you are certainly (or should) use Linkedin Sales Navigator to find potential leads.

In the video just above, I show you how to build email lists from linkedin sales navigator in just one 2 clicks.

How to Bypass Linkedin Weekly Invite Limitation on Connection Requests?

Linkedin implemented a new limitation on the number of connection request you can send.

You are now limited to 100-200 connection requests per week. However, there are still some hacks that you can use to bypass this limitation.

1. Contact Open Profiles

Open Profiles are linkedin premium users you can send free inmails to.

You don’t need to be connected with them to send a direct message. It means you can message them directly even if they are 2nd or 3rd degree connections.

Export Sales Navigator leads for free

Here is a video describing in details how to find and reach out to open profiles.

2. Contact group members and event attendees

Another way to connect with people without sending connection request to message linkedin group members and event attendees.

message linkedin group members to bypass linkedin limit

When you are part of a linkedin group, you send DM’S other members without being connected. Linkedin consider that being part of same group is a good enough reason for you to start a conversation without any obstacle.

message linkedin group members without sending connection requests

Same thing for linkedin events. Once you opt in to the events, you get access to all the attendees.

To see the list of attendees, click on the Networking Tab.

messaging linkedin event attendess

You will a button “Message” next to all the profiles.

bypass linkedin limit by messaging linkedin event attendees

The only drawback with this technique is that your messages will land into the Message Request section and not the main Inbox section.

message request section linkedin

Other Questions About Linkedin Degree of Connections

Here are the answer to general question on linkedin relationships levels.

How to cancel connection requests on Linkedin?

If you’re sending out a ton of connection requests, but really few get accepted, there is a risk that linkedin begin to think that you are a spammer. That could hinder your linkedin outreach results.

There are 2 solutions to this:

  1. Target the right people and send good connections request (so a maximum get accepted)
  2. Delete all your connection request older than 3-4 weeks.

If you want to delete your old connection request, go to My Network > Manage.

how to cancel linkedin connection request

Then click on Sent > Withdraw

delete linkedin connection request

Will someone know if I withdraw a LinkedIn invitation?

No. Linkedin users are not notified if you withdraw your connection request.

However, they may notice that the connection request disappeared from the list.

Do LinkedIn connection requests expire? 

Yes. Linkedin connection request do expire.

They automatically expire after six months after you send them if they are not accepted. 

What is the difference between connect and follow on LinkedIn?

If you’re connected to someone, you’ll both be able to see each other’s shares and updates on your LinkedIn feed.

You can also send messages to your connections on LinkedIn. 

Following someone on LinkedIn allows you to see the person’s posts and articles on your homepage without being connected to them.

How many LinkedIn connections is normal?

Most Linkedin profiles typically have between 500 and 999 connections. It’s observed that profiles with more connections tend to have greater engagement, such as likes, re-shares, and comments, compared to those with fewer connections.

Why can’t I see my 3rd degree in LinkedIn?

Sometimes when you search for people on linkedin you might find these kinds of profiles:

out of network linkedin

You can’t see their name, nor access their profiles. The “Connect” button is not displayed net to their profiles in the search results.

3dr degree connection linkedin

If you click on their profile, you will see the “Out of Network” message.

These people chose to limit their profile visibility in their Privacy Settings.

One of the consequence of that limited visibility is that you can’t send them connection requests.

To connect with them, you must connect with some of their connections first, or participate to similar linkedin groups or events. You need a kind of referral.

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