Job hunting took longer than I’d prefer. And I’ve learned a few things in the process. Since contacts keep calling me for advice, I’m posting some of those lessons here.
I love LinkedIn. I love my LinkedIn connections. But people don’t understand how third degree connections work.
You -> your contact (1) -> mystery contact (2)-> your target (3)
Frequently, when I request an introduction to a third degree connection, my contact says, sorry I don’t know that person. And then I explain how third degree connections work. The lightbulb goes on.
Save yourself that learning curve. When you ask for an introduction to your target, be sure to explain that you know that your contact doesn’t know that party. There’s a mystery connection between your contact and your target but you can’t see the name.
I often send an email outside of LinkedIn to my contact with a link to the target’s LinkedIn profile. And I ask my contact to check to see how s/he is connected to that party. Is that in between connection someone that might forward me along to his/her contact? If so, can I forward my resume and cover letter directly as a pdf to that contact or is a formal LinkedIn introduction preferred. It limits confusion and allows the in between party to set the terms for introductions.