How to Invite Second Level Connections to Your LinkedIn Network

One of my readers made a comment on my blog yesterday that I loved.

He outlined how he invites his second level LinkedIn connections to become first level connections. His method is so simple and professional that I want to share it directly.

The Second Level Connection Invitation

Hi Donna,

I’m a [Job Title] at [Company Name]. We have a few connections in common, [Name One, Name Two, and Name Three]. I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network as well.

Thank you,

John Doe
Cell: ###-###-####

The Logic of the Invitation

He says, “I add common connections’ names and my cell number to add relevance and validity to the request. I get about a 90% acceptance rate and no IDKs.”

IDK stands for  “I Don’t Know.” If you rack up too many of them from people you invite, you can end up in LinkedIn Jail.

If You’re Job Hunting

If you’re not working, you might substitute this for Larry’s first sentence:

I’m a [Job Title] in the [Blank] industry.

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here. The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at for more information.

Image: Fotolia/krung99
Updated June 2017

© 2013 – 2017, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.


Comments 4

  1. Nice post! Tailoring invites in this manner and following up with a note of appreciation after connecting are key steps in building a network versus becoming a number in a network.

    Great point about saying “thank you” Rich. It’s surprises me how often that sparks more conversation. Thank you. Donna

  2. Great post, thanks Larry and Donna!

    Question, would it make sense to add Twitter or G+ connection information in addition to mobile # or is that to impersonal? It might send the message that you are active in social networks and have many connections which could be of value. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Hi Sean, My immediate thought is to keep it simple and low key. I would just want the person to think, “Oh, Sean knows John, Paul, George, and Ringo too. He doesn’t look like a criminal. Sure, I’ll connect with him.” Clicks “Accept.” End of story. I’m curious to hear what others think. Donna

  3. That’s great advice, and now that I’m not working I will definitely try it out. Great point regarding your approach if you are out of work, to say “I’m a (job title/function)…” as it sure beats, help! I’m unemployed and desperate. Yesterday, I sent an invitation to a 2nd degree person in my industry and I cited common industry groups that we belong to.

    Hi Rich, Thank you for this. Your next employer will be lucky to hire you! Donna

  4. Hi Donna, does that mean that where LinkedIn asks Larry “How do you know ____?” He clicks ‘Friend’? If you click ‘I don’t know ____’ it doesn’t allow you to connect.

    Hi Leigh,

    I recommend keeping it truthful. The easiest route is a common group. If you don’t have one, consider joining a group that the person you’re inviting to connect has already joined.


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