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Networking, Tips,

Asking for a LinkedIn Introduction


LinkedIn is such a valuable tool for any job seeker, but for undergrads looking for informational interviews, networking connections or to research a potential company or interviewer, it really can’t be beat.

But using it well (and not annoying your connections) takes a little know how and some LinkedIn etiquette. I think no where is this more true that in asking for introductions.

LinkedIn allows you to reach out to people directly to make a connection (I always recommend adding a personal message about why you want to connect). However, using the “Get Introduced” feature, can help facilitate a connection and give you an edge.

So how does it work?

Start by finding someone you want to make a connection with. You can do this is many ways, but my two favorite (and most basic) are to a) search the connections of one of your contacts. If you’re connected to me, you have access to my 1500+ connections. You can sort by city (say you want to move to Los Angeles) or by company or a few other filters or b) search LinkedIn directly by name or company.

Look for second degree connections. That means just one person exists between you and them.

Recently, I did a company search for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. A lot of our grads work at WaggEd and it’s the largest PR firm in the northwest. In doing that search, I found an account director to whom I had a second degree connection. I found her profile interesting because we have so many students with an interest in event planning — and that’s what she does for WaggEd clients. Neat.

So say I want to get connected to Megan. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Click on the arrow next to “Send InMail” to get the drop down options. The first says “Get introduced.” Choose that option.

linkedin-intro-screenshot 2. The next screen will show you all the people who you and the desired contact have in common. Turns out Megan and I have several mutual connections. Choose the one that you think would be most willing to “put in a good word” for you. I chose my friend, Erica, also an account director at WaggEd. She and I did our undergrad work together in the SOJC and I know she’d be willing to facilitate this connection for me.

I started with a note to Erica about why I wanted to connect with Megan.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 9.09.44 AM


3. The final part is the most important. To make it easy breezy for Erica to forward my connection request with her own note, I finish the request with a note directly to Megan. Consider a mini cover letter. Why do you want to be introduced?

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 9.15.24 AM


That’s it! Take a read through, do a final edit and hit “Send Request.”

Erica will get a notice in her inbox that I’ve requested an introduction with the option to forward or decline.

Have you used this feature of LinkedIn before? Any tips beyond what I’ve offered here?

A Big Pile of Theses


I’m honored to have been ask to serve on a whole slew of thesis committees this year. With the term coming to a rapid close (just 5 more weeks), defense season is in high gear.

Over the next five weeks (plus), I’ll hear about a lot of interesting research. I hope to share more with you as the students finish. But in the meantime, here’s a glimpse and a link to the students’ blogs, twitter feeds, etc. so you can keep up with their work… if you’re so inclined. These are some pretty smart students – both grads and undergrads – and anyone would be lucky to have them as part their team.

Leona Laurie: Blog and Twitter
Leona’s master’s thesis for the School of Journalism and Communication looks at how Web 2.0 is changing traditional marketing and, specifically, the 4 Ps. She’s looking at two media companies – one more traditional and one less so – and how the marketing mix is changing. Leona is spoken for, by the way, so you’re too late to hire her. 🙂

Lindsey Durrell: Blog and Twitter
Lindsey is in our Honors College at the University of Oregon. Her thesis is looking at a specific case study of blogger relations; looking at the broader issues that are played out in the blogosphere and in public relations every day and then applying them to a particular case.

Emily Tormey: Blog and Twitter
Emily’s research is looking at how nonprofits can (or should) use special events to attract younger donors. Emily, also an Honors College student, is interested in event planning, but specifically wants to work with a nonprofit to plan events that really make a difference. I know this research will serve her well!

Nick Cummings: Blog
Nick, also an Honors College student, is looking at which uses and gratifications virtual worlds fulfill for their users. A gamer and resident of Second Life, Nick has a unique perspective and I’m looking forward to learning about his results.

Windy Hovey
Windy, a master’s student, focuses her research on how nonprofits can use social media to cultivate relationships. She’s looking at a particular nonprofit that uses blogging, video and Flickr and talking to people inside and outside the organization to learn how it works for them.

So, as you can see by the time summer rolls around, I’ll be that much smarter. I’m looking forward to helping these students finish and learning a lot in the process.

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