If you've set up a profile on LinkedIn and you're ready to start making use of it, the best way to start is by making connections. LinkedIn is, by all means, a social network, so if you join, you need to interact with the people you know by finding them and inviting them to connect with you. It is often said that business is as much about who you know as what you know, if not more so. That's why it's important to have as many "connections" as possible on LinkedIn.
What are connections on LinkedIn, and how do I use them?
"Connections" are people on LinkedIn whom you personally know and trust. By "connecting" with them, you can see what they're up to on LinkedIn, send them messages, view and update (only for you) their personal contact information, find and connect with other users in your field, and more.
Connections work by invitation. If you wish to connect with someone, you must send them an invitation. If they accept it, then each of you becomes a "connection" for the other. Other users can also send you connection invitations, which you can accept if you wish.
How to get more LinkedIn connections
Go to www.linkedin.com in your web browser and log in.
Move your mouse cursor over My Network.
On the next page, click Find Connections.
LinkedIn makes adding connections easier than ever, All you have to do is enter your email address (which will automatically be filled in with the email address you signed up with), and then click Continue.
Follow the instructions on the screen to sign into your email account, and allow it to share your contact information with LinkedIn. You will need to log into your email account, if you have not already done so, and allow LinkedIn to access parts of your email account. Don't worry though, LinkedIn won't use your contacts for any other reason than to help you connect with your friends and colleagues who are on LinkedIn.
Once LinkedIn has search through your email contacts, it will come up with a list of them who are already using the website. Click the check box beside a person's name to select them (or click it again if it's marked to deselect them). You can also click the check box beside "Select All" to select or deselect everyone in the list – though they will all be selected by default. When you're done, click Add Connections [X] to send connection invites to the people whom you selected.
On the next screen, LinkedIn will show you your contacts that aren't using LinkedIn yet, and offer you the opportunity to invite them to start using the website. Using the same functions as above, click the checkbox beside any name to select/deselect a contact, and if you want to send the invitation, click Add to Network [X] at the top of the page. If you'd rather not, simply click the Skip button beside it.
You can also add more connections if someone else finds you and wants to connect with you. You will receive an email or notification that someone wants to connect with you. All you need to do is click Accept.
Another way to find new people to add as connections is by searching for them. If you want to learn about how to do this in detail, check out our tutorial on how to search LinkedIn.
How to remove connections on LinkedIn
Let's face it – sometimes things happen, and sometimes you may want to get rid of a connection you've made on LinkedIn. It's a simple process, so don't sweat it!
Assuming that you're still logged into LinkedIn, click My Network in the menu across the top.
Under the number of connections you have in the top-left corner, click See All.
Find the connection you want to remove, and click the three dots (more options button) beside the "Message" button. On the pop-up menu, click Remove Connection.
You will be prompted to confirm that you want to remove that connection, Be sure to click Remove to confirm you don't want that person to be connected with you on LinkedIn anymore.
That's a brief introduction to connections on LinkedIn: what they are, how to get them, and how to remove them if you no longer want them. Be sure to check out the next tutorial in our LinkedIn course where you can learn how to add skills and endorsements to your profile, because after you've added connections, you're going to want them all to be able to see what you can do!