How to Mine your Contact’s Contacts on LinkedIn

We are all getting used to the new LinkedIn user experience rolled out in October 2016.  We thought we knew it all then – presto – so much is different!  One of the best features on LinkedIn is the ability to search your contact’s contacts to determine if your connections could introduce you to a key person you would like to meet.  This feature used to be under “Advanced Search,” and appeared to be a feature that was no longer available.  But rest assured.  You can still search your contact’s contacts.  Here’s how to do it:

While your LinkedIn connections often work in a variety of fields, sometimes you want to connect with someone who has a particular role, works at a particular company, or has a particular certification. Advanced Search is an easy way to see if you have connections who could introduce  you to someone who has the background you’re looking for.

  1. Start by going to LinkedIn and login.  Then click in the search bar:
  2. At the very bottom you will see an option to “Search for People with Filters.”  Click it:
  3. Select the filters you would like to search by:
  4. The first step you’ll want to take is to limit the results to “1st Connections” and “2nd Connections.” Simply check the box under Connections at the top.
  5. You’ll see a variety of other options also, which you can use to limit the results very specifically by keyword, current company, past company, and more. As you click each of these options, the search results will automatically refresh.  So if you do a keyword search for General Counsel as the title, this is what you will see:
  6. In this example, you can see I have 1,971 1st and 2nd level connections who have “General Counsel” in their title.  This also tells me if the person is a 1st or 2nd level connection, and how many connections I have in common with them.  So, for example, If I want someone to introduce me to Brent Routman,  General Counsel at Merchant & Gould, I have 58 connections who could introduce me to Brent!  If I click on the “58 Shared Connections” link I can see exactly who these people are and pick the person I feel closest to.


It is possible to successfully use LinkedIn to selectively target people you would like to meet through your existing contacts.  The next step is sending your connection an email they can forward to their connection letting your contact know why you want to meet.  Generally, when I receive these requests, I forward that email directly to my connection and copy my contact asking for the introduction.  The relationship building ball is now in their court!


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