I’ve been a LinkedIn user since June 2003, but even as an active user I keep finding new ways to get things done on the site. Since we continue to roll out new features and functionality on a weekly basis, I guess it’s not that surprising. Still, it’s always fun when I find a new way to use LinkedIn.
Since everyone is getting ready for a great 2008, I thought this might be a good time to share one new trick I learned a few weeks ago: How to do mutual introductions on LinkedIn.
I am sure you know the scenario: you have two connections, A & B. A & B don’t know each other, but you know each would benefit from the introduction. The question is, how do you do it?
The answer: LinkedIn messages.
In November, LinkedIn introduced on-site messaging to the platform. This means that you can go to any profile page, click the “Send a message” button right next to the photo, and send a quick message to any of your direct connections. This type of one-to-one messaging is incredibly valuable, and has become one of the ways that I easily keep in touch with contacts when I need to communicate with them.
However, LinkedIn messaging also supports one-to-many messages, which means you can send a single message to up to 20 of your connections. Simply click the “include others on this message” link on the message window, and you’ll be taken to a full form where you can add other connections or email addresses to your message. A very speedy type-ahead feature automatically guesses the name that you are typing by looking at all of your connections.
So, now, when I want to make a mutual introduction, I just follow these steps:
- Go to the profile of Person A
- Click “Send a message”
- Click the link “Include others on this message”
- Type in the name of Person B
- Write my message
As soon as I click send, both of my connections get a message in their LinkedIn inbox and through email with the message. As an added bonus, if I select the checkbox on the message form, both people can also get easy access to the other person’s email address. Person A & B can either respond to everyone using a LinkedIn message, just to me, or even reply through normal email.
As a shortcut, you can actually do this even more quickly by just clicking directly to your LinkedIn inbox on the site, and then clicking the menu item to “compose a message“.
When we launched messaging, we didn’t intend it to be used specifically for mutual introductions, but it’s a common enough request from our users that it’s great to see that you can now do it on the platform. We’ll be looking for ways to make this even easier and more effective in 2008.