1st mean on linkedin

What Does 1st Mean on LinkedIn

LinkedIn connections are crucial for effective networking on the platform. LinkedIn connections represent the relationships you form with other professionals. They are categorized into three levels: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd connections.

1st connections are people you are directly connected with because you’ve accepted their invitation or they’ve accepted yours. These connections allow you to message each other directly and see each other’s posts in your LinkedIn feed. 2nd connections are people who are connected to your 1st connections. You can connect with them by sending a personalized invitation, expanding your network indirectly.

Understanding LinkedIn Connections

LinkedIn connections are essential for maximizing your professional network on the platform. LinkedIn connections are individuals with whom you’ve established a direct link by accepting or sending an invitation to connect. These connections form the foundation of your network, allowing you to stay updated on their activities, message them directly, and collaborate on professional opportunities.

There are three primary levels of LinkedIn connections.

  • 1st Connections: These are people you are directly connected with because you’ve accepted their invitation or vice versa. They have the most direct impact on your network visibility and interaction capabilities.
  • 2nd Connections: These individuals are connected to your 1st connections but are not directly linked to you. You can connect with them through mutual connections, expanding your network reach.
  • 3rd Connections: These are beyond your 2nd connections, representing individuals who are two degrees away from you. They are part of a broader network you can potentially tap into through introductions and mutual connections.

What Does 1st Connection Mean on LinkedIn?

Building and maintaining a network of 1st connections on LinkedIn is crucial for expanding your professional network, staying connected with colleagues and peers, and opportunities within your career or business endeavors.

1. Direct Communication

1st connections allow you to communicate directly through LinkedIn’s messaging system. This direct line of communication is valuable for reaching out to professionals for networking purposes, discussing job opportunities, seeking advice, or collaborating on projects.

2. Visibility

When you are connected as 1st connection, you have full access to each other’s profiles. This includes seeing their complete work history, skills, endorsements, and any updates they share on their LinkedIn feed. This visibility helps in understanding their professional background and staying informed about their activities.

3. Networking Advantage

Being connected as 1st connections provides a strong foundation for networking. It means you have a direct link to individuals within your industry or professional circle, making it easier to build relationships, exchange ideas, and explore potential partnerships or collaborations.

How to Expand Your 1st Connections

Expanding your 1st connections on LinkedIn is key to broadening your professional network and accessing new opportunities. 

  1. Optimize Your Profile: Ensure your LinkedIn profile is complete and professional. This includes a clear profile picture, a compelling headline, and a summary that highlights your skills and achievements. A complete profile increases your credibility when sending connection requests.
  2. Connect with Colleagues and Classmates: Start by connecting with current and former colleagues, classmates, and peers from your industry. These are individuals you already have a professional relationship with and are likely to accept your invitation.
  3. Join and Participate in Groups: LinkedIn groups are communities where professionals with similar interests gather. Join relevant groups in your industry or field and actively participate by contributing to discussions, sharing insights, and connecting with members who share your interests.
  4. Attend Events and Conferences: Virtual or in-person events and conferences provide excellent networking opportunities. Connect with attendees you meet virtually or in person by sending personalized connection requests following the event.
  5. Use LinkedIn’s “People You May Know” Feature: LinkedIn suggests potential connections based on mutual connections, shared interests, and industry. Review and send connection requests to relevant professionals suggested by LinkedIn.

Using 1st connections for networking and referrals

Utilizing your 1st connections on LinkedIn for networking and referrals can significantly enhance your professional opportunities.

1. Engage and Build Relationships

Regularly engage with your 1st connections by liking, commenting, and sharing their posts. This helps strengthen your relationship and keeps you visible in their network. Building a genuine connection makes it more likely they will support you when you need a referral or introduction.

2. Ask for Introductions

If you identify someone in your 1st connections who could be beneficial to connect with professionally, ask your mutual connection for an introduction. This approach leverages existing relationships to expand your network strategically.

3. Seek Recommendations

Request recommendations from your 1st connections to showcase your skills and expertise on your LinkedIn profile. Positive recommendations add credibility and may lead to new opportunities when viewed by potential employers or clients.

4. Offer Help and Value

Networking is a two-way street. Offer assistance, share valuable resources, or provide insights that could benefit your 1st connections. By demonstrating your willingness to contribute, you strengthen your relationships and increase the likelihood of receiving referrals in return.

Managing Your 1st Connections

Managing your 1st connections on LinkedIn is crucial for maintaining a meaningful and effective professional network. 

  • Organize Your Connections: Use LinkedIn’s features to categorize and organize your connections. You can create tags or lists based on criteria such as industry, location, or relationship type. This helps you quickly find and engage with specific groups of connections when needed.
  • Stay Engaged: Regularly interact with your 1st connections by liking, commenting, and sharing their updates. This keeps you visible in their feed and strengthens your professional relationship. Personalize your interactions to show genuine interest and support.
  • Review and Update Your Network: Periodically review your connections to ensure they align with your current professional goals and interests. Remove or disconnect from connections that are no longer relevant or active to keep your network focused and manageable.
  • Use LinkedIn’s Relationship Tools: LinkedIn offers tools like notes and reminders to help you keep track of important details about your connections, such as how you met or potential opportunities to explore together. Use these features to maintain personalized communication.
  • Respect Privacy and Professionalism: Be mindful of LinkedIn’s etiquette and privacy settings when managing your connections. Respect their preferences for communication and privacy, and maintain a professional tone in your interactions.


Q. Can I see who viewed my profile if they are my 1st connection?

Yes, LinkedIn allows you to see the names and profiles of your 1st connections who have recently viewed your profile. This feature helps you identify who is interested in your professional profile and may lead to potential networking opportunities or collaborations.

Q. Do 1st connections see my activity on LinkedIn?

Your 1st connections can see your activity on LinkedIn, including posts you share, articles you write or interact with, and updates to your profile. They will see your activities in their LinkedIn feed, which can help in maintaining visibility and engagement within your professional network.

Q. Can I message my 1st connections for free?

Yes, messaging your 1st connections on LinkedIn is free and does not require using InMail credits. This makes it convenient to communicate directly with your connections to discuss professional matters, job opportunities, collaborations, or simply to stay in touch.

Q. How do I remove a 1st connection on LinkedIn?

If you wish to remove a 1st connection on LinkedIn, you can do so by visiting their profile, clicking on the “More” button (three dots), and selecting “Remove connection.” LinkedIn will ask you to confirm this action, and once confirmed, the connection will be removed. It’s important to consider the impact on your professional relationship before removing a connection.

Q. Are there limits to the number of 1st connections I can have on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn does not impose a specific limit on the number of 1st connections you can have. You can connect with as many professionals as you find relevant to your career or industry. However, it’s advisable to connect meaningfully and within LinkedIn’s terms of service to maintain a high-quality network that benefits your professional goals.


1st connection means that LinkedIn is essential for maximizing your networking potential on the platform. Your 1st connections are the professionals you are directly linked with through accepted invitations or invitations you’ve sent and been accepted. These connections offer several advantages: direct communication through messaging without using InMail credits, visibility into each other’s profiles and updates, and the foundation for building meaningful professional relationships.

By actively managing and expanding your 1st connections, you can enhance your visibility within your industry, gain access to new opportunities, and strengthen your professional network. Remember to engage meaningfully with your connections, share valuable insights, and leverage mutual interests to foster collaborations and referrals.