Whether you're looking for a new job or trying to expand your network, career experts and job hunters agree: You need LinkedIn.
The currency - and power - of the site are connections, especially those second-degree associations, i.e., the friend of a friend, colleague of an acquaintance, etc., that will expand your reach, knowledge and opportunity.
You can forge connections with these second-degree folk via an introduction by someone already in your LinkedIn Network.
LinkedIn offers a canned, generic request, but career coach Carol Ross says there are four steps to writing your own that will greatly improve your chances of it being accepted.
1. Write an eye-catching subject line "In addition to stirring someone's curiosity, subject lines should be relevant," Ross notes. "Make yours personal. Add humor if that fits with your personality."
Whatever you do, Ross advises avoiding the generic, "Need an introduction." No one's going to open that, let alone read it and respond with a "Yes."
2. Don't make the recipient guess who you are If you're asking someone you don't know well, clearly state how you crossed paths.