Registered users maintain lists of contacts of people they know and trust in business (these are called connections). These lists are then used to provide a network of contacts which can be used in a number of ways. Each person's network consists of their direct connections, each of their connections connections (called 2nd degree connections) and also the connections of 2nd degree connections (called 3rd degree connections).
This network can then be used to find jobs, people and business opportunities recommended by the user's direct contacts, or by individuals connected to a contact at the 2nd or 3rd degree.
The "gated-access approach" (where contact with any professional requires either a pre-existing relationship, or the intervention of a contact of theirs) is intended to build trust among the service's users.
Employers can list jobs on LinkedIn and search for passive candidates and job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers, HR professionals and/or recruiters, and then discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them.
Alumni and professional organizations use LinkedIn for Groups, members-only areas on LinkedIn that facilitate networking among their members. Many of these organizations have groups that also exist under the Yahoo! Groups domain.
LinkedIn participates in the EU Safe Harbor Privacy Framework and is certified to meet the strict privacy guidelines of the European Union. All relationships on LinkedIn are mutually confirmed, and no one appears in the LinkedIn Network without knowledge and explicit consent.