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How do you expand your network outside of your area of expertise?

Veteran

Thurraya Kent Annandale, VA

I am a public relations professional transitioning Spring 2019. I've been working closely with my mentor to increase my network and I am open to any additional tips. My network, while expanding, is military-centric but I want to pursue PR in the hospitality and travel industry. So far, nobody in my linkedIn network is connected to my desired industry. What is the "protocol" for sending out connection requests to those you are not even remotely connected to?

24 November 2018 3 replies Networking

Answers

Advisor

Bonnie Holton New Brunswick, NJ

Thank you for your service! I have been with my company for almost 20 years and have served in 5 functions so networking has been the key to my success! Andrews response nails it, cast your net far and wide, through groups, social and business, conferences, employee resource groups. Find the hobbies, passions and skills that you have that are transferable and connect with those on multiple levels. It does take time, dedicated time. have a plan (i like the plan to reach out to a group each month). Search the big companies for those industries and like their pages, search for jobs, I email recruiters direct, even if not for that job but for tips to help you move into that industry. Good Luck!

26 November 2018 Helpful answer

Advisor

Andrew Woodland Orlando, FL

Hi Thurraya
Thank you for your service – I am a mentor who lives in the UK but spends a lot of my time in Florida.

There are so many features within LinkedIn – so here are a few suggestions.
Join and Participate in Groups – you can search new groups in the area you are interested in (hospitality and travel industry).

Try and join a new group each month, then engage with the group, asking questions and liking other people comments. When people see you in groups and interact with you over time, they’ll be more likely to connect.

To find groups to join, enter relevant keywords in the LinkedIn search box.

You could consider creating your own group. This brings you instant credibility, as people like to network with experts and other well-connected people. When people join your group, they’ll likely want to connect with you

Local Networking – meeting new people in the local area with business interests the area you are looking to connect with (hospitality and travel). Maybe visit seminars and trade shows. Get to meet new people, get their business card and then follow up with an email and then connection on LinkedIn.

It will take some time and dedication – LinkedIn is a good platform to achieve your goal.

25 November 2018 Helpful answer

Veteran

Thurraya Kent Annandale, VA

Thank you Andrew and Bonnie. I like the idea of focusing on one group a month. That seems manageable. I never considered emailing recruiters to ask for tips. I've found a few in the industry on LinkedIn so I'll give it a shot!

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