How to Build Your LinkedIn Network before Moving to a New City

These days, when you have to move to a new city, you can do a lot of planning for it on LinkedIn and the Internet. You can research the neighborhoods, look into the school systems, and shop for homes online. You can take this one step further if you plan to move to a different country, and you need information on local customs, cultures, and practices.

But what about the questions you can’t seem to answer through a web browser? What about the “local knowledge” of where to go and where to avoid? LinkedIn can help.

Every LinkedIn user has defined her location, so you can do a search and figure out which LinkedIn users live in your target area. If nobody in your network is from your target area, start networking and expand that network to include people who reside (or used to reside) in that area who can help.

Here are some specific actions you can take through LinkedIn to help you with the big move:

  • Use LinkedIn Groups to find your community. You can look for specific groups of people who share a common skill through LinkedIn groups, join the group and start a discussion topic with your question, and see what the community says in response. You can narrow your search by adding a specific profession or interest, then click Join to access the group.

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  • Start as early as possible. Building a region-specific network takes time as you recruit new members, ask your existing contacts for referrals, and search for specific people who match the location and either an industry or job title. As soon as you sense that a move is necessary, start building your network so that you can tap those people for location-specific information before you actually move.

  • Consider Chamber of Commerce groups. Do an Internet search for Chamber of Commerce groups in your new area and see if they have a LinkedIn group or their own website. These groups often have excellent resources for people who are relocating and looking to learn more about the area, especially for local business needs.

  • Look for contacts who used to live in your new city. You might try entering the location of your new city in the Keyword search field rather than the Location field. By doing so, you might find connections who used to live in your target area but have moved. Contact those people and see whether they can introduce you to any contacts they may still have in the area.

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