Advice for Broadening my LinkedIn Network in the Field of IT

I have a question that fits into this “Uncategorized” category of the forum.

As a disclaimer, my intent is never to hurt any feelings or cause discrimination against people from different origins, however, I’ve been getting a couple of connection requests in LinkedIn from people that came from India, but again, no hard feelings or discrimination is intended.

After I get a couple of connection requests that wanted to provide additional training and based on the fact that the requests came from India, I have decided to limit the requests to those who know my email address and that’s all I can do. I do not want to be seen as some sort of celebrity from the people of India (again, no hard feelings intended), so unfortunately, this is an all-or-nothing option that I get from LinkedIn, so I do want to start off by making a couple of statements.

Since I am living alone in my mom’s house in the neck of the woods (a rural town of Altha, FL which is south of Marianna, FL), I am wondering if there’s anything I can do to broaden my network in LinkedIn in the field of Information Technology. I already have all of my four certificates (CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, and Cisco CCNA) and I’m still doing job search online. I want to move to the northeast region of the US because I want to take advantage of the subway system without a need for a motor vehicle due to my visual impairment. I only have a few preferences such as Philadelphia, PA and Boston, MA. I mean, it does not matter which cities I want to move to so long as I have rapid public transportation options available to me.

Okay, so here’s a question. Does anyone out here have any advice for how I can meet with people in LinkedIn and how I can go about starting my conversation? Because I am living lonely in the rural town, I can be shy at first and that is something that I can work on by talking to people in-person. But because I do not have a motor vehicle, I have to rely on online tools and I’ve already applied for approximately 10 jobs in junior network engineering.

My family can relocate me where I want to go once I get hired. I’ve once participated in virtual career fairs in the past, however I do have a tendency to get a run-around by linking me to the job listings in websites, so I’m trying my best to seek as much help as I can get so that I can get my foot in the door and gain experience in network engineering.

For those who need to know how to set the invitation option:

  1. In the “Me” section of LinkedIn, go to “Settings and Privacy.”
  2. In the “Communications” section, “Who can reach you,” and then to “Invitations to Connect.”
  3. I chose “Only people who know your email address” and went back to the LinkedIn home page.

So anyway, if anyone can point me in the right direction of how I can connect with people and get to know them would be greatly appreciated. Of course, this does not have to be LinkedIn; however, I want to avoid wasting my time with some random connection requests. I only see connection requests as wanting to get me trained for more advanced certifications and that’s all that is, unfortunately.

My LinkedIn profile:

I mean this in the best way but I think LinkedIn is a waste of time. I’ve never gotten anything positive out of it and neither have any of my collogues. If you want to meet people then open up a search engine and look for local technology groups in your area.

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Then what do you suggest I type in search engine without quotes?

“Technology groups in Tallahassee Florida”

I must remind everyone that I do not have a motor vehicle and unfortunately, I cannot drive. A rural town such as Altha, FL does not have any technology group.

Update: I went into this website and I do not see any groups for Information Technology… Hmm… I’ll keep looking.


My last 3 out of 4 jobs were because of a conversation that started on LinkedIn so you could say I am a big fan. The best way to leverage LI is for inbound job leads, but there are so many positions listed that you could apply for too. You might want to look into remote positions as well since it wouldn’t require you to move if you would rather stay where you are.

I took a look at your LI profile and I would recommend you provide specific detail about the equipment and protocols you have experience with even if it is just in a lab. Recruiters base their searches on this to find candidates. Also, I would create a short video that could be sent to a hiring manager of your experience maybe doing a walkthrough of a network in your lab. Think about doing things above what others in your position might be trying.

Good luck on the job search!

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The only equipment I have is a virtualized pfSense router in a Debian server, so I’m not sure how that’s going to help recruiters in their search. Plus, I do not have any managed switches but I do have an EnGenius Wi-Fi 6 access point. I also have a Cisco ASA 5520 that has not been used since I purchased it in Amazon about 4+ months ago while participating in National Industries for the Blind’s (NIB) Cisco Academy and I do not have the up-to-date firmware (I went into downloads section and I saw 5515 and 5525 but not 5520). I already have a Cisco account which is used to login to website for Packet Tracer assignments and assessments.

Anyway, where do I put in the list of equipment in my profile page?

This is what I have. In my Debian server, I do have 10 network bridges that each have their own network and 2 additional bridges for “WAN” connections to pfSense.

The “2490” below corresponds to ethbr1_2490, which has a VLAN interface of vlan2490 (defined in, and that VLAN interface is assigned to ethbr1, a bridged interface which connects to enp7s0, a 2.5Gbit NIC card. That interface is directly connected to my computer’s 2.5Gbit NIC card.

A Windows 10 VM in my desktop can communicate to virtualized VyOS over VLAN ID 2400. So yeah, network bridging is very complex to setup, but in the end, it works out pretty well.

So what I can say is I have a “virtual homelab.”

Update: I’ve added two 2-part articles to the “Featured” section. Is that where I should post the list of equipment there?

Also, for remote positions, I feel more comfortable getting to know people in workplace than at home. Even if I work remotely, I can be very lonely at home. I mean, no restaurants in my home town.

I would put it in the About section. Also, I wouldn’t say that you aren’t open to working on weekends or overnight because it isn’t uncommon in IT to have to fix things or deal with patching during non-working hours.

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As for labbing, Packet tracer and EVE-ng are the most common ones to build out networks to showcase your skills. At the end of the day that is what you should be communicating to the hiring manager/recruiter.

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Okay, I’ll get to work in that in Packet Tracer. Thanks.

I would really think about the type of network designs a business would use and replicate that. If you need any help let me know. Feel free to hit me up on LI too.

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