There aren't many other popular websites similar to LinkedIn.com out there, as LinkedIn is somewhat specialized in terms of its target audience of companies and business professionals. However, there are a few that have garnered attention from various Internet publications, and some that have some of the same great features LinkedIn has, while also offering you something unique. Here is our list of the five best LinkedIn competitors.
Beyond is one of the websites like LinkedIn that offers you the opportunity to connect with over 50 million business professionals, and can help you find location-based jobs (in your area, or wherever you’re looking). You can also connect with a Beyond “Community,” which is a group of professionals of one sector or discipline (such as Technology, Health Care, or Finance). Find jobs, post jobs, or advertise for your business, or become a Beyond.com affiliate and get paid for adding Beyond content to your business’ website!
Similar to LinkedIn, Opportunity (formerly Opprtunity) offers services to help companies looking for fresh talent or professionals looking for their next workplace. It also helps companies find leads for potential new clients. Once you sign up for Opportunity and tell it why you want to use it, you can start filling in your business information. Tell Opportunity what you or your business specialize in, and what you want to see in an employer/employee/client. Opportunity will then search through its database and match you with people or companies when you have mutually matching criteria. From there, send them a direct message, and see if you can work something out!
Zerply is a relatively new LinkedIn alternative with a focus on the entertainment industry. Specifically, it's geared towards production staff for movies, television (both live-action and animation), and video games. So, it accommodates everyone from project managers to visual effects specialists, and graphic designers to cinematographers.
It was designed to help freelance entertainment production staff move from one contract to the next (which is usually rather difficult) by providing them with a hub to show off their work and connect with people looking for their talents. You have to apply for membership (by showing your work credentials), but if you're fairly tech-savvy and know how to unleash your creative side – or at least know how to manage people like that – then Zerply might be for you.
AngelList is an alternative to LinkedIn that is similar to Zerply, in that it focuses on a specific business sector. That sector happens to be entrepreneurs and their start-up companies (like us here at Techboomers!). You can apply for a job at a start-up company, or if you have one of your own, you can get the right talent on board. Best of all, you can use AngelList as a fundraising platform, connecting with top investment syndicates to get the money you need to get your fledgling business off the ground. If you've ever wanted to start your own company, AngelList is one website definitely worth exploring.
Unlike some of the other sites like LinkedIn, VisualCV isn't so much of a social network as it is a stand-alone business tool. As an alternative to the traditional paper resume/cover letter/curriculum vitae, VisualCV allows you to create vibrant multimedia documents for all your job-seeking needs. Add images, videos, or even presentations to your CV to show off your work, or change the look of your CV with the click of a button. You can even set up your CV to send you a notification whenever somebody reads it or downloads it. VisualCV can be used for free; the upgraded version with additional features costs $6 per month, billed on a semi-annual basis.
Have you used any of these alternatives to LinkedIn before? Would you recommend them, or advise that our users steer clear? Are there other services that you use to network with businesses and work colleagues, and think that our users would like to learn? We'd appreciate it if you let us know in the comments section or on our social media pages.
One last thing: if you get hooked on one of these LinkedIn alternatives (or another that we haven't listed here) and want to cut your ties with LinkedIn for good, our last tutorial will show you how to delete your LinkedIn account.
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