Whether you’re a well-educated individual with just enough job experience or a fresh graduate with no experience at all, you definitely need help in projecting yourself to the right people. Social networking has become a vital part of our daily lives and it’s really important for you, as a professional, to reap the benefits.

There are a lot of social media sites out there that are geared towards professionals, where you can not only create your resume and showcase your skills, but also help you get connected with the right people in the industry. Today, even senior professionals post job vacancies through these professional social networking sites instead of in newspapers, as it’s cost-effective and time-efficient. And if you’re within their professional social circle, you’ll get the upper hand. You can even approach them personally as most employers, recruiters, and companies provide contact details.

We all know about LinkedIn as one of the most popular professional social media sites, but there are actually a lot more out there for you to grow your professional network. Here are 5 great alternatives for you to choose from. Give it a try and see how they can help you out.

Enjoy!

Meetup

Meetup

Meetup is a nice alternative to LinkedIn because not only does it allow you to make connections online, you can also get in touch with people in the real world. The platform provides various opportunities to interact and chat with like-minded individuals who share the same interests as you.

One of Meetup’s key features are the events. Here, you can see upcoming events and attend the ones you think are suitable to meet up with other people like yourself in a real life setting. You can attend meetups by joining groups. You can also start your own Meetup group and invite people to join in.

At the time of writing, Meetup has 18.66 million members from 175 countries, and an average of 444,402 meetups are held every month.

OPPRTUNITY

OPPRTUNITY

OPPRTUNITY is another great LinkedIn alternative. It’s the first service to use scientific methodology to match professionals together based on the possibility for them to engage in business. The site’s matching algorithms look into various data points, such as location, industry types, skill sets, etc. in order to bring people together.

This platform is specifically designed to cater to professionals who are looking for sales leads, job candidates, job opportunities, and the like. It’s more of a tool that connects you to like-minded professionals. You can even use your existing LinkedIn profile, so make sure to keep it up to date.

BranchOut

BranchOut

If you’re a huge fan of Facebook, then you might have come across BranchOut. It claims to be the world’s leading professional network, with more than 800 million searchable profiles. Best of all, there’s no membership fee required for joining! It allows you to create a profile that includes your educational background and job experience. Although it’s a Facebook app, personal information like photo albums and status updates won’t be included with your profile.

BranchOut has 3 types of enterprise products for job-seekers, as well as recruiters. There’s Career Connect which allows you to publish job posts on a company’s Facebook page; Job Postings, which is a tool that allows companies to publish job openings on their Facebook pages and allows job-seekers to apply for the job positions; and finally, the Recruiter Connect features that allows recruiters and HR managers to search through BranchOut’s database.

NetParty

NetParty

NetParty is like a social networking site for young professionals. At present, it has more than 200,000 members, and the community continues to grow on a daily basis. So if you find LinkedIn to be a bit too formal and boring, then is the perfect place for you to expand your professional network, while at the same time have fun.

NetParty has a lot of branches all throughout the US and Europe, and basically sets up high-end parties for its members so that young professionals can meet up in a more relaxed setting. Just join NetParty by signing up at their website and you’re all set.

Some of its key features include a list of upcoming events, tickets, and help about transportation and other directions.

Zerply

Zerply

Zerply is a refreshing social network that caters to the entertainment industry. It was started by two friends in a small apartment just south of Stockholm. Now, it’s a multi-national team that operates from different countries across the globe. It connects the entertainment production companies to top-notch creative professionals and the tools to assess candidates in just a matter of minutes.

With Zerply, designers, animators, illustrators, and other creative professionals can create a comprehensive portfolio to showcase their works and look for more opportunities with ease. But for you to join, you must be invited by a current Zerply member or you can opt to apply by showing your work to the Zerply team.