There’s no denying that when it comes to online professional networking, LinkedIn automatically comes to mind.
It is the world’s largest networking platform for professionals and currently has 830 million users and this figure keeps increasing daily.
I’ve been an avid user of LinkedIn for some years now and I can say that I have made some important connections that benefitted me in the long run.
However, LinkedIn isn’t a hit on all counts. I found a few things annoying on the platform.
First of all, I got a lot of spam messages and DMs from people who perhaps thought LinkedIn was some random social media site. I also discovered that very few people were concerned about actually connecting with other professionals but were more focused on landing jobs.
I’m still a huge fan of LinkedIn and I recommend you to be too. However, LinkedIn is not the only platform in its class. There are some good alternatives to LinkedIn that you can consider. In fact, I have listed a few of them below.
Take a look.
Also Read: Best LinkedIn Summary Template Examples
Best LinkedIn Alternatives For Professional Networking
Just like LinkedIn, Meetup is a fantastic platform that connects people with similar skills and interests together.
If you’re looking for a platform that helps you connect with people who not only share the same interests but are also in your location, then Meetup is a great platform to use.
It features social groups where you meet up and create bonds with people of similar interests. There’s also a career group that allows you to learn a skill, connect with potential investors, take a class, and even test prototypes.
Finally, there’s a creativity group where you meet people with similar creative skills and ideas. There are thousands of groups you can join and the most amazing thing is that you can also choose to start a group if you want.
Meetup allows any type of professional as long as you find people who share the same interests as you. Whether you’re a writer, techie, real estate agent, food and beverage connoisseur, and even an art enthusiast, you are welcome to use the platform.
Another thing I like about Meetup is that the sign-up process is free and very easy as it takes less than five minutes. You can choose to sign up via the app or website.
You simply have to input your name, email address, and location and pass the age criteria which requires that you be 18 years old and above, and voila! You’re ready to meet like minds.
There’s also a mobile app available and you can download it from either Google Play for Android users or the App Store for iPhone users. Just like LinkedIn Premium, there’s Meetup Pro which is a paid version of this professional networking platform that unlocks more features.
Xing is another cool alternative to LinkedIn. The platform is a leading online business network as it features services like event promotions, job postings and business ads, cover letters and CV editing, and so on.
You can connect with recruiters and potential employers and even get job application tips from trainers and coaches.
Xing mostly connects business/corporate professionals. With over 20 million members and 250,000 job postings, this is a great platform to connect with other corporate groups and organizations.
One thing I like about Xing is that when you register, you get to view millions of business events and keep up with industry-related news daily. The sign-up process is free and also very easy. The whole process takes just two minutes.
You can decide to sign up on the app or through the website. Simply fill out your first name, last name, add your email address, and choose a strong password.
There’s a mobile app available for easy access and to connect with other professionals on the go. If you’re an Android user, you can download this app via Google Play and if you own an iOS device, you can download the Xing app from the App store.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to connect with other startup founders and companies, then you should consider joining Gust. Gust is a global SaaS platform for scalable, high-growth companies.
In fact, the network is reputedly the largest startup network that allows you to connect with top accelerators and over 85,000 founders. You also get to send pitches and apply to incubators and investment groups.
Gust is the perfect networking platform for entrepreneurs who seek to pitch their business ideas, get their products in the market, or even raise funds for their startups.
The platform also lets you build your profile, explore different fundraising strategies for your startup company, pitch to investors and Angel investors, and keep up with trends and industry events via the Gust newsletter.
Unlike LinkedIn which connects professionals in various fields and industries, Gust solely targets entrepreneurial professionals who own or would like to invest with startup companies.
The sign-up process is free, although you have to fill out a form that states your reasons for choosing to use Gust for your startup.
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If your sole purpose for joining LinkedIn is to search for and land jobs, then there’s an alternative platform for you. Jobcase is an online platform that was launched in 2015 and has been connecting workers in America.
With over 130 million members, Jobcase ranks third among US career services. This networking platform features tools that help you get the job of your dreams as you can view job roles you might be interested in.
First of all, you have access to thousands of job postings; all you have to do is enter the job title and your location.
You also have access to a worker’s profile and a resume builder which helps you build your profile to attract more employers and get jobs faster.
Finally, there are learning resources that you can utilize in ensuring that you land a job whether with a large or small company.
The best part is that you can apply for these jobs from anywhere, regardless of your location. As long as there’s an open job, you’re free to apply.
I like Jobcase because it has an active community of employees who help each other with answers, tips, and the right dose of motivation to keep each other going.
The kind of professionals you’d most likely find on Jobcase are employers and job seekers, unlike on LinkedIn where you can find different professionals, including those who just want to create and share content.
The sign-up process is a breeze and you can choose to join the platform using your Google, Facebook, and even LinkedIn profile. Aside from that, you can also join by adding your first name, last name, and email address and creating a password.
Jobcase has a mobile app that can be downloaded via Google Play for Android users and an App Store for iOS devices.
As professionals, resumes are an important part of our lives and if you’re a regular LinkedIn user, you’d know it plays an important role in the recruitment process. However, it’s common to find a lot of stuffy, overly-serious resumes on the platform.
Thankfully, Sumry is a LinkedIn alternative that allows you to create a personalized single-page resume and a professional website that potential employers can resonate with.
The platform is a visual resume builder that not only creates your website and resume, it uploads these so that recruiters and companies all over the world can view your CV/website and reach out to you.
I especially like Sumry because you don’t have to stress over figuring out how to use the tool.
All you need to do is fill out the required information and your resume/website is created for you.
You also get to customize your website however you want. While your personalized resume gets the attention of the potential employer, your professional website will surely get you hired.
This networking platform is great for all types of professionals interested in improving their CVs and work portfolios. Joining the platform costs only $79 a year, which is a fair price considering the services you get.
Once you pay this fee, you get a pdf resume, no ads, a professional website, no Sumry branding, and you also get to monitor your website impressions via the tool’s resume analytics.
The payment process is easy as you can make payments using PayPal, American Express, Mastercard, or Visa.
Aside from this, there’s a seven-day free trial where you can try out the platform before subscribing fully. In all, Sumry is a perfect professional platform where your resume is created within a few seconds to land your dream job.
Want a platform where you can quickly connect with professionals offering the services you need? Then Bark is a great platform to join. Whether you require a tutor, gardener, DJ, business consultant, photographer, or even a masseuse, you can get one on Bark.
Founded in 2014 and currently having five million customers, Bark is an online service marketplace that allows people to connect with service providers without wasting time.
All you need to do is enter the type of service you’re looking for, and Bark automatically streamlines your search to show those offering those services around your area.
You can also join Bark as a professional and you’ll automatically get a profile, which Bark will recommend to customers looking for someone who offers the services you do.
Bark is open to both customers and professional service providers who offer business, health, home, event, and other management/social services. Oftentimes, the customer doesn’t necessarily need to sign up to get a service quote.
However, if you’re on the page to offer a service, you’ll need to sign up as a professional. The signup process is free, although you’ll be charged a small fee for every introduction or contact you make with potential customers.
To sign up, you simply have to select the service you’re offering and the area you’re working from as well as those of your potential customers. You can sign up via the website or the mobile app for professionals.
Bark for Professionals is the network’s official mobile app and is available for download on Google Play and App Store.
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If you are looking to break out of your comfort zone and have personal connections with other professionals, then LunchMeet is a LinkedIn alternative you should consider.
LunchMeet (which is a rather cool name) is a mobile app designed for professionals who are tired of eating ‘lunch’ alone and would like to meet up with other professionals for lunch.
It is almost similar to Meetup, but while you can join and create groups on Meetup, LunchMeet allows for connection on a one-on-one basis.
I sometimes have anxiety dealing with a large crowd of people, so I find LunchMeet a great platform if crowds are just not your thing.
The most fascinating thing about LunchMeet is that it has a twist, in the sense that you can only use the app if you have a LinkedIn profile.
Another thing to like about this networking platform are its features which allow you to create and manage your availability slots, announce your available slot on your LinkedIn account, as well as send and receive invites from other professionals based on your availability and location.
The LunchMeet app has a messaging system that allows users to discuss meetings and choose locations to meet via the app’s in-built map. There’s even a calendar that you can update so that you get reminders whenever you’re to meet with a professional contact.
LunchMeet is a great professional networking app for different types of professionals. Whether you’re a recruiter, job seeker, entrepreneur, creative, or even a newbie trying to get acquainted with the professional world, LunchMeet is perfect for you.
Within the app is also crypto-trading software designed for crypto traders, enthusiasts, and investors who share their experiences with cryptocurrency. The sign-up process is free via the mobile app which is available for download on the App Store.
Once you download and install the app on your device, you’ll be asked to sign in with your LinkedIn account. After signing in, you will choose your availability slot, which is the time you’ll be available for meetings.
You can either select a future date to connect with other professionals or use the ‘quick start’ function which immediately alerts other professionals that you’re available. With the app’s in-map, LunchMeet brings up locations you’d likely choose as a meeting venue.
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Are you interested in joining a platform that offers the same benefits as LinkedIn without necessarily being on LinkedIn?
You should check out Opportunity. As the name indicates, Opportunity gives professionals a chance to discover hidden opportunities in their area of expertise.
If you’re looking to connect with top companies, hiring managers/recruiters, sales strategists, or even join as a job seeker, there are a lot of opportunities for you.
The networking platform features two membership options which are the Basic membership and Pro membership. Depending on whichever option you choose, every professional is allowed to create up to five profiles.
You can choose to create a recruiter/hiring manager profile, sales lead profile, or a job seeker profile. That way, you can connect with your target audience and generally build meaningful business relationships.
The Opportunity networking platform is open to all types of professionals although most of these professionals comprise those in the corporate/business industry.
I like Opportunity because it somehow feels like a professional matchmaking platform. No matter your interests, you’ll always find others who are like-minded.
Job seekers can always get notified of employment opportunities and industry-related news and events. Professionals, on the other hand, can always discover talents and other professionals and foster a valuable, professional network system.
The sign-up process is free and it can be done either through the website or the mobile app. You simply have to choose a profile type and add your email address.
Android users can download the Opportunity app via Google Play while iOS users can download the app via the App Store.
If you’re a creative individual and you want to join a professional networking platform that is niche-oriented, Zerply could be a good place to start.
This platform is CG and VFX experts, designers, and art enthusiasts interested in lighting, modeling, animation, composition, and general studio production techniques.
As long as you are interested in VFX, film, gaming, and TV production techniques, Zerply connects you with entertainment companies open to hiring such talents.
Unlike LinkedIn where you can easily get lost trying to meet other professionals with your skill set, Zerply is like a LinkedIn that is specifically designed for and targeted at creatives (designers, FX artists, animators, and so on).
As a user, you simply have to create an online profile, starting your area of expertise and you’ll automatically be directed to jobs that are hiring based on matched skills.
One thing to like about this platform is that you can showcase your skills by adding videos, storyboards, and other creative information that will attract the necessary attention.
Joining Zerply is free, but there are only two ways to become a member of the platform. First, you are invited by a registered Zerply member.
The other option is to apply to the Zerply team by displaying your work portfolio and skills. Unfortunately, there’s no mobile app available for download.
10. The Muse
Another good LinkedIn alternative for professional networking is The Muse. The Muse is almost similar to LinkedIn in the sense that it connects recruiters with talents and other professionals.
However, the main focus is to align talents with the right companies and careers. The Muse is the perfect platform to join if you’re seeking clarity on the right career path as well as research on the best companies to apply to.
Most times I think of The Muse as a business matchmaking platform because it provides talents/job seekers with a whole new and personalized perspective of the companies they’re applying to.
Through the stories of existing employees, new talents can decide if the company’s values, mission, and culture align with theirs.
The platform is open to all types of professionals (especially job seekers), looking for employment opportunities in any of the leading corporate industries.
Once you join the platform, you get an exclusive look into hundreds of companies hiring and discover the ones which resonate with your work culture and values.
Aside from that, you also get expert advice from certified coaches on how to build your dream career and take it to the next level.
You can learn all of these through the different educational and fun articles posted on the platform.
You can get expert advice on how to improve your resume, learn job application strategies, and also seek career advice from other professionals willing to share their stories and helpful tips.
When you’re not job hunting or looking to connect with other professionals, you can even watch videos and read career/industry-related blogs on the platform. The signup process is straightforward to understand, and the best part is that it is totally free to join the platform.
You simply have to click on the sign-up option, fill in your name, and email address, and create a password and you immediately become a member of The Muse.
There’s no mobile app available for download, so you’ll always have to log in using the platform’s official website.
Out of all of these LinkedIn alternative platforms for professional networking, my favorite is Meetup. This platform is easily my top pick because it offers a platform for every type of professional.
It has groups for creatives, career-oriented professionals, and social groups which makes it the most similar to LinkedIn.
You can also explore places and organize both online and in-person meetings with other people who share similar interests.
Finally, the sign-up process is free, fast, and isn’t so confusing, as even a layman can join the platform in minutes.
There’s also a mobile app that allows you to constantly keep in contact with your network of professionals, regardless of where you are.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.