Social networking for career enrichment is on the rise. With online networking, you have access to more professionals -- and will inevitably make faster connections -- as your connections expand throughout your industry.
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Online networking also gives you the opportunity to put your personal brand on display -- a type of communication that may feel like bragging in face-to-face meetings. We’ve all heard of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and how to use these platforms to find a job, but it’s time to look beyond “the usual suspects.”
What other networking websites might be beneficial for your professional life? Here's a roundup of 20 unsung Internet resources that could help you land your dream job. Some are general and others pertain to certain industries, but all are valuable options to boost your social networking (and your career prospects).
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Niche Social Websites with Networking Potential
Elixio is a private online community for professionals. This site is invite-only, but you can be sure if you get an invite, you will have the chance to make awesome connections. Because it's a community of less than 14,000 (mostly business) professionals, Elixio hosts networking opportunities for the cream of the crop.
Stroome is the foremost online video collaboration hub. Launched in April 2010, the site connects journalists, filmmakers, travelers and anyone else with a video camera -- allowing them to upload their films to the Internet and then collaborate with other users to create new video, audio, and photo mashups from all corners of the world.
Ryze is an online business network founded in 2001 and now operating with 80,000 members. You can make a free networking-oriented homepage and connect with professionals (or re-connect with old contacts). The site, which initially focused on the high-tech community, now appeals to CEOs, entrepreneurs and home-based businesses.
Ning's industry connections span many categories, including politics, entertainment, consumer brands, small business, non-profits, education and more. It connects more than 74 million people around the globe with the topics they are passionate about, making it a great foundation for professional networking. You can use Ning to create and design your own free social network. For instance, there’s a social community for the band Linkin Park, the Peace Corps and Classroom 2.0.
Quora connects you to everything you want to know about, and gives you leverage to interact with high influencers in any industry. You can create your own profile, share content and ask questions. Also, the site itself is organized by people and their interests, so you can easily find like-minded individuals. One way you can think of it is as a cache for research: When you see a link to a question page on Quora, you can feel good that it will have information you need.
Ecademy is a membership organization aimed at business professionals.The site boasts an online network, blog and boardrooms for collaboration over the Internet. It’s for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to belong to a community that connects, supports and collaborates with each other to produce new ideas. Those who want to take a more passive approach to networking, however, may find less use for it.
Ziggs is a site that will allow you to create and manage your personal brand. You can also join groups and make contacts on the network. Ziggs is for the Internet user who proactively wants to market himself on the web -- to be discovered by recruiters, to find a better job or just to be found. The platform is also for folks who want to develop or participate in private online communities with colleagues, friends, club members or charity teams.
According to its website, Tweako is a “user-powered community website and social network, specializing in all aspects of computing, technology and the Internet.” Tweako.com is a place to learn and share information and knowledge about computer and technology topics. For those interested in keeping a pulse on cutting-edge technology and IT concepts, Tweako also keeps tabs on startups and company business to see who's hot in the field -- a great resource for those looking to get job leads.
9. Your Personal Blog
While a personal blog will be a networking opportunity on its own, you can use the blog to get your name out there. Post your blog’s URL when you comment on industry articles and share it with people on your networking profiles. You never know -- someone might like what they see on your blog and start up a conversation that could be beneficial to your career or job search. There are many options available for creating a blog, but you can create a free one easily on WordPress.
Tumblr has several advantages over other blogging options for building your brand. If you are a recent graduate or in the younger job-seeking demographic, you'll benefit from Tumblr's youthful user base. Plus, you'll find a breadth of business blogs that are hosted on the platform that can easily be followed, helping you stay knowledgeable about brands you might want to work for. However, while Tumblr will allow you to quickly and easily share your personal brand, the site doesn’t offer as many features or formatting options as other blogging platforms.
11. Brazen Careerist
This site was created for college students and young professionals to “meet new people, find a job and build relevant relationships” to advance their careers. A smart option for those entering the market for the first time, Brazen Careerist also offers a connection to Facebook -- an easy way to see who in your current circle of friends is also using the service.
Communities Categorized by Industry and Interest
If you're interested in a particular industry, you can find a hub in which you can meet like-minded individuals. Here are some examples:
- Academics: Academia.edu
- Activism and Environmentalism: Care2
- Art: deviantArt
- Human Resources: HR.com
- IT/Computers: Talentopoly
- Law: Legal OnRamp
- Music: ReverbNation.com
- Politics/Government: GovLoop
- Science: Epernicus & ResearchGate
- Writing: Writing.com
Do you have a favorite networking website that’s not listed? Share it in the comments below.
Social Media Job Listings
Every week we post a list of social media and web job opportunities. While we publish a huge range of job listings, we've selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!
- Senior Web Developer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
- Social Media Metrics Specialist at Imagination in Chicago
- Product Manager - Local Business Products at Yelp in San Francisco
This story originally published on Mashable here.
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