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8 Best Linkedln Alternatives for Professional Networking

Rahul is an app enthusiast who loves scouring the web for alternatives to popular apps and websites. Monopoly mustn't prevail!

LinkedIn: A Professional Social Networking Giant

LinkedIn is the largest social networking site for professionals. The company has operations in more than 200 countries and serves millions of people around the world. While free for most functions, the LinkedIn Premium offering is a lot more feature-rich and detailed. Therefore, it promises users the most value out of the LinkedIn ecosystem.

With support for both individual professional accounts as well as those for business organizations, LinkedIn has continually added features, functions, and new capabilities to cement its position as the global leader in business networking.

Being the best online professional network of our time, Linkedin boasts several great social profile tools, such as adding images and other multimedia pieces. The platform maintains an excellent free job board with improved job listings and comprehensive search capabilities. While expensive, the premium plan is also designed to cater to the different needs of varied user groups.

However, LinkedIn sends excessive email notifications by default, while user profiles are rarely detailed enough to identify new users seeking to connect. Also, the inability to message non-connections is also very limiting.

8 Best Alternatives to LinkedIn

With the success of LinkedIn, especially considering the limitations of the free plan, it’s normal that some users want to explore their options and potentially move elsewhere. But are there other professional social networking sites like LinkedIn? Even better, which are the best LinkedIn alternative sites you should consider? We took a look.

  1. Mediabistro
  2. Xing
  3. Atleto
  4. AngelList
  5. Jobcase
  6. Ryze
  7. Meetup
  8. Opportunity

1. Mediabistro

Mediabistro is a high-quality professional network and jobs marketplace for the global media industry. The platform lists numerous job opportunities in various creative gigs, top media house vacancies, and other private client service requirements for which media professionals apply easily.

Mediabistro users can refine their job search by function, specialty, or hierarchy level, among others. The most common job functions on Mediabistro include writing and editing, production, marketing and communications, and creative and design, among others, while top specialities include business development, client services, news, and journalism.

Other popular marketplace searches are based on job seniority level, location, terms and contract type, salary range, and so on. This variety makes Mediabistro a true job portal, unlike the social-first LinkedIn but also draws clear similarities between the two social networks.

There is also a resource section that offers career advice and tips on how to pitch certain magazines. Mediabistro is a must-use job search platform for creatives. It also has a collection of tools and resources designed to help increase your chances of getting hired if you’d like to get access to their career-focused resources.

Mediabistro Pros

  • Has thousands of jobs
  • Numerous jobs across categories
  • Location-based job recommendations.

Mediabistro Cons

  • Expensive plans with no free membership
  • No social connection opportunities like on LinkedIn

2. Xing

Xing ranks as one of the oldest, most popular professional social media networks. The platform promotes inter-personal and organizational business networking, as well as an avenue to meet potential business contacts.

Additionally, Xing users enjoy access to an excellent service that enables them to keep in touch with all their business contacts. Like LinkedIn, Xing also supports a jobs marketplace that empowers employers to find candidates and fill job vacancies easily. It also helps younger professionals land their first big job or move jobs with ease.

To support the jobs marketplace, users can also buy Xing job adverts with as much value as other conventional job posting websites. These ads help employers reach non-job-seeking potential candidates who meet job requirements alongside those actively seeking new positions.

However, the detailed user profiles also let employees evaluate applicants easily, with Xing profiles often more revealing than a standard CV would. Such details are insightful in evaluating candidates’ qualifications and personalities, among others, which in turn becomes handy when shortlisting prospective interviewees.

Xing also promotes personal connections between users. You can see who interacted with your profile or a company’s website, while individual and business insights help users find better ways to engage others on the platform.

Xing Pros

  • Recommends top industry articles every day
  • Access to multiple events for self-development
  • Easy access to foreign jobs

Xing Cons

  • Primary focus on German-speaking markets
  • Limits users’ contact requests
  • Has a small number of users and jobs

3. Atleto

Atleto is the LinkedIn equivalent for sports personalities and fitness enthusiasts. The social network connects people, businesses, and other organizations with a shared interest in working out and general body fitness.

With Atleto, habitual workouts are seeping into modern places of work in the business world and bringing together both clients and colleagues like never before.

Like LinkedIn, Atleto is a professional social network for the global sports industry. It matches users who have similar active sports interests, skill levels, and even locations to establish a strong, healthy, and productive environment within which both individuals and businesses can prosper.

The social network also promotes colleague and employee wellness among its users through planned and spot events. The activities are organized to suit user schedules and have been credited with improving worker moods as well as providing networking opportunities regularly.

Atleto may also be used within an office ecosystem to de-stress workers during recess periods such as lunch breaks. Outside the office, Atleto has made it easy for friends to organize a game, which also improves the quality of one’s social life.

Atleto Pros

  • Free to use
  • Easier social connections
  • Promotes physical activity among friends

Atleto Cons

  • Cannot make gym bookings
  • Clanky user interface
  • Inconsistent availability of venues

4. AngelList

The AngelList jobs marketplace is focused exclusively on startups and, therefore, primarily posts job vacancies at startup companies. While it does not support an engagement-focused community like LinkedIn, AngelList excels at what it does like no other job board. You can also find a fair amount of tech jobs on AngelList, especially where the recruiting company is looking to fundraise or recruit for a senior role.

Thus, AngelList should be the go-to platform for people interested in the startup ecosystem. This social jobs network is designed to serve professionals interested in advancing their careers by joining a startup, with lots of entry and senior positions available to qualifying candidates.

For AngelList users, you get access to thousands of open positions every day, with the option to either apply directly. However, users can also connect with the management team and join later as an investor helping the company raise funds.

By comparison, however, the AngelList job openings are far fewer than LinkedIn's, which boasts millions of job openings posted continuously. Further, AngelList's vacancies are also not as lucrative as those on Monster or LinkedIn, with the world's giant tech companies hiring on these conventional job boards.

AngelList Pros

  • A great solution for startups and small businesses
  • Established track record within investment fraternity
  • New jobs posted continuously

AngelList Cons

  • Very high, prohibitive account fees
  • Poor customer service
  • Messaging function only works intermittently
  • Search features hard to use for new members

5. Jobcase

Jobcase is an online community that helps jobseekers to connect and look for work opportunities together, such as finding jobs or getting specific help. The company uses technology and artificial intelligence to run an interactive jobs marketplace and social platform.

Using advanced machine-learning algorithms, the Jobcase social platform connects people who are overlooked and unlikely to be served by contemporary job websites. Both the marketplace and social platform are free for Jobcase community members.

On the other hand, employers looking to promote vacant positions to Jobcase members must join the paid service. This also allows them access to customized company pages, among other benefits.

With Jobcase, potential candidates get the opportunity to build comprehensive user profiles that showcase their qualifications and work experiences easily. The job marketplace highlights the most important and relevant information for recruiters and increases one’s chances. Further, Jobcase includes all the conventional considerations in a hiring process, including the willingness to relocate, preferred job location, and salary range, among others.

Unlike LinkedIn’s nuanced information categories, Jobcase powers more job-listing websites. As a result, Jobcase community users enjoy access to more employers and a wider selection of job opportunities.

Jobcase Pros

  • Free for community members
  • Served overlooked jobseekers
  • Connects job hunters for shared support
  • Wide selection of available jobs

Jobcase Cons

  • Not as popular as conventional job portals
  • Employers reluctant to pay premium service

6. Ryze

Ryze is a social networking site for business purposes. Like LinkedIn, this social media platform connects individuals and organizations across geographic regions, organizations, and even industries.

The social media network’s only objective is to enable professional introductions that foster business collaborations and advance business organizations.

A key difference between Ryze and LinkedIn is the non-marketing approach of the former. While Ryze does market itself and sells ads to its members, it adopts a social-first approach that means posting social, interactive content is encouraged more than buying ads.

For instance, Ryze members are incentivized to share useful insights that can help other users instead of the incessant self-promotion on LinkedIn. The result is that Ryze creates more involved professional groups from which members get access to or sell their ideas and products.

Such a focused approach also produces higher organic leads for businesses than LinkedIn does. Ryze is also a better option for connecting with fellow professionals, as the contacts one develops are less superficial than on LinkedIn.

However, Ryze is a premium-only social network without a free option, and a user must first commit to it before joining.

Ryze Pros

  • Focused on entrepreneurs
  • Social-first approach
  • Community of engaged users
  • Ryze premium is affordable

Ryze Cons

  • No mobile apps
  • Poor website interface design
  • No option to try before buying

7. Meetup

Meetup is neither a conventional job posting website nor a professional social network like LinkedIn. It does serve both purposes, however, with a different approach that’s not any less effective than LinkedIn’s.

Meetup is essentially the kind of social network every professional and business organization must be on. The platform provides an avenue for individual and group meetup events organized per a user’s location.

As a result, Meetup can help advance your professional goals by connecting you to other professionals within your area. With a focus on in-person group meetups, this popular platform will link you to people in a similar field as you. It will also link you to people who share similar after-work activities as you, with whom you can develop closer contacts and benefit your next job search.

For the most benefit, interested professionals only need to find and join existing groups in their location or even start their own. Beyond regular meetings and after-work events, business-focused Meetup groups have been the origin of startups and investment clubs, thereby opening new avenues to grow oneself.

Meetup Pros

  • Free version for starters
  • Easy to join and use
  • Can be great for local networking and professional engagements
  • Meetup Pro helps build community engagement and brand awareness

Meetup Cons

  • Not a speciality solution for professionals and businesses
  • Tough to find the right group close to your location
  • The most business-centric feature is subscription only.

8. Opportunity

The Opportunity social network focuses more on people working in marketing, sales, and other related disciplines. The platform is best-suited to business people looking for a deeper contact pool with fellow industry professionals, with multiple options available to develop and grow new connections.

For those looking to increase business generation activities, Opportunity’s database of business executives and marketing leaders is an ideal resource. It helps users find thousands of qualified new leads every month and shares them with such individuals matching a defined set of skills, interests, and experience.

This is especially true with the mobile app. Opportunity users on mobile receive text notifications every time there’s a new work opportunity close to them.

The platform also uses its advanced algorithms to do all the hard work for users. These intelligent machine learning programs crunch the numbers in the background to match you up with the best opportunities in employment, sales, networking, and other professional relationships.

Indeed, the Opportunity network matches users with sales leaders, marketing executives, and similarly like-minded professionals. For job-seekers, Opportunity provides access to thousands of vacancies to consider and also employment opportunities for non-looking candidates.

The platform also shares available listings for business partnerships, as well as opportunities to invest in startups and small businesses. The social jobs network is free to join and use for both job seekers and recruiters. What’s more? Opportunity users can also connect their accounts to their LinkedIn accounts. This allows easier access to one’s LinkedIn contacts, which increases the leads available at any time.

Opportunity Pros

  • Easy candidate-job matches using advanced algorithms
  • Integrates with LinkedIn jobs
  • Unrestricted messaging with connections

Opportunity Cons

  • The best features need a subscription
  • The paid plan is very pricey
  • Too much spam on the platform

Do You Know Any Others?

Did I miss out on any other LinkedIn alternatives? Let me know in the comments section.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Rahul Pandey