No matter where you are in your professional career, networking is a vital part of ensuring success. Whether you’re looking for a new job, new employees, or advice, networking is the way to meet new people. Building an online presence and creating a professional look can be incredibly beneficial to your professional career, especially if you’re just starting out in your field.
Obviously LinkedIn is the most obvious on this list. LinkedIn has almost 500 million members, so you know you’ll have the opportunity to connect and follow some of the most influential thought leaders from all over the world. This website allows you to fill in plenty of relevant information on your profile about your job and education history, any publications you’ve appeared in, and various other categories. There are also lots of sites that allow you to connect your LinkedIn, including lots of job search platforms.
While this website was originally started and directed toward young professional women, anyone can join and utilize it. Like LinkedIn, you can provide a variety of information about your professional and educational background, but there’s also more room for creativity and creating a unique look to your profile.
This site isn’t nearly as large as LinkedIn, but it’s definitely useful when it comes to making connections and finding job opportunities. You can search positions by industry and also check out industry-specific content. You can make an account for free and enjoy many of Beyond.com’s benefits, but you can also purchase a monthly premium membership that features a few extra features.
You may have thought Google+ was not longer relevant, but for many industries, this website is their preferred platform. Whether you use Google+ as a social site or for more professional pursuits is up to you, but you can join various communities and contribute to collections on specific topics.
This website is geared toward investors and those looking for investments, but anyone can join and use AngelList. If you have projects you’ve worked on and significant professional experience, AngelList is a great site to utilize.
Facebook may be the last social network you’d expect to see on this list, but it can certainly be useful for networking. There are lots of groups and pages you can follow on Facebook that encourage networking, often for specific industries and niches. Take time to explore the groups and see what fits your professional career and interests. Just remember, if you’re using Facebook for professional reasons, make sure your profile is professional!