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Tools for Networking on the Internet
A variety of critical online career networking resources for job-seekers of all ages and experience.
See also, our list of Key Social Networking and Bookmarking Sites for Job-Seekers.
Before considering joining one or more Internet discussion lists, you should read: Online Discussion Group Networking Etiquette Do's and Don'ts.
BranchOut -- an application that allows you to take your Facebook account to a more professional level, allowing job-seekers to leverage your personal and professional contacts to uncover job leads and track down "insider" information on prospective employer. No cost to job-seekers.
Delphi Forums -- With more than 10 million registered members and more than a million new messages posted per week, Dephi is one of the leading networks of member-managed online communities. Delphi's services enable individuals to build, manage and grow their own online communities.
Ecademy.com -- Ecademy's aims "to build the world's largest trusted business network by connecting people to each other - enabling knowledge, contacts and opportunities to be shared for world wide wealth." Ecademy believes networking and a philosophy of "winning by sharing" are key to success. More than 20,000 members from 120 countries learn, network, and develop their careers together. Membership to Ecademy is free.
hi5 -- an online networking site for meeting new people, connecting with friends, and sharing ideas. Has 80+ million registered members in more than 200 nations. Meet new people through mutual friends or interests. Personal profile required. No cost to job-seekers.
Jigsaw -- an online business contact marketplace where marketers, recruiters, and sales people can buy, sell and trade business contact information. The Jigsaw marketplace offers members access to an online database of fresh and accurate corporate contact information and increases efficiency by shortening the time required to find valuable business contacts. Boasts 500 corporations and more than 600,000 members.
LinkedIn -- strives to make your existing network connections more powerful. LinkedIn lets you see the whole network of people you can reach through your trusted friends, and search for the contacts you need to get business done. If your 20 connections each connected with 20 more of their own, you would be able to make contact with more than 150,000 professionals. LinkedIn enables users to make deals, as well as find employees, industry experts, jobs, and contracts by making contact with the right professionals. Your friends introduce you to their friends, and they introduce you to the people you want to contact.
Meetup -- helps people get together with a group of neighbors who share a common interest (46,315 groups and 4.7 million are part of Meetup). The site helps users self-organize global, monthly "Meetup Days" -- local group gatherings on the same day everywhere -- for almost any interest group. Meetups take place in up to 3,600+ cities at local cafes, restaurants, bookstores, and other local establishments.
MyWorkster.com -- specializes in building exclusive, professional College networks. Through these networks, members get connected to exclusive career opportunities. These networks allow members to brand themselves through professional and social content in an effort to advance their career and the careers of those around them. No cost to job-seekers.
NetParty -- According to Forbes, which lists it as a Forbes Best of the Web site, Netparty functions as the entry point for a network of parties held in 17 U.S. cities, aimed at professionals in their 20s and 30s. The events, held at stylish clubs, are designed to combine business networking with social fun.
Networking for Professionals -- an online networking group designed for professionals from numerous occupations, where you can build your business, improve your client base, and/or advance your career. Privacy is controlled by the user. First month of membership is free; each month thereafter is fee-based.
Ryze -- members get a free networking-oriented home page and can send messages to other members. They can also join special networks related to their industry, interests or location. More than 200 organizations host Networks on Ryze to help their members interact with each other and grow their organizations. Ryze has more than 500,000 members in more than 200 countries. Listed as a Forbes Best of the Web site.
Talk City -- One of the best-known chat and community sites on the Web. Offers free starter membership.
Tribe.net -- a service where friends help friends do everything from finding a job to sharing their favorite restaurant. Enables users to connect with people -- family, school friends, co-workers -- as well as join and create "Tribes" around interest areas. Users can get a friend's recommendation for anything from a great restaurant to a gentle dentist.
XING -- committed to powering relationships based on trust for all professional people. Based on the theory that "No two people are more than six degrees apart", XING enables members to grow their trusted network by making their contacts' contacts visible to them. Boasts 6 million members worldwide.
Ziggs -- offers a search platform for professionals for finding people in business online. By providing an index dedicated to up-to-date businesspeople profiles, Ziggs lets you search across more than 2.6 million public profiles from more than 66,000 companies, and find the accurate information on the people you seek. With Ziggs, you can create your own profile.
ZoomInfo.com -- business-information search engine, with profiles on more than 45 million people and 5 million companies. ZoomInfo delivers a single site for quick and easy access to in-depth information on industries, companies, people, products, services and jobs. Job-seekers can post/edit your free profile, which can include your professional career details, bio, education, affiliations, contact information and Web references.
Social Media Management Tools:
If having a LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other accounts is too much for you to manage by yourself, consider using one of these social media management tools:
hootsuite -- a leading social media dashboard that lets you manage your Facebook, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, and other accounts.
RockMelt -- an add-on for your browser, in which you can manage your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Gmail, and other accounts.
For additional help in managing your social media accounts, check out this blog post: Top 10 Social Media Dashboard Tools.
Online Discussion Groups/Boards:
CataList -- the online catalog of groups that operate using LISTSERV software. Browse more than 52,850 public lists on the Internet. A bonus: each list is shown with current number of subscribers.
Google Groups -- enables you to search for discussion groups in your career field by entering a keyword. (Powered by the best search engine on the Web: Google.)
listTool.com -- a free tool that makes the process of subscribing, unsubscribing and sending commands to 878 mailing and discussion lists (in categories such as law, art, music, computers, news, business, humor and more) easy. Search for lists by keyword(s).
Tile.net -- a comprehensive list of Internet-based resources, including discussion and information lists, Usenet groups, and more. Browse by name, description, and domain.
Yahoo Groups -- where you can join or start a group on just about any topic.
Yuku -- offers profiles, image sharing, blogs, and discussion boards all in one place. You can have up to five Yuku profiles.
Employment-Issue Discussion Groups:
Monster's Career Advice Community -- offers a wide variety of interesting forums that enable you to network on topics of interest to job-seekers.
Ask the Headhunter Discussion Boards -- registration required to participate.
School Alumni Networking Groups:
Alumni.NET -- offers links to high schools and colleges located around the U.S. and the world.
Classmates -- really four databases -- high schools, colleges, military, and workplace. Claims to have more than 40 million registered accounts, including 3.5 million paid accounts. Easily locate old friends, coworkers, and more.
MyLife -- Offers access to more than 750 million profiles with advanced search and filtering options, all in one place. Site accesses publicly available information from a variety of places -- proprietary sources, social networks, and the public domain. Fee-based.
schoolFeed -- a classmates extension for Facebook to remember the good times and good friends from high school. Connects your Facebook friends to your alumni network, as well as finding other members of your high school graduating class.
Employer Alumni Networking Groups:
Corporate/Company Alumni Groups -- a very detailed, alphabetized listing from our good friends at JobHunt.org. Reconnect with old friends, former co-workers and colleagues, and former managers or bosses... and even just people who shared the common experience of working for the same company.
These are not venues in themselves but rather providers of tools to facilitate online networking Numerous chat tools exist on the Internet. The best way to find out everything you need to know about chatting and download the software you need for it is to go to CNET.com.
You can also get free downloads of the three most popular instant-messaging applications:
AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) and ICQ
Finally, you can also chat with your Facebook friends directly through the site: Facebook
Finding People on the Internet:
There may be times when you'd like to network -- or just reconnect -- with someone who doesn't fit into the usual categories of former co-worker, classmate, or military buddy. Maybe you'd like to find someone you went to summer camp with or a long-lost cousin. Sites that have been cited among the best people search engines include:
Free/Low-Cost Hosting for Personal/Professional Websites:
A Web page of your own can be a helpful networking tool because it provides a way for prospective contacts to find you. For a search engine that enables you to find Web sites with free Web space hosting, go to FreeWebspace.Net.
For a professional presence, however, a free site may NOT be the way to go. Instead, consider sites that host Web pages inexpensively -- including domain registrar sites, such as GoDaddy.com. Another benefit of buying your own domain name (such as RandallSHansen.com) is that you can also have a professional email address -- with your name!
For low-cost Web providers, go to a site such Cheap Hosting Directory, which provides you with various offers.
Find out more about blogging and access blogging resources at these sites:
Xanga blogging community
Achieve career networking success! Take advantage of all the career networking tools, articles, and resources found in our The Art of Career Networking section of Quintessential Careers.
Maximize your career and job-search knowledge and skills! Take advantage of The Quintessential Careers Content Index, which enables site visitors to locate articles, tutorials, quizzes, and worksheets in 35 career, college, job-search topic areas.