10 best networking sites for tech professionals
Professional networking sites give you access to knowledge and resources while simultaneously building connections in the world of tech.
LinkedIn, perhaps the best-known networking site, is just one of many platforms that can help you grow your career. Exploring different networking sites can expand your employment horizon and unite you with like-minded professionals.
The benefits of involvement on a professional networking site are many, especially if you have the right networking tips in hand.
Here are just a few reasons to give professional networking sites a try:
- Career development opportunities
- Establishes long-lasting professional relationships
- Builds confidence
- You find inspiration
- You can gain knowledge
- Identify new professional paths
- Increase your visibility in the field
- Sharing your ideas with others
- Hones communication skills
10 professional networking sites for connecting with other techies
The professional networking sites below cater to individuals working in tech. Each offers unique benefits that may be exactly what you need to grow your career. They're presented in alphabetical order.
Great fit for: Professionals looking to stay in touch with as many colleagues and connections as possible.
An event networking platform, 100AM provides storage and automatic updates for contact information and unlimited exchanges of digital business cards. The service functions through messages, instant messengers, and social networks, eliminating the need to enter or update contact information.
You can join 100AM through Facebook or LinkedIn. You can maintain a public or private profile, invite others to join, and design a digital business card.
Great fit for: Women who want to succeed together as part of a supportive community.
Designed to unite women through daily conversations and exchanges, Elpha offers advice, job information, and support for women working in technology. Elpha also provides information to women looking to enter the field alongside opportunities to meet new people and make friends.
You can join Elpha through LinkedIn or with your email address. Joining is free. If you don't want to join or don't identify as a woman, you can be an Elpha supporter.
Great fit for: Individuals looking to connect with new people, share knowledge, and find support.
A search on the social networking platform uncovers many Facebook groups dedicated to networking. Professional networking through Facebook allows you to find broad communities alongside niche groups of individuals that cater to your specific interests and needs. You can search for groups using keywords to find what works best for you.
Facebook is free to join. Some Facebook groups may have membership requirements. You can also start a Facebook group if you want to set up a network of your own.
Great fit for: Startups seeking support and individuals looking for investment opportunities.
Designed to unite startups and investors, Gust provides resources to start a company, grow it, and raise capital. Gust has platforms for investors and accelerators. Most content on the site serves entrepreneurs as they seek financial support.
Incorporation and legal tools accompany tips and guidance for applying for investment. Gust also allows for feedback, advice, and recommendations about how to optimize your startup.
To join, you complete a short survey about your company, your goals, and your access to resources.
Great fit for: Like-minded individuals who want to participate in an in-person or virtual event.
Meetup allows you to coordinate with people who share your personal and professional interests to set up group meetings.
You can plan book clubs, craft circles, and writing forums alongside career-based programs and gatherings in cities around the world. Online events bring together participants for seminars, friendly exchanges, and educational presentations.
You can search Meetup by location, topic, date, and time of day. You can also start a new group for a fee.
Great fit for: Students, professionals, and curious individuals looking for advice or conversation about pretty much everything.
An aggregate for social news and discussions, Reddit has a community for just about every topic. It hosts many boards designed for professional networking. These subreddits include r/entrepreneur, r/Startup_Ideas, and r/businessnetworking.
Reddit lets you ask questions and get answers from industry professionals. You can also search Reddit for general interview tips, job resources, and information about companies and locations. Users' identities aren't verified, so be judicious about accepting advice.
There's no fee for establishing a Reddit profile.
Great fit for: Professionals who want to meet individuals with matching interests and goals.
Started in 2015, Shapraims to help professionals at all levels, including job seekers, entrepreneurs, and investors.
Free networking on Shapr allows you to exchange messages with fellow users identified by Shapr's algorithm. You can filter the matches you're looking for based on objective, location, position, interest, and sector of opportunity. After you match you can start messaging, which can lead to in-person or virtual meet-ups.
But be wary — recent reviewers note difficulty finding professionals in their area and report some users are scammers.
Great fit for: Ideal for individuals looking to make connections based on location and interest alike.
The Slack Community program let you find events, start or join a chapter, participate in forums, and access a resource library.
Run by volunteer developers, administrators, and users, Slack Community chapters give you access to information to hone your professional knowledge and skills. You can also exchange creative ideas, share expertise, and collaborate with fellow chapter members.
To join, you need to complete a questionnaire about:
- Your familiarity with Slack
- What you hope to get out of the platform
- How you plan to use it
- Previous experience in meet-up communities
Great fit for: Active Twitter users who want to find jobs and career opportunities while marketing themselves at the same time.
You can network through Twitter in several ways. Following talent recruiters and hiring managers gives you insight into new and exciting job opportunities. You can also put your skills on display to get the attention of potential employers and colleagues.
Respectful and thoughtful engagement can get you noticed. Establishing connections with people you know and want to know broadens your Twitter presence.
Great fit for: Professionals looking to make contacts and find jobs, events, and groups worldwide.
With millions of users worldwide, Xing gives professionals from across industries opportunities to connect. Basic membership is free. You can also purchase a Premium or ProJobs membership for extra perks, such as advanced search, messaging non-contacts, and exclusive job listings.
The platform lets you set up a profile, join discussions, and coordinate events. Additional services include advertising, editorial assistance for cover letters and resumes, and professional coaching. Xing also provides users access to its member directory, job listings, and event calendar.