Much has been written about the recent LinkedIn security breach and the possible millions of passwords at risk. Hopefully by now, all LinkedIn users have changed their passwords, made them more complex, and made sure that their LinkedIn passwords are not duplicate passwords for other sites.
While I had written a post about LinkedIn in July 2011, I re-read it after the breach and noticed that the social media landscape has changed. Several new players are present, so I have updated the original post. LinkedIn is not the only game in town when it comes to professional social networking sites, and here are the “Top 10” alternatives.
 Pinterest [http://pinterest.com]
Launched since my original post, this site has quickly become the social media darling, and what’s amazing is that this has happened while the site is still in its beta stage – with membership by invitation only. You can use this site to create an online portfolio whereby you can feature links to your work or images of your work on special pages, or boards in Pinterest lingo. You can also create boards based on different areas of expertise.
 Google Plus [http://plus.google.com]
Launched since my original post, this site allows you to separate people into circles. You can create circles for connections in specific industries and then share content specifically with them. You can also create circles for recruiters and share specific content (for example, work samples) with them. And, you can also create circles for industry experts so that you can easily follow their content.
 BranchOut App on Facebook [http://branchout.com]
More prevalent since my original post, BranchOut has grown into the largest professional networking application on Facebook, and it allows users to leverage their Facebook friend networks to find jobs, recruit talent, and strengthen relationships with professional contacts. BranchOut operates the largest job board on Facebook.
 Twylah [http://www.twylah.com]
Redesigned since my original post, this site is a useful tool if you are already a power user of Twitter and if you use hashtags, or in Twitter-speak, key words, on a regular basis. Words or terms including jobsearch, careers, jobtip, careertip, hiringtrends, etc., can connect you with others who strive to improve the hiring process and provide professional networking opportunties.
 Issuu [http://www.issuu.com]
This site provides users with the opportunity to create online portfolios that become interactive and similar to magazines – which is cool when presented in an online format. As the site explains, “It’s our mission to empower individuals, companies, and institutions to publish their documents across all digital platforms.” Also, the site allows for a customized URL.
 Google Maps [http://www.google.com/maps]
Depending on audience and implementation, clever sometimes works. A copywriter used Google Maps and created a visual CV. The site takes visitors on a worldwide journey of his experience. Click here to check it out.
 VisualCV [http://www.visualcv.com]
Combine an old-fashioned resume with George Lucas, and the result might be VisualCV. This free online tool creates resumes with multimedia – audio and video can easily become part of the online resume. Information can be shared publicly or privately – or even to select individuals, the URL can be customized, and work samples can be featured. As the site explains, “Previously, there was nowhere online for professionals to create an Internet-based resume, build and manage an online career portfolio, and securely share professional qualifications with employers, customers, partners, and colleagues. With VisualCV, you can do all of this in the same place.”
 SnapPages [http://www.snappages.com]
Have you ever wanted to create a small website to feature some of your work samples but either didn’t have the time or didn’t want to spend a lot of money? SnapPages may be your answer. There are several choices ranging from a free version to $8 or $30 per month. But, even the free version is a great option if you want to showcase work when job-searching. SnapPages makes it easy to create a site and maintain your content. Click here to check out an example.
 Carbonmade [http://carbonmade.com]
This site is directed toward illustrators, photographers, web and graphic designers and offers a clean canvas so that the user can focus on content. Users can customize the overall look, logo, and domain.
 Follr [http://follr.com]
This site provides a one-stop website that can be customized with a person’s name that can feature links to six social media sites at no charge – and there is also a professional version for which there is a charge. Follr.com features links to social media profiles (called identities), activity stream (of Tweets and blog posts), profile photo, background customization options, overview bio, work and education details, contact email/phone, and connections. Click here to see my Follr social media business card.
While LinkedIn is the go-to site for professional social networking, it’s not the only option.