This blog post is written by Mikella, a Guide to Graduate writer, entrepreneur, and anti-social media advocate.
Let’s kick this off with a bang: I can’t stand LinkedIn.
Now don’t get me wrong–there’s a lot the platform has to offer. An ever-expanding network; peer recognition and achievement celebrations; industry news and trending articles. What’s not to love?
My deep disdain for the platform isn’t just because of my overall hatred of social media in general (I’ll save that discussion for another day). But it’s the humble brags, overstatements, and the desperate need to outshine peers you may have not given a thought to otherwise that comes along with it.
From the moment I entered college, friends, professors, and even family members made it seem as though I’d have no chance of landing a job, let alone a career, without having a presence on LinkedIn.
So, a few years back, I sat down (albeit, begrudgingly) and set up a page, which felt an awful lot like a copy/paste of my resume. And then came the flood of notifications from coworkers and past connections. Everyone I’ve ever interacted with seemed to be crawling out of the woodwork to “connect” with me.
Was all of this necessary? Was my connection with Bill from high school really going to jumpstart my career?
I decided for myself that no, it was not. So I closed my laptop and found a few alternatives that deliver the same value of LinkedIn, minus the annoying notification and doom-scrolling. Keep reading as I share three that have been most successful for me.
1/ A Personal Website
Much like resumes, social platforms like LinkedIn have a typical format to follow when it comes to highlighting past roles and accomplishments. Personal websites, on the other hand, offer the ability to customize and show off exactly what you want to.
From a gallery showcasing your best work, to the ability to link to live work out on the web, a personal website doesn’t just look nice. It’s also proven to be the potential boost you may need to impress hiring managers and outshine other job applicants.
To get started on a personal website, sites like Wix and Squarespace offer easy-to-use templates and guides so you can edit and publish in the same day (seriously; I published my own personal website in just a few hours!).
If you like the idea of a website to find future jobs and connections, you may want to check out AngelList.
Coining itself as the “world’s largest startup community,” AngelList allows members to invest in startups, apply to open roles, or connect with co-founders and other industry members. And, even better, once you create an account and upload your resume, you can apply to new roles that match your expertise with just the click of a button!
3 / Live Networking
If you think live networking events sound a bit dated, you’re right. But that’s only because they’ve been rebranded into meetups or happy hours to attract a younger professional audience.
Sites like meetup.com offer a range of local groups and networking opportunities to take advantage of in your area. From industry specific meetups to casual appetizers at a local bar, you’re guaranteed to find something to speak to your passions and interests. And who knows – you may just find your next work bestie!
No matter how you choose to network, the bottom line is that you’re putting yourself out there, and that’s not always easy to do. Keep showing up and building your reputation–you’d be surprised how quickly it can pay off. I know I sure was!