Some non-English-speaking countries have adopted other professional networks as alternatives to LinkedIn, and in some cases, professionals in some countries use only these networks. If you’re pursuing a career overseas, make sure you sign up for at least one of these networks. All these networks use a freemium model, meaning they allow you to sign up and use basic features for free. Advanced features cost a nominal amount of money.
Viadeo is an up-and-coming networking site in Europe with an Indian version, www.apnacircle.com, and a Chinese version, www.tianji.com. It has 50 million professionals in its network from around the world with fast-growing adoption in Asia. For job seekers looking for work in Europe, China, and India, joining a Viadeo network is a must. One of its major sources of revenue comes from offering professional recruiters selective access to their database.
Similar to LinkedIn, Viadeo offers users the following features:
A clean and simple user interface
Job postings and events
Interest groups called Communities
Finding other professionals with Viadeo’s search feature is easy. You don’t have to be connected to anyone in order to send messages, which opens up a lot of possibilities for reaching out and communicating with new people.
Viadeo is robust enough that any strategy you use in LinkedIn would work here as well. Creating a profile is worth the time just for a chance to use the search feature and see who you may be able to connect with.
XING is a European version of LinkedIn. Over the last several years, XING has acquired social networks in various European countries, including Italy and Turkey. According to the site, XING operates in more than 17 different languages, and its more than 13 million users come from over 200 different countries. Clearly, XING is the network to consider joining if you’re looking for a job in Europe.
Functionally, XING differs from LinkedIn in that e-mailing someone despite your degree of connection is much easier. The user interface is also considerably different than LinkedIn, which alone has won over many fans in the U.S. who are frustrated with LinkedIn’s ever-changing and increasingly confusing interface.
One of the best features is the integration with Google Maps that allows you to see your contacts based on where they live. For job seekers looking to relocate for work, this feature may be really handy.
If you’re on LinkedIn, some of XING’s features may seem familiar to you, including the following:
A list of connections and options to import your address book
Events, jobs, and groups
A long list of applications you can plug in to your account for functions that range from personal productivity, carpooling, team management, and document management
An option to go ad free for premium members
Low-cost premium membership options ($5 to $10 a month)
Because XING is a German company, it really is most useful in Germany. Despite its concerted efforts to expand to other countries, currently, the vast majority of users and its acquisitions are still German.