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May 17, 2012 / carlispina

Zerply – Build a Resume with this LinkedIn Alternative

Zerply logoLinkedIn is a popular way to connect with professionals online. But, while it has a number of useful features, it can be limiting. For example, only one layout is available and there are only a limited number of ways to find and connect to other users. Zerply is a new service on the scene that aims to offer an alternative professional network that, according to Christofer Karltorp, is “still professional, but more playful and creative.” As such, users can choose from four free themes or three premium themes to find a layout and look that fits their personality. While basic accounts are free, users can also upgrade to their own domain for only $15 per year and additional upgrades will be available in the future. All of the themes are also mobile-optimized so that a profile can also double as a mobile web presence.

Having tried it out, I can say that Zerply definitely has an easy-to-use interface. A Zerply profile can be created in minutes, especially if you already have a LinkedIn profile since Zerply can pull information directly from your LinkedIn profile with the click of a button. Once you have created an account or drawn information from another existing service, you can edit individual job descriptions (a definite necessity if pulling from another account since some descriptions might otherwise be cut off due to the word limit). You can also reorder entries or add new ones. Zerply doesn’t pull skill information from LinkedIn accounts, but you do have the ability to list any skills you may have to make it easier for people to connect with you based on your skills and interests. Unlike some other services, Zerply also lets you include tags to further facilitate finding people who are in related industries or who have related interests. Currently users are limited to a maximum of 5 tags and 5 skills, though personally I am hoping that this might increase over time. Zerply also tracks “endorsements” that users receive, which serve as a proxy for references or recommendations. Users have the ability to link to their accounts on a wide range of other social media services, which makes it easy to lead those who connect with a user’s profile to the user’s profile on other sites. Zerply is very focused on this social aspect of professional networking and therefore makes it easy to share your profile or ask for endorsements on Twitter and Facebook. They also offer a button and a widget to embed on other websites to further facilitate connecting with people and gathering endorsements.

While I think that it may be a while before Zerply has the user base necessary to compete with LinkedIn, I think that it is a promising new offering for those who feel too hemmed in by LinkedIn’s restrictions. The profile themes that are currently available range from more professional to more creative, but they are all attractive and useable and they do offer more flexibility than is offered by LinkedIn. Connecting with people based on interests is easier than on LinkedIn while Zerply also makes it simple to find people you already know on Twitter or Facebook by importing your contacts. Overall, I think that Zerply is well worth a try if you are looking to create a profile that combines professionalism with creativity. Check my profile out if you want to see an example, or create your own with this invite code.


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