Social media is the latest craze, but can it help you in your job search? James Alexander finds out:
One thing I've consistently believed during my search for a new job is that it's important to stand out from the crowd writes job-seeking blogger James Alexander.
For instance, it was recently reported on this blog about someone who actually made a nice little exhibition stand and used themselves as an exhibit to attract an employer into taking him on.
I think it's also important to vary the ways in which one looks for a job now.
Whilst the job centre remains the biggest advertiser of new positions, there is a trend now for jobs to not only to be advertised online, but also via social media services such as Twitter.
Many people view Twitter as a banal exercise where people spend their lives telling the world what they had for breakfast and what they are watching on television, but companies are increasingly using it to advertise new roles.
For instance, one recruitment company I recently visited, Hart Recruitment have a twitter feed on which they advertise new roles that come in as they come in.
It would be nice if we lived in a pure meritocracy, but the fact is that we don't.
I've noticed over time that there is truth to the maxim 'it's not what you know, but who you know.'
Social media has allowed me to network with people I might not necessarily have met in normal everyday life and I'm hoping via this network of contacts I might get recommended for a position that I may not have found out about otherwise.
Linkedin also looks to be a very useful site to advertise your skills to employers and other interested people and I'm hoping that by listing my details on there I may be contacted with regards to a new role.
Social media can of course be dangerous to a potential career and it makes sense to note that when using it in a professional capacity one has to be professional in their usage of it.
I've seen disaster stories online where people have lost jobs by slagging off their employer on Facebook only for said employer to read what they have said and I also know someone personally who has had to apologise on their Twitter feed for criticising the company they worked for.
Social media is a projection of yourself onto the virtual world and it's important to potential candidates that they are seen in the best light possible.
I'm still in the early days of using social networking sites properly in order to enhance my job search, but the early signs are good - I have received more phone calls from recruiters in the past week than I have had in the month previously.
Already one or two have turned into fairly hot leads for a new role and I'm hoping my days of blogging about being unemployed may yet be numbered.