Top tips from recruiters on how to social-network your way to a new job...
More and more companies are using social networking sites to look for their next recruits, with most big companies - and many smaller ones - having a presence on social networks.
With the amount of recruitment activity on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, if you're in the market for a new job - whether it's your first or 101st - social media is an avenue you can't ignore.
But for those with a low-key attitude to social networking or new to using it for openings, it can seem quite daunting - so don't dive in before reading these top tips from recruitment directors for job hunting on social sites.
Ditch the nickname - and the photo of your cat
When setting up profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook always use a professional-looking, clear photograph of yourself.
When it comes to Twitter in particular, there is a trend for using a pseudonym, but Michelle Flynn, internal recruitment manager at EMC Consulting, advises against pseudonyms if you plan to use Twitter to connect with employers. "For a Twitter account I like the name to be your own and your own photo. There's nothing more frustrating than being at an event and someone you've been talking to on Twitter comes and introduces themselves and you didn't know it was them because the photo wasn't them!"
Be a joiner
Ariel Eckstein, managing director of European hiring solutions at LinkedIn, recommends candidates complete their LinkedIn profile and keep it up to date. The more information you add the more likely you are to appear in search results.
Likewise, join groups on LinkedIn - such as the silicon.com group - that are specific to your industry and skillsets. Again, joining these groups will help companies find you and also expose you to companies you may not know. This approach goes for Facebook too - join groups related to the industry that interests you.
Be a hunter
If there is a particular company you are interested in working for or want to find out more information on, search for it on Twitter and LinkedIn, says EMC's Flynn: "If you have got a target list, look for them on Twitter, see what's going on whether they have a corporate account set up, or people who actually work there who are tweeting about what's going on in that company."
Be active - don't wait for others to make contact
Suzy Style, UK recruitment director at professional services company Accenture, says once you have made your profile something that will represent you well, don't sit back - be proactive. "Make sure you've got an up-to-date profile on your social networking site so recruiters can find you, but also, don't wait for recruiters to find you, get in touch with them directly," she added.
Watch your mouth
Always remember that whatever you post on the internet is in reach of the long tentacles of Google as EMC's Flynn warns: "For people who are looking for work, watch what you put on the internet. Watch what you say, the kind of conversations you're having the kind of language you're using."