Dream jobs | How to get a job
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Use social networks to make yourself visible


> Meet and greet 

If you're thinking of changing career, you want to move sector or you haven't a lot of experience, ask major companies or players on your market for an informal 10-20 minute meeting. 

This will give you interview experience, help you find out about the kind of job you're after and get your name out there. 

"Don't approach meetings as job interviews - you're not out to convince the person to give you a job then and there,"  
advises Daniel.

Get as much information as you can, note down contacts and avenues to pursue, and build up your address book. 

> Use social and professional networks

The growth of social networks has led many recruiters to rethink the way they operate. For example, MI6 no longer only recruits from Oxbridge alumni: it now advertises on Facebook! Surf your existing social networks for opportunities, and seek out new social and professional networks. 

"Sign up for 3 or 4 different networks," 
says Daniel. Sites such as www.linkedin.com, www.viadeo.com and www.plaxo.com let you create a detailed profile which can be just as informative as a CV, and many have job search facilities.

Make sure you update your profile regularly, and use your networks to make contacts within your company and your sector. 

> Be careful what information you put online!

One of the dark sides of social networking is that unless you control your privacy settings, potential employers can - and do - access all your information. Oh yes! 

More and more recruiters now use popular social networking sites to do background character checks on candidates. 

If your profile isn't going to impress a potential employer, block access to anyone who isn't in your network or (even safer) friends with you. 

You don't want recruiters to see those 2,539 photos of you on nights out, rude wall posts or 'interests' you omitted from your CV (sleeping, downing pints, dancing like a Pussycat Doll...you omitted them for a reason!).

> Post your CV online

Many recruiters and agencies cruise job sites (try www.monster.co.uk, www.careerbuilder.co.uk, and www.redgoldfish.co.uk), so why not post your CV online?

But remember that recruiters or companies in certain industries use specialist sites rather than general job search engines, so make sure you're looking in the right place first. 

You might also want to make sure your own company can't access your online CV, just to be on the safe side.


Sarah Horrocks
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