Finding a job has never been more challenging – with fewer jobs around, the competition is even tougher so jobseekers have to be innovative in selling themselves and their skills to recruiters.

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to embrace ever-changing technology and make it work for you, and using social media is one of the fastest-growing ways to find work.

Today’s businesses are looking beyond the traditional recruitment route to find staff as jobseekers realize they need to do more than simply fire off a covering letter and resume to get noticed.

From Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn to blogging, social media is an opportunity to sell you and your skills to the right recruiter but, just like ensuring your resume is well written and free of spelling errors, you need to put some thought into creating the right profile on social media.

Recent surveys reveal that more recruiters are now using social media sites when doing background checks on potential employees so what you put online could either win you the job of a lifetime or wreck your chances of a dream career.

There are a few simple Dos and Don’ts to follow if you plan to use your social networks to find work.

Do think before posting status updates – if you aren’t prepared to say the same thing in a job interview, don’t post it. Even if your profile is confined only to friends, you have no control over what those in your network might choose to share with a wider audience. Caution is the key.

Don’t put up pictures that show you in a poor light or are inappropriate for a workplace audience. So bin the cute baby snap or the one from the all-night party and choose one that most projects the image of who you want to be. On Facebook, be aware of who is tagging you and in what circumstances.

Do widen your social network, using company Facebook pages and LinkedIn to contact professionals in the firms where you’d like to work. Look for mutual contacts to give you a little more leverage – it’s a truism that most jobs are found through other people, not through adverts.

Do create an online presence via your own website or blog in which you can really sell yourself – the same rules regarding appropriate content do, of course, apply. And if you really want to stand out from the crowd, why not make your own video resume, upload it to a hosting website such as Youtube and link to it via your other social media accounts?

It’s a tough market out there but smart thinking and clever strategies can help you use social media to find the job you want.