In which I wonder if all this social media stuff will ever catch on …

Social media can sound like a world apart to old farts like me. Many of us are struggling to get to grips with where technology was a decade ago let alone where it’s reached today. I was interested to read a blog from @naturalgrump yesterday that said this about using technology:

Which lastly brings me onto the presentation and layout of a CV. I actually have little to say about this except the following. We’re in a digital age. Have you considered making your CV online? Creating your very own CV webpage? Consider this. In an age when digital is integral to daily life, why create a CV? What does it say about you that a blog or a webpage can’t say better? With 18.3 million households having access to the internet (source:, how are you not considering this a way forward?

I have already taken this excellent advice using LinkedIn to do the CV and other stuff. I also have a little website I have started as part of my Operation OASIS. It will be part of my plans if I depart from my current employment without a job.

So I was feeling pretty chipper yesterday morning at maybe being on the front edge of a trend for once. (I was always the kid who was exactly two fashion waves behind everyone else. If a space hopper was the must-have thing, I had a chopper bike.) Then the day got a bit weird.

I caught up with an old colleague in a similar boat to me (via Twitter – obviously) who told me he had just been contacted by a couple of head hunters through LinkedIn. For the avoidance of doubt that’s recruitment head hunters not the other sort. Great news – he’s a brilliant guy – and showed that his disciplined round of refreshing his CV on LinkedIn had worked. He’s really on the front edge of this wave. In fact it was from him I learnt that SEO doesn’t only mean Senior Executive Officer.

After that conversation I was in a pretty good mood. Then, in rapid succession, I was called by two different organisations that had found me through the net. Could I let them have more detail about my knowledge and experience? Let me think about that for a nano-second. The answer would be, ‘yes’.

So today I am taking my stock CV – War and Peace without the cossacks – and creating two bespoke CVs each tailored for the slightly different focus of the organisation concerned. (Yes – I will make sure I don’t email the wrong one!)

I got to yesterday evening in a reflective mood. I wonder if organisations are really helping their soon-to-be-ex-employees get ready for the social media world? There is material in the resources section of this blog but I am sure there’s more good stuff out there. Time to go hunting for it using social media of course.

If you are in the ‘I don’t know anything about all this social media nonsense and don’t think it’s for me’ camp. Have a look at this. When I first saw it, it scared the living daylights out of me. If nothing else it told me that I eschewed social media at my peril.

See what you think. (Copyright restrictions mean you have to follow the link to You Tube – sorry!)


About redundantpublicservant

A redundant UK public servant looking for work, sharing his experiences and providing a space for others to do the same.
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10 Responses to In which I wonder if all this social media stuff will ever catch on …

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention In which I wonder if all this social media stuff will ever catch on … | A redundant public servant's blog --

  2. Sarah says:

    Dear RPS

    I felt an urge to comment on your blog. I am not a public servant, I am not facing redundancy. And I am not even a UK resident any longer. My partner is trying to find a job outside academia for the first time, but with no children to support and minimal commitments other than to each other, even that remote similarity in situations seems trite in comparison.

    But your blog has become essential reading. For inspiration, intelligence, insight and a healthy dose of self-awareness certainly. But more importantly it seems to me, for continuously presenting the human face of public service in a world where speechifying conveniently forgets the service aspect of what you and your colleagues do. For reminding us all that a redundancy is more than a statistic: each instance is a real human story, a tragedy written on the anti-epic scale which nonetheless has deep and unpredictable consequences for families, societies and communities as well as individuals. And for consistently demonstrating that individuals who do it believe in the work they do, have made personal sacrifices for it and remain dedicated to its outcomes. Even if you believe that the very concept of public employment is inherently flawed, dismissing the individuals affected with glib rhetoric and easy stereotypes is just smug, lazy, cruel, ignorant and selfish.

    It’s an essential service that you provide. So keep up the good work. Happy Christmas to the RPS family. And may 2011 see a huge upturn in your fortunes.

    • Dear Sarah,

      Thank you so much for visiting the blog and taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment.

      Let me return your good wishes for you and your loved ones for Christmas and the New Year.

      best wishes


  3. Mean Mr Mustard says:

    I met a former colleague at a rather bittersweet event in which a major public service – which has flown high with great success for 41 years – was formerly closed down yesterday. You may have seen it on the news – those guys went out with a bow and their heads held high.

    Anyway, we exchanged business cards over coffee and a mince pie, and he also strongly recommended LinkedIn. Seems rather corporate as I mentioned before, but now I have someone real to connect to, I’ll stick my toe in. Nothing to lose, eh.

    You didn’t happen to read that utter trash in the Times yesterday about the cushy lives of the massed ranks of incompetent MoD procurement officers? I actually know some of those folks. Perhaps the lowlife hack who dredged up that garbage without checking any actual facts should be invited to try and do the job themselves. But as the work is founded on integrity, attention to detail and modest pay, it’s nothing like the person spec or culture for most so called journalists.

    • Dear Mean Mr Mustard,

      I didn’t see the story but I know that any procurement is vulnerable to the changes of mind at the top that make getting a good deal for the taxpayer that much harder.

      Definitely give LinkedIn a go – Jonathan Flowers makes an excellent point about it in another comment.

      Best wishes


  4. Juts briefly – LinkedIn is not optional for people looking for jobs now, I would say it’s essential. But it does need thought. You only have one LinkedIn profile, so you can’t present differently nuanced messages depending on who is looking at you. At my firm we have found a number of people for permanent or interim roles from LinkedIn alongside our other sources.

    I’d also always recommend potential LinkedIn users have a good think about who they will connect with, whether they will remain true to the principle of only contacting to people who are in their real world network and who they have met, or whether they will attempt to connect to people they’d like to know. My personal take on this is here. but it is just a personal take.

  5. Ben says:

    Yes – my organisation is offering specific courses on social media for those facing redundancy. I agree – it is getting near essential.

    • Dear Ben,

      Thanks for the comment. Does your organisation’s systems allow you to access LinkedIn and other social media sites?

      I’ve heard some folks say that their job hunting has been hampered by policies that restrict access.

      Best wishes


      • Ben says:

        Yes, Facebook was banned for a while – but came back. LinkedIn and Twitter have always been accessible. The organisation has an official LinkedIn group, and a Twitter feed.

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