Blog: The Passive Job Seeker: 5 Tips for Success

The Passive Job Seeker: 5 Tips for Success

If you are currently working in your dream job, and work for a company that has a zero percent chance of downsizing or selling to a competitor –you can officially ignore this article. However, for the rest of us who are open to other job opportunities, let's consider what it means to be an effective 'Passive Job Seeker'.

Before getting started, consider what it means to leave your current employer. Have you really thought about what it will be like to work for someone else? Have you tried to resolve any concerns or problems before moving forward with your new job search? Well... if you are convinced that the 'grass is indeed greener' on the other side, then let's get started.

Recruiters and hiring professionals know that the best time to look for a job is when you are employed. You are certainly more marketable and more appealing to the hiring manager. You have a steady income, more confidence, and a more effective network than if you were unemployed. However, the key is to maintain an active job search without tipping off your current employer that you are looking elsewhere.

1. Update your resume

Your resume is a great place to start because it is your foundational tool in your job search tool box. It ends up being the building block to your LinkedIn profile, prep tool for your upcoming interviews, and your key marketing document to sell why you are the best candidate for the job. You should have it done professionally, and consider having Text, Word, and PDF versions available for use. You should also have the resume tailored to the position you desire, and customize your cover letter to address specific needs of the prospective employer.

Never post your resume on a job board or talk with people at the office about your job search. It is highly possible your superiors will find your resume if posted on the internet, and whether they tell you they found it or not, it will change the dynamic of your office environment. Likewise, even if your best friend works in the office next door, do not speak about looking for a new position. All it takes is one office conversation, and you may be having an uncomfortable meeting with your superior.

If your supervisor discovers your intentions and confronts you, honesty is always the best policy. Calmly discuss your reasons for seeking other employment, acknowledge you are looking for better opportunities and answer any questions. It is possible it may be a wakeup call for your employer, and may help lead the way to resolve problems. Remember that your integrity should always be the core value of your search.

2. Keep an ongoing portfolio of accomplishments

It is important to keep track of your current and past career achievements. As busy as you are, always make time to document these results. Although companies are running lean these days, they will always appreciate the value of employees that produce significant results and contribute to the growth or profitability of their employer. Your current performance is also important because it is the most recent and relevant. In addition, take advantage of any opportunity to brush up on current industry (or job) trends, and education/skills training events.

3. Update or create your LinkedIn account

If you don't have a LinkedIn account, I would strongly suggest you start one immediately. This social network has become one of the leading resources for recruiters, head hunters and hiring managers. Having a complete and specific profile allows people to search for you and your specialties. Make sure to include job titles, keywords, and skills. Be specific about your position, talents and accomplishments. Obviously, don't list that you are seeking a new position. Refer to your resume to help create your Linked Profile; also, consider asking a friend or someone who is an expert, to help you with your LinkedIn account. Special note: always turn off your notification setting prior to working on your LinkedIn account. Go to Privacy and Settings; then go to Profile... then click on the 'turn on/off your activity broadcasts'. This will keep your current employer, or anyone else from knowing that you are updating your Profile etc.

4. Expand your networking circles

You would be surprised how many people are hired because of who they know, and not solely dependent on their skills and experiences. Tell people about what you do, not who you work for; also, highlight successes and challenges that you've overcome. Explain what you love about what you do, and never denigrate your employer. This only reflects poorly on your character.

If you are in a safe group, let them know you are open to new opportunities. Stay in contact with professional contacts and continue to provide them excellent service. Remain top of mind by participating in LinkedIn Groups, community associations, and industry related events. Often, professionals are asked who they know when a company is looking for new employees. Make it easy for them to remember you!

5. Consider using a specialized recruitment firm

The obvious advantage is that companies specializing in finding and hiring employees have inside knowledge and access to unpublished openings, growing corporations and top executives. In addition, they understand the need for confidentiality. Take the time to interview prospective firms carefully, since most agencies work for the hiring company, not the job seeker. The right agency will place your needs at the same level of the prospective employers.

There is always a strong possibility that you can better your work environment, have a more enviable job title, and a better compensation/benefit package. It is not a crime to seek a better opportunity while you are still employed, nor should you feel guilty for doing so. It is important to be honest, ethical, and a good employee while you search... and ALWAYS maintain a level of privacy.

Consider M4 Workforce Solutions as your ally and partner, as you seek the right opportunity. For more information on M4 Workforce Solutions, contact us here.

--Posted by Kelly McCool, Managing Director at M4 Workforce Solutions.

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