Finding a new job while you’re juggling a current one can be tricky, though not impossible. Job seekers are clearly more marketable while employed, though they must be aware of the risks associated with the search. What follows are tips for minimizing those risks.
1. Keep your job search a secret.
Some companies will not hesitate to terminate employees known to be actively searching for a new job. So, keep your job search under wraps unless you prefer termination so you can collect unemployment while searching for a new job. Otherwise, maintain a semblance of normalcy. Even small changes like your wardrobe could give away the fact that you’re looking. For instance, if you normally wear khakis and a polo to work but one day show up in a suit and tie, it might raise a brow or two. Try to schedule interviews before or after work, and if you must change clothes before the interview, do not change at your office.
2. Don’t use company resources when searching.
This one probably goes without saying, but it’s an important point to drive home. It’s neither ethical nor prudent to use company assets to conduct your search. When on the job, your work should be the primary focus. Seeming distracted or underperforming could cost you.
Recruiters will understand your constraints. Set up meetings and calls during off-hours or lunch. Always use a personal email and phone number to correspond and conduct your search. Be mindful of who can hear your conversations, even if you’re in a break room.
3. Leverage social media.
LinkedIn should be your go-to resource, but don’t make the mistake of updating your profile only when you’re looking for a new job. That will raise suspicions. You should be systemically enhancing your LinkedIn profile on an ongoing basis even if you plan to retire from your current job. Remember, life is what happens while you’re making other plans.
You should also avoid making public comments about your job search on other social media platforms…Duh! Many organizations keep tabs on employees’ online presence. If you are employed and looking for a job, only communicate that to known and trusted parties in a private fashion…period.
4. Use your network.
Your friends, family and former colleagues might have job leads for you. Some of the best ones can be found via networking. The old adage, “it’s all about who you know”, is never more true then when job seeking. You can schedule early morning breakfasts or even Zoom calls after work. Avoid massively sending your resume to everyone you know. It rarely works and risks having your resume fall into the wrong hands.
Research networking events, conferences and professional presentations relevant to your career interests. Avoid career fairs while still employed. If your current employer offers professional development opportunities that would put you in contact with prospective new employers, take full advantage of them.
5. Don’t be careless with your resume.
Don’t just send your resume out blindly and trust anyone who requests access. You never know when it could prove to be a trap. And of course, unless you want the world to know you’re looking, do not post your resume on public job boards.
6. Don’t disparage your current employer.
Even if you’re miserable and the culture is toxic, there’s no good reason to trash your current employer. Bad-mouthing your company or management isn’t going to get you a new job — instead, much to the contrary. You will be better served to remain positive and focused on what you can offer a new employer versus what your current one could not offer you. Focus less on your current situation and more on your overall accomplishments and how they can make you the ideal candidate.
7. Make your references work for you.
Professional references can help you land the job, especially if you have the right people in your corner. Have at least three solid references from different employers; only use someone from your current place of employment if you can trust them to keep it private. References are a courtesy and should be given upon request only. Recipients should know and respect the confidentiality of your job search.
Employed job seekers are playing the job search game from a position of strength. Employers are aware of this and know it gives you strength at the negotiating table. It is nearly impossible to land a job with some employers if you are currently unemployed. This is particularly true with “employers of choice” who can afford to be very finicky about whom they hire.
Given the current “War on Talent” within the IT industry, consider connecting with a seasoned staffing firm that can help shorter your path to a great new job. A firm that not only knows the industry, but also takes the time to truly know the people who make IT happen. A firm like Ambassador Solutions. For more information, call 317-571-6838 and press 2 for recruiting or go to AmbassadorSolutions.com.