Five Tips for Success for the Passive Job Seeker

Nancy Anderson
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According to an Accountemps survey from 2013, nearly 80 percent of currently employed professionals are open to receiving job offers, and about half are job hunting at work. Passive job seekers often have an advantage over unemployed candidates, but finding a job without jeopardizing your current position isn't always easy.

1. Amp Up Your Networking Efforts

Building and managing your network is an essential for job hunting whether you're actively or passively seeking employment, but currently employed individuals may need to take extra steps. Take necessary measures so you can keep contacts made through your current position, and focus your networking efforts on creating new contacts and establishing yourself as an expert in your field.

2. Stay Active on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an essential resource for recruiters and hiring managers and a highly-effective job-hunting tool for passive job hunters. Keep your profile up to date with a complete list of job titles, skills and experience, create an engaging profile summary, and participate regularly in relevant groups and discussions. Recommendations from other industry professionals are also a plus. Be sure to turn off the feature that announces updates to your account if you're concerned about your present employer taking notice.

3. Keep Your Intentions Private

More often than not, passive job seekers avoid many effective job-hunting strategies to prevent awkward situations in their current positions. Until you're ready to leave your present place of employment, keep your search tactics passive. Avoid posting your resume online or on job boards, and don't announce your plans on LinkedIn or other social networks. Refrain from telling co-workers about your intentions, and don't share your plans with friends who work nearby.

4. Connect With Prospective Employers

Unless you're interested in working for a direct competitor of your current employer, make an effort to network and interact with representatives from the organizations you prefer. Social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter, are excellent resources, along with networking events, industry-related workshops and other professional functions. Focus on friendly, helpful interaction, but also use these outlets to build your personal brand and establish yourself as a leader in the field.

5. Maintain an Ongoing Career Journal

Don't worry about updating your resume until you're approached by a recruiter or decide to take a more active role in job hunting. Instead, keep an ongoing collection of notes so when the time comes, your resume is easy to update. Write down achievements, new experiences and training courses you attend, as well as figures, facts and other tangible data to support your success. Always keep your career journal updated, even when you have no intention of changing jobs.

Passive job hunting can be challenging, especially when you're not ready to lose your current position. Recruiters and headhunters consistently seek out established, successful individuals and often use the Internet as their primary resource. Instead of investing time and energy in traditional job-hunting strategies, focus on building your network and presenting yourself as an industry leader.

Photo courtesy of Dennis Skley at



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