Job hunting, while you’re still employed, is a tricky situation. On one hand, potential employers find you more attractive if you currently have a job. On the other, one false move and you could end up being queried, fired, or at the very least, soil your reputation in the marketplace.
It’s easy to get excited at the prospect of a new job and fresh start, but you should be smart about your job hunting — remember, you still have a responsibility to your current employer. This article gives you tips that will help your job hunting journey.
1. Keep your job hunt on the down low
Some companies’ policy is to let go of people who are actively searching for a new job. So keep your job hunt on a need-to-know basis. Your job search is a personal decision. Even if you trust your colleagues, you can’t control what they share with others. It’s best to be private about your plans so it doesn’t get around to the wrong people.
2. Be Social
Social media can be a job seeker’s best friend, if you know how to leverage it correctly, LinkedIn should be your first stop, but don’t make the mistake of updating your professional profile only when you’re looking for a new role — that’s a dead giveaway.
Ideally, you should be updating LinkedIn constantly but do it in several small steps so that the changes to your profile are never glaring from one day to the next and never, ever use a LinkedIn headline that makes it clear you’re job-hunting. (Currently, unemployed job-seekers can do that, but not you!) Make sure your LinkedIn settings specify that updates to your profile will not generate a message to your connections.
3. Schedule smartly
Most hiring managers understand that you will need to make arrangements to communicate or meet outside of office hours. Schedule interviews for before or after work, or during your lunch break if time allows. Saying that you would prefer to interview before or after your workday, or possibly during your lunch break because you are busy gives your potential employer an impression that you have integrity and is a valued employee.
4. Don’t get negative
Regardless of your situation, bad-mouthing your company or superior isn’t going to get you a new job — it’s a major red flag for hiring managers and recruiters. It’s important for the interview to remain positive and focused on what you bring to the table. You should avoid bashing at all costs even if your boss is the reason for your leaving.
5. Consider being a boomerang
Boomerang employment – where an employee leaves an organization, then returns down the road – is a growing trend. If you left a previous job on good terms, it’s definitely worth getting in touch with former coworkers or your former boss to see whether there are new opportunities available. You won’t need as much time for on-boarding, as you are already familiar with the company’s technology and culture and can often contribute much faster and quicker.
Companies already have ‘intel’ on former employees, so they can look back and say, ‘Oh, this person was wonderful; maybe now they’re more senior, or they have new skills or better experience they can contribute here.’ So why not give it a try? Do not forget to tell every recruiter, interviewer and HR person you deal with during your job search that you are flying under the radar. Tell them multiple times to drive home your point.
All the best in your job search!