At some point in your career, you might find yourself wanting a new job despite being gainfully employed. Maybe you dislike your boss, are stuck in a position that has no room for growth, or simply want to work for a company located closer to home.
Regardless of the reason you want to make a switch, it’s important to approach your job hunt carefully.
Seeking out a new job while working full-time requires extra attention and care. You want to get the best job possible, but you also might find that you’re limited when it comes to whom you can talk to about your job hunt.
Follow these three job-hunting tips for full-time employees to make your transition as smooth as possible.
Be Discreet About Your Job Hunt
Before you begin job hunting, you’ll want to decide if you’re going to tell your current boss that you’re on the market. Some people know that sharing their plan to leave the company will make the rest of their time working there very unpleasant.
Another risk of sharing your desire to leave is having your company search for your replacement before you’ve lined up a new position.
If you have a supportive and understanding boss you feel you can talk to about your job hunt, great. Maybe they could even use their resources to help you find new opportunities.
Most people job hunting while employed full-time keep their job hunt private, however. Those who decide to tell their superiors, often still don’t share that they’re hunting for a job with their coworkers because it can create insecurity or even resentment.
Here are things you want to keep in mind when you’re trying to keep a job hunt secret from your current employer:
- Don’t use your company’s internet, computers, or phones to conduct your job search. You never know when your activity is being monitored.
- Similarly, don’t use your work email account to inquire about or apply for jobs.
- Try to schedule any interviews you receive outside of your normal working hours. Taking multiple “sick” days when you are fine can raise suspicions.
- Don’t post on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter that you’re seeking a new job. Even if your profile is private, it’s too risky. Plus, potential employers might view those types of social media posts as unprofessional.
- Avoid telling coworkers and even colleagues at other companies who might spread the word about your desire for a new job. Industries are small, and people talk more than you might expect.
- Don’t list anyone who doesn’t know about your job hunt as a reference. The last thing you want is your employer finding out your future plans through a surprise phone call.
- Don’t post your resume to the internet.
Keep Your Resume & Cover Letter Fresh
If you’re on the job market, you want to make sure your application is always prepared by:
- Keeping your information (job titles, responsibilities) up-to-date
- Using a resume and cover letter format that looks professional
Even if you’re only casually looking for a job, your application should be available at a moment’s notice so you can take advantage of every opportunity.
If you see the perfect job listing or meet someone while networking who’s able to connect you to the ideal position, you want an up-to-date resume and a well-written cover letter on hand. Scrambling to put them together isn’t always easy.
Use LinkedIn to Your Advantage
Although you shouldn’t advertise your job hunt anywhere on social media, you can and should still use LinkedIn. The platform is specifically designed to help you network and locate job opportunities, plus simply keeping your profile updated can help recruiters find you and your relevant professional information.
Here are tips for making LinkedIn work for you as you search for your next position:
- Keep your profile up-to-date. Like your resume, your LinkedIn profile should be well-written and contain your most recent relevant activities and accomplishments.
- Make connections. Consider linking your LinkedIn account to your email contacts and connecting with anyone you know who has an account. Contacts in your own industry should be in the best position to help you, but you never know — sometimes a family member or old friend might be that unforeseen connection that lands you your next job.
- Take advantage of LinkedIn’s recruiter sharing. The minds behind LinkedIn understand that many people prefer to keep their job hunt private, so they’ve created features for this very purpose. Simply fill out any relevant information about the job you want and only recruiters, not your contacts, can see that you’re on the job market.
Although searching for a job while continuing to work full-time can be stressful, know that you’re not the only one. In fact, searching for a job while working is the preferred strategy for many. It can be expensive and anxiety-inducing to search for a job while not working — unsure of when you’ll see your next paycheck.
Starting the job hunt while you’re currently employed might also help you find a new position faster. For instance, research shows that prospective employers are more interested in hiring someone who is currently employed. Employed job-seekers receive responses to job applications four times as often and interview invitations twice as often as unemployed job seekers. Let those statistics boost your confidence as you find your next job.