Passive Job Searching Tips: How to Position Yourself for Your Next Opportunity

Searching for a job can be stressful, time-consuming, and arduous…when you are actively seeking a job, whether unemployed, or in an employment situation that you need to get out of.

If you are happy in your current job, it may not cross your mind to continue some of that search. However, engaging in passive job searching positions you for your next step and that great prospect that you may not have known about or considered otherwise. It keeps you and your job search tools fresh and ready in the event your employment status takes a turn (such as from management changes, market crashes, reorganizations, etc.).

Passive job seekers are open to new opportunities even when they are not actively searching for a job. Using tools like social media, networking, and periodic checks on job market activities, passive job seekers put themselves in front of potential future employers to consider new positions.

Here are some ways to get started on your passive search:

  1. Stay fresh: Keep your resume and some cover letter templates up to date and always look for ways to improve them. Consider revisiting your resume at least twice a year, which could align with your employee reviews, to take out what seems old or mundane and add in your newest accomplishments. Looks closely at the wording to see if your role on a project has grown or changed in a way that should be promoted. Visit other career sites and blogs for any nuanced trends in resume styles and advice. If your dream job unexpectedly presents itself with little time, you won’t miss the chance to put your best self forward. Interviewing is also hard for many especially as time passes. Answer some practice questions periodically and consider doing informational interviews—this not only gets you known and teaches you about a career, it also provides practice in presenting yourself to someone you revere.
  2. Know what’s out there: Perhaps in your last job search you collected some names of companies that caught your eye. Keep a list of companies to check back to every few weeks to search their openings and, when relevant, stay up to date on company events with networking opportunities. Post your resume on sites that share candidates with companies and managers and keep any online job search menus up to date and checked for accuracy and typos. For companies you admire most, consider setting up an informal meeting or sending a note making it clear that you are not asking for a job right now but exploring your career field and future directions.
  3. Personal networking: Keep in touch with your former colleagues, friends, classmates with careers somewhat linked to yours. Your interactions with them may range from close informal friends to formal acquaintances that you reach out to periodically to check in about your work situations. These are the people who may introduce you to your next boss, make you aware of new positions, or give the reference that makes you stand out. Make sure to invest in helping them as well and the relationships will last longer with mutual growth.
  4. Social networking: Expand your reach further online through social networking. Keep up with LinkedIn by keeping a fresh profile, connecting with like-minded professionals, and following different companies and job boards. Don’t stop there. Facebook and Twitter are also a trove of opportunities for networking, all for free and on your own time.

So with light ongoing effort, you can help make your future searches smooth, prevent employment gaps if current situations change, and open the door to opportunities previously unknown. Making these all part of your routine will keep things from falling behind, piling up, and becoming overwhelming later and will also keep you from disappearing into the crowds and missing out on your next best move.