Executive Careers Blog

Passive Job Search Strategies

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Once people start feeling better about the market, those currently employed will feel braver about considering job alternatives. 

While the market has not completely recovered, I find more people emboldened about their prospects and planning to look in early 2010. 

If you are one of those employed jobseekers itching to test the market, here are some strategies for a passive job search:

Shore up your job search foundation.  Update your resume.  Complete your LinkedIn profile.  Send a holiday mailing as a fun way to get your contacts organized.  Reach out to references, mentors, and your key stakeholders from past positions to make sure you haven’t lost touch.  Do these basic maintenance chores now while you are not busy actively looking.

Take time for internal reflection.  If a great opportunity came along, would you recognize it?  Do you know what would make you leave?  Do you know what you need in your next role to ensure it keeps you on the career path you desire?  Are you ready for that next professional challenge or just bored (in which case you might want to start a hobby rather than a search)?

Get yourself known.  If a great opportunity opened up, would the hiring company recognize you?  Have you published or presented?  Are you active in social networks?  Are the people who do know you and like you able to describe what you’re good at and what interests you?

If you’re not sure about launching a search but want to test the waters, you need to use these passive job search strategies.  Once you master job search strategies and incorporate them into your regular career management, you won’t need to worry about missing that next big thing.  You will naturally be in touch with the market and able to pounce on opportunities according to your interest and timetable. 

That is the ultimately job security.

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Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career coach, writer, speaker, Gen Y expert and co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com), a career coaching firm comprised of former Fortune 500 recruiters. Formerly in corporate HR and retained search, Caroline most recently headed University Relations for Time Inc and has also recruited for Accenture, Citibank, Disney ABC, and others. Caroline is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Professional Development at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs and posts at CNBC Executive Careers and Vault.com.

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