Job Search

How to be an Active (but Not Desperate) Job Search Candidate

desperate job seeker

A June 2015 Indeed.com study summarized in the Wall Street Journal challenges the recruiting mindset that passive candidates, those lured by recruiters, make better hires than active candidates networking and applying for roles.

The study found 90% of individuals took active steps to look for a job in the six months before they were hired, compared to only 10% who received a job offer without lifting a finger. The study also indicated that active candidates were more motivated to succeed, were less expense and faster to onboard than their passive counterparts.

While it’s not likely the recruiting practice of surgically tracking down passive candidates for hard-to-fill jobs is likely to disappear in the short term, the study does reinforce it is beneficial to search actively for a job if you want one. Here’s how:

  1. KEEP AN EYE ON JOB POSTINGS

Check in weekly on job postings. While you might not secure an executive role just through applying online, job boards are vital in that they give you a sense of companies looking to hire and/or expand their workforces.

Use job boards as a springboard to a targeted approach of network building and expansion by conducting online sleuthing to uncover who you know (and who you know who knows others!) at these companies.

The rise of smartphones, job-alerts, and matchmaking services to connect candidates with companies interested makes monitoring listings easier than ever.

  1. KEEP YOUR RESUME PRIMED AND READY

Always have your resume ready to roll. DIY resume-writing can be cumbersome and challenging, and professional resume writers often have waiting lists and take as long as five to seven days to turn documents around. Others charge extra for quick turnarounds.

  1. KEEP UP APPEARANCES ON LINKEDIN

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is current and 100% complete – from a searchable headline and full headshot to a completed summary, skills and job experience section. Recruiters are much more apt to find you if your profile is complete.

  1. REMAIN ACTIVE ON LINKEDIN

A stagnant account appears lower in the feeds of connections than does an account of someone active on LinkedIn. Furthermore, studies show recruiters are more likely to reach out to an active candidate than one who is passive.

Activity can and should include everything from continuously searching for quality connections to sharing and liking to commenting on articles and perhaps even publishing your own on LinkedIn Pulse.

  1. PREPARE YOUR ELEVATOR SPEECH

Prepare your elevator speech for that unexpected (but much anticipated!) call that answers the question “why you?” Make sure you can succinctly speak to how and why you are the perfect fit for the role.

Be ready to communicate this speech both verbally (in person, Skype and on the phone) and in writing via emails, cover e-notes and thank you letters.

  1. KNOW YOUR BOTTOM LINE

Many are willing to entertain an ideal role. Having a sense for what an ideal role means to you will help you secure that next job more quickly.

Calculate what kind of money and terms it would take to make you move roles and possibly even locations. That way when the salary discussion rears its head you have a bottom line in mind.

About the Author

Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW is the founder of Virginia Franco Resumes which offers customized executive resume and LinkedIn profile writing services for the 21st century job seeker.