Most people are risk-averse and will not quit their current job without having another role queued up. The question, therefore, becomes: How should you conduct a quiet job search without your current employer finding out?
The Fear of Your Employer Catching You is Justified
Fear of getting caught job hunting is valid, especially if you are just testing the waters or aren’t 100% convinced you want to leave your company.
It’s also a real concern according to an August 2018 Career Builder study indicating social media monitoring doesn’t stop once you’ve been hired.
In fact, almost half of those surveyed reported using social networking sites to research current employees – 10% on a daily basis.
4 Points to Consider When Conducting a Quiet Job Search
#1 Check to see if your company has established rules on social media activity. If the answer is no, then chances are no one is actively monitoring. If the answer is yes, be sure your activity is compliant.
#2 Describe your current role on LinkedIn in a way that showcases your company’s services and products as well as your performance. This way you are promoting both yourself and your company in a positive light – a win-win!
#3 Insert keywords strategically in your LinkedIn headline, summary and job titles, and when writing about your company, your role and achievements.
#4 Add more skills! According to LinkedIn, those with 5 or more skills listed are contacted up to 33X more by recruiters and other members and receive up to 17X more profile views.
Also read: LinkedIn Myths, Misnomers, and Mishaps
Do’s and Don’ts of Using LinkedIn to Job Hunt When Employed
Even though some companies monitor social media activities, using social media platforms like LinkedIn to job hunt while employed is possible. The trick is to avoid being obvious while still putting your best foot forward.
- DO make tweaks to your profile little by little – tackling a new section every week until complete.
- DO build up your engagement slowly, starting with once every 2 weeks and building up to daily.
- DO change your settings so that “Sharing Profile Edits” is switched to NO.
- DON’T Add “Open to new opportunities” anywhere on your profile.
- DON’T like or comment on opportunity alerts that may be posted by your connections.
- DON’T speak ill about your company in ANY WAY.
Also read: The New Rules of the Job Search
Scheduling Interviews When You’re Employed
#1 Try coming in early or staying late to make up for the time spent interviewing.
#2 Schedule interviews after work hours if possible. If not, aim for during the lunch hour.
#3 Request half or full personal business days if tips #1 and #2 fail.
#4 Plan for Wardrobe Transformations. If your interview dictates a wardrobe change, scope out a place to change away from colleagues and co-workers.
Be Visible and Active but Proceed with Caution
By increasing your LinkedIn engagement little by little, casting your employer in a favorable light, improving your profile’s keywords, adding skills, being smart with interview scheduling and managing your privacy settings, you can conduct a quiet job search and ensure you don’t inadvertently “Out” your attempts to test the waters.
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