How to Look for a Job While Still Employed
Looking for a job can already feel like a full time job in and of itself. Add actually working a full time job to that, and you can feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to excel at both. But there are some tips and tricks you can use to effectively manage your time and look for a job while still employed.
How to look for a job while still employed
The recruitment process moves quickly- even if you don’t
What that means is that often times a hiring manager or recruiter will be asking to speak with you multiple times a day and during work hours- because those are the hours they are working as well. So for job seekers looking for new opportunities that are still employed, this can present a challenge. Not only does it require the hiring manager or recruiter to be flexible and work around your hours, it also requires the same in reverse.
At times, flexibility will be needed from both sides. Just as a hiring manager will need to be able to work around your lunch hour or breaks, you will also need to be able to work around your schedule as well. This could mean asking for time off to complete your interview, stepping out of the office, or taking a longer lunch at an odd hour in order to do these things.
Your loyalty to your current job is important, but you can’t always push things to happen outside of normal working hours, as this is often when the people in charge of the hiring process are working as well. And if there are candidates that don’t require such severe bending over backwards in order to make it work, often companies will pursue these candidates more aggressively. Be prepared to make compromises and be flexible in order to make your application more desirable.
Stay committed to your current position
Even though you are trying to leave your current job, don’t let your work effort suffer because you are looking to move forward. While being aware that you can’t completely restrict the hiring process to happen only outside of your working hours, you may need to have a conversation with your supervisor about your situation. Explain that you will need time and are still committed to giving 110% of your effort to your current employer and position, but that you’ve got your eye setting on moving forward with your career. Do not leave any room for doubt about your commitment to your current role. Regardless of your reasons for seeking new employment, you must still show that you respect your current employer. It does not bode well for a hiring manager to find out that the minute you are looking for a new role you give up on your current role.
Update your professional network!
Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and complete. Include your contact information, and anything else you want a hiring manager or recruiter to know. Upload an updated CV on your LinkedIn, and make sure you have all the necessary documents for a job search edited and ready to go. Seek out and connect with recruiters or hiring managers in your field. Find someone who is actively working in your field and looking for people with similar qualifications as yourself. Discovering an ally who can help you get a job will make it much easier and less time consuming in your job hunt. Leaning on professional connections can also make your job hunt more fruitful- sometimes a personal recommendation from someone already working in the company can mean more than years of experience declared on a CV.
Be clear about the position you want
Since you are currently employed, don’t waste your time with opportunities that do not tick the majority of the boxes on your wish list. You can afford to be picky. So be clear and explicit about what you are looking for- whether to you recruiter or in your cover letter or application profile.
Set up your voicemail
Make it easier for people to reach you by ensuring that your voicemail is set up and that you are checking your messages. It is very surprising the amount of people who do not have a voicemail set up on their phone. Always err on the side of ease- if a hiring manager has to hike up a mountain and travel through the shire just to reach you to find out that you’re looking for a different kind of role, you’re wasting everyone’s time and potentially burning a bridge with a recruiter who might have been able to connect you with a role more suited to your expectations.
Check your email and return your messages
Make sure you’re getting back to hiring managers and recruiters in a timely manner. Also regularly check to make sure that you haven’t missed any important messages by checking the spam folder in your email. No matter the method of contact, the hiring process moves quickly, and will not wait for you. Be realistic about the amount of time you can set aside for the job hunting process, and also for the time you set aside to be in contact with those involved in the process. Hiring managers and recruiters will not spend the better part of their day courting you- there is effort on both sides, and as such that needs to be respected by both parties. Being timely in returning calls or emails is a courtesy to all involved.
And lastly, connect with recruiters!
By using a recruiter to do most of the legwork of job hunting, you save yourself headaches and wasted time of filling out application after application. Instead, a recruiter will do all the background work that allows you the freedom to worry about interviews and availability, rather than directly applying to positions and spending hours looking for roles that fit your profile. Instead, recruiters can help you apply for multiple positions at once and skip all the tediousness of online job applications.