On the Hunt: The Do’s and Dont’s of Job Hunting
There is a common saying, ‘It’s easier to find a job while in a job, then to find one while out of work’. This may be the case: but there re caveats to observe...
3 September 2008
The saying quoted above refers to the state of mind of those who are job-seeking and those who are not. When you are working, there is no desperation involved in the job-hunting process, we tend to go only for positions of real interest. When job-seeking, there is a desperation to get back in employment and a readiness to go for every job available.
Whatever way you look at it, whether you’ve outgrown your current role, seek increased compensation or need a change of scene, when you’re ready to explore new employment options there is a big dilemma; how should you go about tracking down opportunities and meeting with employers without jeopardizing your current position? Following are some do’s and don’ts for conducting a job search while already employed:
DO get organised. Set aside blocks of time that you can devote to your employment search. In addition to focusing on your job hunt at night and on weekends, you can use your lunch break to look through the employment advertisements or look on job boards. This also is a good time to return prospective employers’ phone calls on your mobile phone.
DO be discreet. If you want to keep your search a secret, don’t talk about it. If you tell your colleagues, you can be sure that before long it will get back to your boss, one way or another.
DO be careful where you post your curriculum vitae. If you don’t want your current company to accidentally find your CV when searching for new recruits themselves, post on a job site where you can keep your employer and contact information confidential.
DO pay attention to how you dress. If your normal work attire consists of slacks and a shirt, showing up to the office in a business suit is likely to arouse suspicion. Avoid the attention by bringing a change of clothes.
DO register with a recruitment company. Consider partnering with a recruiter, who can work discreetly on your behalf to distribute your CV and uncover job opportunities. These professionals also can offer guidance on enhancing your CV, improving your interview skills and increasing your chances of landing a new position.
DON’T overlook opportunities within your own company. Just because you want to change job, doesn’t mean you want to change company, and nowadays companies make a real effort to employ from within. Furthermore, many employers looking to fill vacancies give preference to internal candidates and make an effort to encourage these individuals to apply for other positions within the company.
DON’T search on your employer’s time. You’re being paid to work for the company, so you shouldn’t be surfing the web for jobs during business hours. Any activity related to your job search, including scheduling interviews, should be completed on your own time.
DON’T use company resources. No matter how convenient it may be, don’t use office stationery, stamps, fax machines or copiers. It’s not only an inappropriate and unethical use of company resources but also an easy way for colleagues to find out that you’re looking from evidence you accidentally leave behind. Along the same lines, avoid using office computers and phone systems to apply for jobs. Many employers monitor internet usage and review phone call logs, making it easy for them to learn of your job hunt.
DON’T make up excuses when meeting with prospective employers. Most recruiting managers will understand that accommodations may have to be made for you to attend an employment interview. Try to schedule meetings for either the beginning or the end of the day, or during your lunch hour. If a prospective employer can’t interview you during those times, take a day off.
DON’T forget to network. More jobs are obtained through word of mouth than any other method, so take every opportunity to expand your circle of contacts. In addition to getting involved in professional associations and other networking groups, focus on meeting people while doing everyday activities. Try striking up conversations with those around you. These discussions can help you gain job leads or other valuable contacts.
If you want to find a new job, stick to your game plan, be persistent and, perhaps most importantly, be respectful of your current employer. Though you may be tempted to conduct a quick search between projects or work on your CV on the job, think twice before doing so. You don’t want to do anything that could jeopardize your current position and future references.
Barry Whelan is managing director of Excel Recruitment Ltd