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Networking for Job Search

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Everyone loves their job and never wants to change, right? Wrong! Sometimes, a person lands a dream role and settles in for the long term. However, what often happens is that you take a position as a stopgap and stay there longer than imagined. When this happens, you desperately need to find a new job to kick-start your career but can’t let your current employer find out. Not only is it a fireable offense but it burns bridges you may need to cross in the future. So, what are the next steps for an employed person who has to get out?

Enhance Your Skills

It isn’t uncommon to work in an industry that you don’t like. Sadly, people who want to make a change need to stand out from the crowd. Therefore, transitioning into a new sector is never easy unless you have the qualifications or the experience. Of course, obtaining either is almost impossible when you are employed, but it isn’t unrealistic. The key is an online course to learn new skills or improve existing skills. With new or enhanced skills, the odds of securing a new position increase greatly. Plus, there is no reason for your employer to find out because you don’t need time off work.

Your Email Address

The first thing you want to do is create an email address just for your job search. There are several reasons for this. First, many people use some form of their name in their email addresses. This, of course, is a dead giveaway. Second, if your email account is anything like mine, a job search-related email might get lost in the shuffle. Keeping a job search-specific email address should keep it uncluttered and will allow you to focus. ==>> Top Free Email Services

Keep Work and Job Search Separate

Similar to the tip above, don’t use your work email account (duh), and don’t list your work telephone number on emails, resumes, or any other job search-related place. Also, don’t make job search-related calls from work. Take a walk outside (but be discrete and know who is around you) or use a conference room (but use your cell phone). Similarly, don’t discuss your job search with anyone at work (even your most trusted friends). You never know who to trust and things like this have a way of getting out.

Use Confidential Resumes

A confidential resume is generally used for a job search site that allows you to post your resume and allow others to review your resume. So, as an example, if your current employer used a website where you post your resume, your resume might come up in a search. Now, even if you leave out your name if you list your current employer someone may still figure out who you are even without your name. There are two options. You can just describe your company (like “mid-sized financial institution”) or you can choose job search sites that allow you to block specific employers. While this is not 100 percent foolproof, it does help.

Know Who is Getting Your Resume

Somewhat related to the topic above, when you are employed and looking for a job, you need to control who gets your resume. So, as an example, if you use recruiters you should tell them that they cannot send your resume without your permission. While services that submit your resume to a massive number of sites in one submission may work for some, it is not something I would recommend if you are looking to keep your job search a secret.

Don’t advertise your job on LinkedIn. You can still use LinkedIn, keep your profile up to date and you are all set. Don’t respond to any “blind” ads where you don’t know the name of the company (you may be sending a resume to your own company). Also, don’t flood the Internet with your resume. Be careful about the job search sites you use.

Don’t Tell Anyone

Office politics is a brutal game, but there are people you can trust, or so you think. The truth is that word gets around even if your trusted confidant doesn’t mean to let slip. And, some people are snakes in the grass who look to use any information to further their careers. The best option is to keep silent and not tell anyone until there is a concrete offer on the table. At that point, you will have to reveal the truth anyway so the bombshell isn’t as big. Be sure to have the first word or else it will leave a bad taste in the mouth.

Be Social Media Savvy

The chances are high that your colleagues and bosses follow you on social media. Now, this is a tricky balancing act because you need to spruce up your profiles without alerting them to your motives. For example, adding new connections on LinkedIn is a no-no as it’s a sure-fire sign you are expanding your base. However, updating your information so that your profile is complete is pretty benign. Don’t be fooled though because it makes a massive difference to potential employers. After all, how can you be the whole package when your LinkedIn page is not complete?

Don’t Be Dismissive

Employers can react differently, and some will resort to childish games. There is a temptation to lower yourself to their level and throw dirt, but it’s a bad move. To begin with, exacerbating the situation will only make them more likely to slander your name. Secondly, you never know when your contacts at the previous office may come in handy. Thirdly, it gives them an excuse to be petty. For example, if they refuse to pay out your vacation money, don’t miss work. If you do, they will have legitimate grounds should the case go to court.

It feels sneaky, yet it’s the only way to get your career back on track.

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