There are so many options available to job seekers when the job hunt begins that it can be pretty scary to anyone just getting back into the swing of things - and hoping to not swing for too long. Is it okay to just post a resume on this board or should I use that board? Should I try and find the hiring person and flood them with calls or trust that the resume screener will relay the message to the hiring manager of just how awesome I am? Do I take a headhunter seriously or take matters into my own hands?
All great questions.
So here is a little something to think about from someone that's been in almost any type of employment/recruitment situation you can imagine... If you are currently looking for employment and just now wondering what social or professional networks or job boards you should use... you've missed the best opportunity to brand yourself and create awareness of just how amazing an employee you are. That's right. The time to market yourself and have your resume out there to be seen and to network with those in your industry (of choice) was while you were employed, not while you have 8hrs a day to burn looking and worrying!
Let's think about that for a second.
If you're not unemployed or miserable in your current job then it stands to reason that you're probably less stressed when approached about potential employment at a new company. You certainly don't have as much on the line or riding on just how impeccable your resume is or how well you schmooze at that social gathering - or at least you don't behave like you do. And that's good, right? After all, how many of us have won BIG on casino nights where we were playing with 'fun money' versus our own? Yeah, 50% of your actions are related to the risk involved. We all bet bigger with other people's money.
While I don't sign on to the mentality that everyone should just quit a job where they're having a rough spell - I do advocate always having an exit strategy. So whether or not you're in (what you think is) that perfect job or just that perfect job for now - it pays to be active in your networking and branding efforts. Oh, but where to start?
LinkedIn (even though I struggle with them on occasion) is a fantastic and easy way to keep your professional networking buzz.. uhm... buzzing. With just a few minutes a week you are able to check your profile, update any information about yourself, and peruse additional contacts of interest or accept networking opportunities. It's geared towards professionals and even has some great new features that let you stay in touch with what's going on within your industry via news feeds and corp updates.
It's basic. It's free. And it continues to prove itself as a valuable resource. While LinkedIn isn't your only option available, it's well established and a solid addition to any networking toolkit.
An option that is a bit more aggressive an approach in getting your passive efforts in motion is pushing that resume out there. Dust it off, update your work history and push it out. Where do you push it? Another good question. With so many options lately even Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement and business coaching firm, worry that "One could spend all day, every day, surfing the 'Net for vacancies..." [CEO John Challenger]
So it's RecruiterGuy's recommendation that when actively being passive you simply throw that resume up on Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, and a niche board of your choice. (check here for a quick listing of top 100 niche boards) I generally suggest these two major boards because it's my opinion that most recruiters hit them when searching for candidates or when initially posting for the majority of jobs out there - and these two boards have done an excellent job of branding themselves (right or wrong) as top players in the job board game.
One thing worthy of remembering is that if you push your resume to job boards, you're pushing your name as well. I'd recommend taking advantage of the 'anonymous' options made available in most boards. This could prevent your current employer from stumbling on your resume and suffering from a stroke or showing up in your office all sweaty and winded while clutching a printed copy in his/her hands.
This isn't an exhaustive list of how to become a more visible passive job seeker, but is certainly a start. Join social networks focused on your field of interest or even just focused on passive job seeking (ex: Talent Network) to get yourself moving. You'd be surprised just how many jobs are filled even before they're ever announced because someone already knew someone (who knew someone?) that would be a great fit.
So update your networking efforts, re-brand that resume, and bet big at the table - heck, it's fun money and while you're not out of pocket but you could win big.