Passive Job Seeker: How to Land a New Job Without Really Trying

Photo of a passive job seeker looking at a job site.

It happens to many professionals: You’re slightly dissatisfied with your present job, so you wouldn’t mind seeing what else is out there. But you’d rather not devote time and effort to a full-blown job search. You’re what is called a “passive job seeker.”

You are open to change and keep a finger on the pulse of the employment market. And that low-key attention keeps you in the loop if a dream job opens up, and ensures you don’t have to scramble if your current company restructures or downsizes.

Here are seven smart tips for being a passive job seeker:

1. Stay active on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is today’s virtual resume, and hiring managers actively search the site for possible candidates. To increase the chance of receiving an offer in your inbox, keep your profile active, current and compelling. You can also increase your visibility by adding connections, joining groups, following interesting companies and starting discussions. These are low-effort, high-impact ways to attract the eyes of potential employers on LinkedIn.

2. Drop hints that you’re a passive job seeker

Casually mention to trusted friends and contacts that you wouldn’t mind leaving your present position if the right opportunity came along. The message doesn’t have to be long or involved. For example, at a party with friends or a meetup with former coworkers, just mention that you like your job well enough, but you’re always open to interesting opportunities.

3. Meet new people frequently

Industry events offer good ways to get exposure and professional development. Attend conferences, seminars, workshops and networking events, and mingle with the speakers and attendees afterwards. Many hiring managers show up at these events to promote their company and to scout out passive candidates, so have your business card handy. 

4. Request job notifications

Since you’re probably not scouring job boards every day, let them work for you instead. Sign up with major job-search sites, along with industry-specific hubs. Save your searches and have the sites send you daily or weekly notifications. If a job opening looks interesting, more information is just a click away.

5. Like and follow

Are you an avid user of Facebook and Twitter? Follow firms you’d like to work for. Amid product launches and news updates, organizations often post and tweet job opportunities.

6. Have your resume ready

Don't let your job application materials collect dust. In preparation for that dream job that may come your way, keep your resume and cover letter up to date. If an opening at a company strikes your fancy, you’re fully prepared to quickly tailor your documents, upload your files and click send.

7. Work with a recruiter

For the passive job candidate, a recruiter can be an invaluable resource, because he or she can practically run a search for you. They have access to many opportunities, some of which don’t make it to job boards. And they can notify you right away when an open position fits your career aspirations and salary requirements.

If you’re just a passive job seeker, you don’t have to dedicate a lot of time to a job search to find the ideal position. These tips can help you become more successful and make your next exciting career move — all with minimal effort.

Thinking about looking for a new job? Want to connect with a recruiter? Visit Robert Half's Career Center now!

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Tags: Job Search