The Employed Job Search: 6 Mistakes Candidates Make (and How to Avoid Them)

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It’s not unusual for professionals who already have a job to be looking for a new one. But whether you’re applying to your dream company or simply browsing for better options, carrying out a job search while employed takes a certain amount of tact. A misstep could cost you the new job, your current job, or both.

Here are the top six mistakes candidates make when job searching while employed and how to avoid them:

  1. Using company resources to conduct your job search. Many companies track employees’ Internet and company cell phone use, and if your company finds out that you’re searching for a new job, they may not feel inclined to keep you in your current one. Instead, limit your job search to your personal time and equipment.
  2. Slacking off at your current job. Deciding it’s time for a new job makes it all too easy to decide that you’re also finished with the current one – but until you leave on your last day, you’re still on the clock. Making that time count not only protects your job options, it also demonstrates to potential new employers that you’re willing to go the extra mile even when there’s little personal payoff.
  3. Discussing your job search on social media. Using LinkedIn and other social media sites to network is a smart move. But if you broadcast your job search overtly, this smart move can turn sour. Adjust your LinkedIn privacy settings so that your current workplace connections don’t hear about every update you make, especially if you’re overhauling your profile. To connect with members of your network, contact them directly – it’s more personal, and it helps you avoid a public announcement of your intentions.
  4. Discussing your job search at the office. Maintaining a “poker face” is an important quality during an employed job search. Don’t share your job search or your desire to quit with your boss or co-workers. If you’re anticipating a job offer, keep the news to yourself until you have a written offer in hand and you’re ready to give notice.
  5. Changing your normal routine. Just as it’s best not to use company computers to skim job boards, it’s wise to schedule personal days or use flex time to attend interviews. Your boss is likely to notice if you suddenly have three dentist appointments in two weeks – and that you wear your best suit to each of them. Taking personal time also impresses interviewers who may ask about your current job, since it demonstrates that you value the company’s time sufficiently not to use it for personal business.
  6. Not working with a recruiter or telling your recruiter the whole truth. Your recruiter can be your strongest ally in finding a new job while employed. Recruiters know how to keep job searches confidential, and their extensive networks help “alert” them when a job application is likely to filter back to your current boss or workplace. Just remember to be up front with your recruiter about your current employment, as well as what you’re looking for in your new job.

At Burnett’s Staffing, our experienced recruiters can help you find the job you’re looking for – whether or not you’re currently employed. Contact us today to learn more!

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