If there’s one piece of job search advice that gets repeated more than any other, it’s this: don’t quit your current job until you’ve found another. In fact, most of us heard that from parents and mentors when we were younger. Unfortunately, though, most of us were never told how to properly manage a job search while we’re presently employed. If you’re job hunting while currently employed, these ten tips can be essential.
How to Look for a Job While Working Full Time
#1 – Keep Your Job Search Separate from Your Job
It is vital to keep your job search separate from your current job. Don’t use company email addresses, phone numbers, or other contact details to facilitate your search. Don’t search for new job listings when you’re at work. And don’t even thing about applying to other jobs while at work. Make sure that no one can ever accuse you of using your employer’s time or resources to find a new job.
#2 – Don’t Broadcast the Search on Social Media
When job hunting while currently employed, it’s important to take care with your social media posts. You can’t expect to maintain discretion if you’re broadcasting your job search on Facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn. So, while you should update your LinkedIn profile before you begin your search, don’t change your status to indicate that you’re presently searching for a job.
#3 – Properly Schedule Your Interviews
Interviewing when you have a job can be a difficult thing to do. Typically, you will need to schedule interviews outside your normal work hours. You can take some off that pressure off by being honest with any potential employer about your needs. Most will respect your desire for discretion, and work to schedule interviews that fit your schedule. The ones that won’t probably aren’t that serious about hiring you anyway.
#4 – Continue to Give Your Current Employer Your Best Effort
When you are job searching while employed, it’s important to remember that your current employer is still paying your salary. In return, you owe the company your best effort each day. Don’t mentally quit your job before you’re prepared to physically leave. It’s not fair to you, your co-workers, or your supervisors.
#5 – Note Your Employment Status on Your Resume
Be sure to note that you’re still employed on your resume. Most companies prefer to hire people who already have jobs. Why? It’s simple: they assume that the best candidates already have employment elsewhere. So, take advantage of that tendency and highlight your current employment status in your resume and cover letter. And be sure to check out our post on How to Write a Resume Summary that Lands the Interview for other great resume advice.
#6 – Be Discreet
Discretion isn’t just about avoiding any mention of your job search. It also includes any of your habits and activities that might suggest that you’re looking for new employment. When you’re job hunting while currently employed, it’s important to be as stealthy as possible. For example, dress the same way you always dress. If your office has a casual dress code environment, don’t start wearing suits – even if you have an interview scheduled during your lunch break. Be smart, and be discreet.
#7 – Be Honest if the Topic Comes Up at Work
Should you tell your employer you are looking for another job if he or she asks? Absolutely. The fact is that you won’t be doing yourself any favors by lying about it. Yes, you should be discreet about job hunting while currently employed, but discretion doesn’t mean that you need to lie. That untruth will eventually be brought to light, and that could ruin any chances of the employer serving as a good reference in the future. Honesty is the best policy.
# 8 – Do Not List Current Co-Workers or Supervisors as References
It is impossible to be discreet if you decided to list your current supervisors or co-workers as references on your resume or job application. This is a common mistake that far too many people make! When job hunting while employed, you will need to rely on references from previous jobs.
#9 – Obtain a Firm Job Offer Before You Quit
It’s easy to get overly excited when you’re job hunting while currently employed. You may even be tempted to resign as soon as another company expresses serious interest. Don’t! Those situations can sometimes be difficult to judge, so restrain those impulses. Instead, wait until you have a firm job offer before you quit your current job.
#10 – Don’t Burn Your Bridges
Be careful to ensure that you continue to do the best job you can do while you’re with your current employer. Maintain good relations with as many of your co-workers and supervisors as possible. Remember, these people may end up being good references on any future resume. In addition, they are part of your network. Don’t burn those bridges!
While it is true that the best time to look for a new job is when you’re currently employed, that process can be a real challenge. It’s critical to know how to deal with the many issues that can arise, to ensure that there are no unwelcome surprises during your job hunt. Fortunately, you can follow these ten tips for job hunting while currently employed and more easily avoid the many pitfalls that might otherwise plague your search.