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They say that the best time to get a job is when you already have one. For several reasons, this is true. Of course, life doesn’t always work that way and nearly everyone will experience a separation from an employer at some point. What matters is that you are prepared and ready to hit the ground running in your job search. Or, maybe you’ve already been scouting out a few prospects. Hence, “passive job seeking”. This phrase has come to describe those who are still employed, and are generally content, but will entertain the thought of a new offer.

Passive job seeking has reached an entirely new level these days due to LinkedIn and similar sites. In private coaching sessions with clients, I do talk about the role of LinkedIn profiles, though I’ve never believed that every single person must have one in order to have a successful job search. If you needed a reason to join though, it would be for the ability to become a passive job seeker. By making your profile easily accessible to recruiters, LinkedIn essentially allows you to look for a job without really looking for one. It connects you to recruiters who are conducting daily searches for profiles that match the positions they are filling. Whether you are looking for a job or not, your Linkedin profile is the online version of your resume.

LinkedIn is not the only route to take however. As a passive candidate, you can also post your resume on job boards like Monster or CareerBuilder. Recruiters conduct searches on these sites as well and you’ll often get phone calls or emails from recruiters for positions that you didn’t apply for. Not a bad deal at all.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages that passive candidates tend to enjoy.

Passive candidates:

  • Are generally considered more attractive to employers because they are currently working. (Like it or not, the stigma surrounding hiring the unemployed does exist.)
  • Have greater negotiating power in their salary, again because they are currently employed and don't necessarily have to take the offer.
  • Have the luxury of time in their job search and can be more selective.

So, what if you are happy where you’re at? That’s excellent! Keep working hard in your current position but remember that you’re still nobody’s fool. Keep your resume and online profiles in top shape at all times. Why? Because life happens. It never hurt anyone to keep a plan B in their back pocket.
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