How To Conduct a Non-Obvious Job Search

by Brian Skory

Recently, I was looking on a popular resume board for candidates with a particular skill set. One candidate came up as a match, but was anonymously named as "confidential," presumably because he was still with his current employer. Which brought the question to mind: How does one keep a low profile when searching for a new position while presently employed?

My "confidential candidate" may have been trying to fly low under the radar, but given the size of his present company, his particular job description described in his profile, and the fact that his boss is looking at resumes on that very site to fill other open positions, it’s probably safe to say that his posting was less than confidential.

The fact is, for most of us there will come a time when it is simply time to move on, but it may not be the right time to broadcast that fact to bosses or co-workers. As demonstrated above, posting your resume on a job board is not the way to conduct your job search confidentially. So when semi-anonymity truly is important, here are some tips for job searching without being too obvious.

  • User Groups: User groups typically have job announcements, and they are generally targeted to the audience of that particular user group (for example, Java jobs are announced at a Java user group). This is a good opportunity to make a contact with a hiring manager or recruiter. Strike up some casual conversation, and rest assured that they will give you their contact information to have a more private conversation at a later time.
  • Online User Groups: LinkedIn, for example, will certainly have a user group specifically dealing with the area you work in (or want to work in). As well, there will be an accompanying Job Board section that employers and recruiters will post to. When you join that group, you will also be notified of any new job postings.
  • Bar-as-venue MeetUps: Common these days are events being held at bars for bringing together hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective candidates. Hey, who could fault you for being at that bar at the same time as all those hiring managers and recruiters? Check online to see when such events are being held in your area.

As always, we're interested in hearing how your job search is going. Feel free to contact us.
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