Finding a new job while employed

Need a better opportunity? Time to take action.

You may be uncertain whether “far away hills are greener” but you are willing to leave yourself open to better opportunities. There is no better time to do this while you are already in a job. Apart from the obvious financial stability of a current position you can give yourself time to assess the options more rationally as you always have a fall back should you fail to get an interview or pass the final interview stages. Here are a few tips to give your self the best chance of making a successful leap.

1. Get your C.V into shape

Without a relevant, up to date C.V, your job search will probably end up being a fruitless exercise. You are in a competitive space and you must stand out so ensure your C.V focuses on your very best attributes for each role you are applying for. Keep skills defined and results concise where possible (in figures where applicable. i.e I helped increase X by 20% in my time or projects completed, awards etc)

2. Update your LinkedIn page

Your LinkedIn page should be a richer extension of your C.V packed with all the things that make you a great recruit. Include successes, awards, projects completed, articles published, skill’s attained on your career path and anything that makes you jump ahead of the competition. It is always advisable to put a link to your LinkedIn page on your C.V to poing employers to find out more about you. Another great tip is to list all skills and compencies in previous roles as this helps employers find your through LinkedIn search.

3. Start connecting with recruiters

You need to let people know that you are available to talk to employers. Even if the recruiter doesn’t have the ideal job for you on their books at that moment in time, you are on their radar should something suitable come their way in the future. A recruiter can also be a valuable resource of information on role suitability, industries you should be keeping an eye on and other jobs which you might blossom in.

4. Time for some networking

Look for opportunities to network outside of your work circle. You don’t have to broadcast that you are looking to leave your current role if you are worried it might get back to your employer but you can keep your ears tuned in discussion to opportunities and look to organise a cup of coffee with some new contacts in industries or companies where you would love an opportunity to interview. Casting a wide net is a great way to broaden your chances of something perfect dropping on your lap.

Extra Tip 1: Scheduling Interviews

It can by tricky to juggle interviews while still in a job but with a bit of planning you can get your interview scheduled without raising the suspicions of your employer. If you are closely located to the interview (i.e withing taxi distance) the best place to start is to ask for a lunchtime interview and let the employer know why. Most employers would be fully understanding of this situation. Failing this you could ask for a breakfast time interview. If you are looking at a role that might be in a new area, city that is not within a shrotdistance of your employer it might be worth looking at “working from home” if possible and if you really feel that this opportunity cannot be missed it might be worth taking annual leave (half day or full day). Finally there could also be the possibility to do an opening interview over the phone or via skype to start the ball rolling.

Extra Tip 2: References

Your new employer will eventually require references from your previous workplace. There is no need to panic as in most situations the new employer will not look for this straight away. Hold until after your interview before you even consider tackling this with your current employer. Most companies will only request theses references at the final interview or offer stage.

Extra Tip 2: Keeping your current employer out of the loop

You may feel awkward running around with secret plans for a new job but unless you have been expressly asked about your jobhunt by your employers (In which case it might be no harm to be straight and honest) it’s best to keep your plans quiet until you have secured your new job.  There are a few solid reasons for this. You might be leaving yourself in difficulty should the new job fall through. The atmosphere in work could change because of this and it is crucial to avoid this at all costs. Then when you have sealed the deal, get your leaving notice ready to give your employer plenty of time to organise your replacement.