Seventy-three per cent of workers polled in a Robert Half survey said they would feel comfortable searching for a new job while they're still employed. If you're one of them, you need to tread carefully: You don't want to lose your current job until you've securely landed a new one. If you're feeling like a change is in store for you, the following job search tips can help you find your next gig and leave your current one on a good note.
Check internal openings first
If your dissatisfaction is more with your current position than with your work environment in general, investigate openings in your company before looking elsewhere. When it comes to filling vacancies, many employers prefer internal candidates.
Mind your social media
LinkedIn is one of the first places hiring managers are going to visit, so be ready for them. Make sure your profile is complete and current. Include a professional profile photo and, if relevant, post samples of your work or links to an online portfolio. Make it sparkle and don't be afraid to sell yourself; remember, the profile will be the first impression you make on many hiring managers.
While you're at it, clean up your other social media accounts. Twitter feeds can be made private, but Facebook has removed its "unsearchable" option, so keep the content on your wall professional.
One of the most overlooked job search tips: A flurry of updating is likely to alert your connections, including coworkers and employers, about your intentions. Disable notifications on all of your social media accounts so you don't draw unwanted attention to your job search.
Fly below the radar
One of the most important job search tips is to remain discreet. Needless to say, if your employer finds out, it could threaten your job security.
Refrain from searching online for jobs, submitting resumes, emailing prospective employers or calling hiring managers from your desk at work. Even if you think your office is private, your online activity may be monitored, and you never know who might walk in and overhear you.
Don't use office equipment to scan, copy or fax resumes, as many devices save files to internal servers that can be monitored. Beyond that, it's simply not ethical to use your current employer's resources and time to job hunt. So keep your search out of the office.
Try to schedule job interviews around your working hours. For instance, suggest a breakfast or lunch meeting, or see if the hiring manager is available to meet in the evening. If that's not possible, use a personal day or two for your interviews. Be conscious of your attire. If you show up at your casual office in a business suit, you'll be sure to attract attention.
Explain to prospective employers that your current employer doesn't know about your job hunt so the hiring manager doesn't contact your supervisor or coworkers and spill the beans. Also, be careful about listing current coworkers as references – you never know whom they may tell.
Respect your current employer
Even if you're unhappy with your current job, remember that you're still getting a paycheque, and if you want that cheque to continue, you need to stay positive and focused on your tasks. In other words, don't let your work suffer because the excitement of the hunt has distracted you.
When you do find a new job, you want to leave on good terms, with your manager and coworkers feeling positive about your contributions to the office. You never know when you might run into them again.