Recent statistics* suggest that “passive” candidates – those not actively seeking new employment – make up 84% of the potential workforce. With more employers tapping off this source than ever, how can you make sure you stand out from the other 83%?
Like falling in love, finding a job can often happen when you’re least looking for it. With social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook blurring the lines between the personal and the professional, it’s becoming increasingly easier for recruiters to track down potential candidates outside of traditional application processes.
If you want to keep your career options open, then, building a strong passive profile is a great way to put yourself on the recruiting map and pre-empt the next stage in your career. Convinced? Here’s a few ideas for how to do so:
Ways to build a stronger passive profile:
Social networks: Nine out of ten employers use social networks as a recruitment tool, according to Jobvite. In practice, this can mean only one thing – if you’re looking to attract recruiters’ attention as a passive candidate, you’ll need to spruce up your social footprint. The survey goes on to report that 73% of all social hires come from LinkedIn, 20% from Facebook and 7% from Twitter, making it clear where you need to focus your efforts to make yourself known to recruiters.
Online CV databases: As well as coming in handy when you’re actively looking for work, uploading your CV to online job boards is a great opportunity for you to get a detailed professional profile out on the web.
Databases: Applied for a job in recent years, but didn’t get it? There may be a silver lining to that cloud. For the sake of a quick email, it’s worth sending a letter to your ex-future-employers thanking them for your time and asking them to keep your details on file for future positions that may become available. If you lacked a specific skill for one post, but were otherwise considered a suitable candidate, you might find that you’re considered for a different post within the company at a future date and hear back from them when you least expect it.
Blogs: What better way to establish yourself as an industry professional than your own blog, where you can showcase all your bright ideas and top achievements? Although it might be time-consuming, a blog can be a valuable lifelong professional tool and is well worth considering investing your time in.
Put it on the grapevine: Don’t forget the power of your non-virtual networks when raising your passive profile. Giving friends and family the impression that you’re open to new careers suggestions can bring up interesting results, especially if they have a clear idea of what your current skills set is and what type of opportunities you’d be interested in.
Events: Attend events related to your career… and stick behind for the “networking” sections at the end. Yes, it might be possible that you get stuck talking to the industry bore at the end, but it’ll be worth it if they remember your name next time their company’s hiring.
Unless you’re very fortunate, being a “passive” candidate takes more work than the name suggests. With a bit of luck, you should be rewarded with some interesting new offers, but even if they don’t start rolling in as quickly as you’d like, don’t be disheartened. Working on your passive profile is also a great way to take stock of your current career achievements and interests, and help you clarify what you have to offer the job market. All of which means that next time you’re “actively” looking for a job, you’ll have a ready-formed profile and the self-knowledge to hit the job boards at full power.
One last comment, however – beware of letting your current employer know that you consider your professional relationship to be of the open kind, or you might find yourself being converted from a “passive” to an “active” job seeker more quickly than you think.
*Source: US Department of Labor
Written by Penelope Labram: JobisJob
“JobisJob, the clever click”