How to passively look for a job using LinkedIn

What does it mean to passively look for a job? While the word passive suggests you're not actively doing anything, a passive job hunter is someone who isn't necessarily looking for a new job, but would take a better opportunity if one came their way. Here are some tips on how to use LinkedIn to help make sure you don't miss out when other opportunities come up.

  1. Make yourself findable: It's not enough to simply list the companies you've worked at and the job titles you've held. Update your experience, your skills, and your education. Recruiters find people by searching for keywords, so make sure your skills and experience accurately use search terms related to your job.
  2. Recommend former co-workers: Job seekers are typically advised to recommend former co-workers because it's the best way to get recommendations. While this is true, it's also a good way to maintain a professional connection to someone who might know of an opening at their current company.
  3. Join Groups: Industry-specific groups enable members to contact each other even if they don't share any mutual connections. Recruiters frequently check groups to see if anyone outside their network would be great for the job. Group membership opens the door to allow a recruiter to contact you. If you avoid joining groups because you don't want to be inundated with email updates, remember that you can adjust your setting to get a weekly digest or no email updates at all.
  4. Connect to a recruiter, but not all of them: While the law of averages makes it tempting to connect to as many recruiters as possible, a better solution is to search for a recruiter in your area and see how active they are on LinkedIn. Are they posting an endless stream of untargeted jobs, or do they share industry news and participate in discussions that relate to your work? Find a recruiter who understands your industry and talk to them about your career.
  5. Be clear: Let the recruiter know what you're looking for in terms of position, salary, location, and length of assignment. Remember, this doesn't mean they'll work tirelessly to find you a job--a recruiter is working on behalf of a company to find the right person for the role. Being clear about what you want will help the recruiter recognize the positions you'll be interested in.
  6. Update regularly: Recruiters know that one of the secret signs a person might be open to a new job is when they update their LinkedIn profile. If you complete a project or training at work, update your LinkedIn profile to reflect those new experiences.

Actively looking for a job is a time consuming process, but passive job hunting allows you to invest a small amount of time with potentially big results. Even if you're content at your current job, wouldn't it be nice to know if something better was out there? Passive job seeking is a simple way to focus on your work while remaining open to other possibilities.