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​Your guide to looking for a job when you have a full time job

11th January 2018

If you’ve started noticing any of the signs that it’s time to quit your job, then you’ve probably started thinking about how to look for a job, while still working in your current job. It might seem tricky, or deceiving, but it’s the most common and recommended way to job search.

Most experts advise looking for a job while you still have a job. Employed people are more attractive to other employers, and there’s less pressure as you still have a monthly wage coming in. With that said job hunting can be a full-time job in itself, so how do you effectively look for a job when you still have a full time job?

Update your LinkedIn & online presence

Before you do anything to your LinkedIn profile go to your privacy settings and turn off “share profile edits.” The last thing you want is for someone you work with to see a bunch of your profile updates appearing in their news feed and raise suspicion, before you’ve even talked to your manager.

Once that’s done update your LinkedIn profile to include key words specific to your industry and job title, this way employers can find you without you even looking. You should also add any projects you’ve been working on, any promotions or achievements you’ve neglected to add to your profile and a professional looking profile picture, if you don’t already have one.

Think about your presence online elsewhere too. If you were to Google search yourself and find your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram would you think you were employable?

Have your CV ready

It goes without saying that if you’re looking for a job, you’ll need to update your CV. Unsure where to start? Check out our best CV advice blog posts or try our CV Grader. Once your CV reflects your best professional self, you can begin applying for jobs and contacting recruiters.

Connect with recruiters

When I was thinking of leaving my last job the first thing I did was send my CV to a recruiter. Even if a recuriter doesn't have the perfect job for you right away, it is no harm having your CV on their database so that they can contact you if something comes up. A recruiter will also be able to advise on current industry trends and jobs which could suit you, some of which you might not have considered.

Network and gain referrals

Go to events, share content on LinkedIn, speak with friends in the industry, and work hard in your current job.
It’s not wise to talk freely about wanting to quit, but it can be helpful to speak with close friends and colleagues about job opportunities – you never know who might know who and what career opportunities friends might know about.

FAQs on how to look for a job while working full time

People often put off looking for a new job because of these 3 job hunting worries. Follow these guidelines to ease your nerves and get a step closer to a better job.

1. When should I schedule job interviews?

Interviewing when you have a job can be tricky but it is doable. Try to schedule your interviews before or after work or during lunchtime. Ask if a phone interview is possible if you’re concerned about taking time off or looking too polished for a lunch “meeting with a friend.” If your interviewer isn’t flexible with scheduling, use holiday or personal days for job interviews.

2. What should I do about references?

Any new employer will inevitably want a reference from your last employer, but they probably won’t ask for it right away. Wait until after the interview to broach the topic with your current employer – most companies will only request references after your first interview or offer stage.

3. Should I tell my employer I'm looking for another job?

It can be uncomfortable sneaking around looking for a new job, but unless asked directly, in which case it’s best not to lie, it’s advisable to keep your job search under wraps until you have a job offer you are happy with.

The last thing you want is to tell your boss you are job hunting, only to change your mind and be left in an awkward work situation. Once you’re sure you are leaving hand in your notice, so that your employer has as much time as possible to plan for your replacement.

If in doubt when looking for a job when you still have a job, just be genuine - don't lie and be honest with those you're interviewing with too.

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About the Author

Niamh Keenan

Content Marketing Executive

Group Marketing

Content creator and online editor for Cpl with over 5 years experience writing for digital and creating original content for brands.

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