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Sign up for job updates on Glassdoor.com, LinkedIn, and other sites relative to your industry. Make sure you actually check your LinkedIn page (including the mailbox) at least once a week — a surprising number of recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn as part of their initial search, so you’re losing out if you’re profile hasn’t been updated since 2014.
Even if you love your job, you should take every interview that comes along. Preface the conversation by letting the hiring manager know you’re not necessarily looking to make a leap at this point in time, but admire their organization, and would love if they took the time to speak with you. If they’re in a time crunch, they may not take you up on the informational-interview offer. But if they do, you’re likely to get even more insight into your industry, and may find you do want to make a move after all. Think of it as establishing a longterm career connection. Plus, it’s always good to practice your interview skills.
Connect to coworkers on LinkedIn, follow a former boss on Instagram, and make sure to have casual check-ins every few months. For example, if they’ve recently had a baby, send a congratulatory card. Heard they got a promotion? Tweet your congrats at them. Then, when you’re ready to jump ship, a “are there any jobs available?” query won’t come out of the blue — and make them feel like you’re using them just to find a new gig.
Do you think of the HR office as the grownup equivalent of the principal’s office, a place that you only visit when you’re in trouble? Then you’re missing out on a ton of valuable insights. “I made a point to schedule bi-yearly meetings with HR,” explains Nicole, an editor. “They told me about opportunities within my company (a large corporation) I wouldn’t have known about and helped me transition up the ladder. HR is an amazing resource for finding out about new jobs the second they’re available, and I was shocked by how few colleagues utilized them.”
Your network is everyone in your contact list — because you never know who people know. “The two times I decided I needed an in-office job, because freelancing wasn’t cutting it, I sent out an email to everyone in my contact list,” explains Kathryn, a PR account manager. “I instantly got a few leads that resulted in jobs. Your network is a hugely powerful tool, and people want to help out.” Choose a specific subject line, like, “Looking for an immediate job in the PR Industry,” BCC everyone (this is key — do not just CC everyone and reveal your whole contact list to the world), include a brief paragraph or two explaining what you’re looking for, and see what turns up — you may be surprised. And if it isn’t applicable to them, they can delete with one click, no harm done.