Are you an active or passive job seeker?
Can we agree that before you get a job or a promotion, you must have been looking for it or is interested if a recruiter or a hiring manager makes you an offer? In either case you are a job seeker. In the former you are an active job seeker while in the latter you are a passive job seeker.
Here are two definitions of similar terms on About.com to help clear any doubt.
Active job searching occurs when someone currently needs a new job. Active job seekers post their resume on job boards and search and apply for jobs. Read more about active Job seeker
Passive job searching occurs when someone who is currently employed is open to hearing about new career opportunities, but does not actively seek out and apply to specific positions. Read more about Passive Job Seeker
Why would you care to know the difference?
Well! For me, the truth is this thing bothered me for a while, and I was wondering if it was OK to be actively looking for a job while working.
On top of that, have you ever heard friends and colleagues say “I am not a job seeker” while they are open to new opportunities?
In my little reflection and research on the subject, I have come to understand that when you are doing your job effectively and efficiently, you are eligible to receive an offer or to be requested to show your availability. It only takes a recruiter or hiring manager to see your profile and to know where to find you. If you are consciously or unconsciously open to the job market, you are a “branded“ passive job seeker.
If on the other hand, you have like me your profile publicly available on the major job boards like LinkedIn, Jobmonster, or Google plus, to name few, and if on top of that you clearly say that you are available for a shift or for job opportunities in your field, that makes you a “proud” active job seeker. Period.
Whether you are a passive or active job seeker, employers, hiring managers and recruitment agencies are looking for qualified candidates just like you. They only need to know you are there and where to find you. If you can do that for them, you are fine.
Active or passive job seeker, which one to choose? How to be an active job seeker and not making myself public?
Are you afraid that your employer, your boss or your supervisor knows that you are looking for job? There is nothing to be ashamed of. It is most likely that they are looking for their next move too, unless they own the company.
But I hear you. I found myself in the same dilemma and decided to do something about it by searching around the web how other people think about it. And, just like as said earlier, you have a choice. You can be an active or passive job seeker. Go the way you feel comfortable with depending on your situation.
But, by all means, be proactive and do something what it takes to boost your career. No one will do it for you anyway.
Check out this great article by Ross Hubber, How to passively look for a job using LinkedIn. Ross shared 6 action steps to which I cannot agree more:
- Make yourself findable.
- Recommend former co-workers
- Join Groups
- Connect to a recruiter, but not all of them
- Be clear.
- Update regularly
Don’t quote me on this, but:
“You can silently be looking for your promotion or your new job without blowing the horn”
Over to you
Are you an active or passive job seeker? Leave a comment or share this article with your friends or someone you know who will profit of these tips. I'll also take it as an encouragement to continue sharing my discovery on this blog.
Other Reading: 3 Career Tips And Free Resources.
 Ross Hubber, How to passively look for a job using LinkedIn. [Online]. How to passively look for a job using LinkedIn. Accessed: April 2014.