Professional Primer: How to job hunt while still employed

Written on May 19, 2016

Professional Primer: How to job hunt while still employeBy Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager

Professional Primer is our series to help you navigate the tricky world of business etiquette. Read past posts online here. And check out our new Career Center for the latest jobs and resources you need to advance.

The best time to look for a new job is while you still have one. But the job hunt is a lot trickier when you’re trying to find a new employer without your current one realizing it. Although discreetly searching might seem simple enough, many candidates make careless errors they pay for later on.

"What’s common sense may not be common practice,” said Bob Pacanovsky, founder and president of The Vātion Group. Pacanovsky offered tips for those on the job search:

Use a personal email address: One of the more obvious suggestions, but it bears repeating. “You wouldn’t believe how many people correspond with someone from their work email address,” Pacanovsky said. Don’t think that deleting emails from your work inbox will save you, either. Chances are your company has a server that keeps all company emails sent and received, no matter how quickly you delete them.

Print resumes at copy centers: Even if you don’t have a printer at home, there’s no excuse for using a work printer for resumes, cover letters or letters of recommendation. Pacanovksy suggested a simple Google search will help you find nearby copy centers with printing capabilities. And the cost of a few bucks to print is worth saving face at your current position.

Stay off social media: With so much of our personal and professional lives available on social media, be mindful of your interactions when it comes to the job hunt. Checking in at a certain location or tweeting about a cool job can come back to haunt you. Even new LinkedIn connections with a prospective employer could send up a red flag. “You don’t know who is watching you, and you may not be socially connected with your boss but there could be someone else in your network that is,” Pacanovsky said.

Wait for an offer in writing: Even if a new employer has given you verbal confirmation, wait for an offer in writing before you tell your current boss or announce your new position anywhere. You don’t know what’s going on at a new company and your job offer could be rescinded. “I tell people, please don’t ever hedge your bets,” he said. “Because people think that offer is going to come and after they turn in their two weeks, they end up out of work because their new job offer didn’t pan out.”

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