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Looking for work while employed...

Veteran

Ben Sneyd Fuquay Varina, NC

I separated in late 2014. I was nearly six months into it when I was offered a position at a fantastic company. It seemed like an excellent 'in' to the world of IT and definitely a foot in the door at one of the best companies in the world to work for.

Since my separation I have completed an MBA, an MSIT (specializing in Project Management), CompTIA Sec+, Splunk Certification, and I am signed up for my Base SAS Cert. So, I am starting to feel as though there is more out there for me. This leads me to my question:

How do you search for a new job, network, and/or leverage social networks like LinkedIn when you are currently employed? Everyone can see what you are doing on LinkedIn. It seems like it would be frowned upon if you were posting "open to new opportunity" type posts all the time. I have been looking more and more at Pre-Sales/Sales Engineering or Cyber Security positions, but I am consistently getting the "Thank you for applying, but..." form letters.

Any suggestions, insight, or guidance you could provide would be greatly appreciated!

17 November 2018 3 replies Career Advancement

Answers

Advisor

Cavett Ishihara Lehi, UT

With IT, you will need an agency to get you in the door. I have a few if you need help.

Advisor

Emanuel Carpenter Atlanta, GA

Hi Ben - You can still use LinkedIn and be stealthy about your search. In fact, many recruiters discourage candidates from typing "open to new opportunities" on your headline because it looks like you're unemployed and a bit desperate. Employers like to steal away good employees from other companies instead of hiring the unemployed. It's a stupid practice but it is what it is.

The best way to use LinkedIn is to connect with all your colleagues, friends, and family. Through direct messaging (nobody sees that) let them know that you're looking for a new job and send them your resume. Let them be personal recruiters for you, especially if they work where you would like to work.

Also, when you see a job posted that interests you, ask to connect with the person who posted the job. Sometimes it is a recruiter but it can also be a business owner or hiring manager. After you connect, give an abbreviated cover letter in the body of a direct message to them. Tell them why you are the ideal candidate. And attach your resume. But don't stop there. If there is a formal process to complete an application or use a form to upload your resume, do that too. That doubles your chances of getting an interview because the job poster is not always the person who receives the online stuff you complete. One time, I got an automated rejection letter when I used the online form but then I got a call for an interview when I used a direct message to contact the recruiter.

Then you want to create job alerts on LinkedIn based on the position you're looking for and the geography in which you want to work. You'll receive daily alerts via LinkedIn and via email. Just make sure your LinkedIn settings are for your personal email and not your work email.

Also, if you're worried about your employer spying on your activity, don't use a company computer or a company Internet connection to do your search. Use your cell phone and cell phone data and not your company's Wi-Fi. Or simply do your searching from home or a public area where there is free Wi-Fi.

Hope this helps.

Advisor

George Wilhelmsen Rochelle, IL

Ben,

That's an interesting question.

I'd suggest the following:
1. LinkedIn is a networking tool. It suggests jobs. Look for that same job on Monster, Indeed, etc, and apply to it.
2. Work with your leadership team, and explain what you want to do. You seem happy with your employer. Let them know what your interests are, and ask if you can "job shadow" someone in that role. If the role still interests you (likely) after the job shadow, ask your supervisor to help you develop a career map to get to that position.

A "job shadow" is where you follow someone around for 2 or 3 or 4 days, and basically see what a "day in the life" of that position is like.

A career map is a statement of your goals (e.g., you want to go into Cyber Security in 2 years). If you worked for me, I would look at the experience you have, and the training and experience necessary to start in Cyber Security, and then we would make a list of programs and experience opportunities. I would then work with you to leverage those opportunities to allow you to reach your goal.

Career maps are only as good as your effort to achieve them. Sometimes, your direction changes - that's okay - career maps are more of guidelines - you can change them readily.

A third option is to look for those jobs on the various services, and apply for them. Cyber Security is an area where there is a lot of hiring. Do a skills inventory, see if you have the right skills, and if not, take the classes to get those skills. Then apply.

I used Cyber Security as an example - you can use the same approach for the other jobs.

Summary: Don't advertise on LinkedIn you are looking.
See if you can leverage your current great employer to move where you want.
Work with your manager to develop a career map to get there (or develop your own, working with someone in your area of interest) and take actions to get there.
Job shadow if opportunities exist.

I hope this helps. Thank you for your service.

George Wilhelmsen

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