Tips for passive job seekers

'Passive job seeking' isn't a contradiction in terms. Normal job hunting is anything but passive, and the passive methods of job hunting aren't always fashionable with employment industry advisers and career counselors. But passive job seeking methods do have their uses, and they can be working for you 24 hours a day.

The best known passive job hunting method is posting your CV or resume online. Another is advertising your business or professional services online. These methods have a reasonable success rate, in terms of advertising services. Posting a CV online, on the other hand, has varying levels of success, and related risks.

Passive job seeking is really about doing your job hunting and getting work automatically through multiple sources. There's nothing at all wrong with the idea, it's how and where you use these methods. The key to success is the kind of process that occurs when people advertise their services.

When you advertise your business services, a lot of elements help you succeed:

  • Having your ad is in the right professional category
  • Being in the right place, where people who are specifically looking for those services will be looking
  • Using the ad itself as a selling point, since business ads are always targeted to people's needs

Most CVs and resumes, however, don't do that. As a method of passive job hunting, they're usually so-so, and it's because they're not targeted. The result of multiple postings across the net has a scattergun effect, a hope that you 'might hit something.'

You can achieve quite a lot by posting your CV online, but you have to do it differently to improve your chances of getting results. Passive job hunting is better done by a range of different methods, across a clearly defined range of options.

Effective passive job hunting methods

Post your CV or resume in a smaller professional, trade or industry site.

Not the big job boards. People's time is consumed by the big job sites, and the sheer numbers of people work against you.

Place 'Job wanted' ads. You have a better chance of attracting attention with a simple ad in the right place.

Advertise your services. You place your ads in carefully targeted places, where your services are relevant and in demand. This method works for the same reason the Yellow Pages works. These are places where people voluntarily look for staff or services, sometimes the first places they will look.

Business cards. The business card is a classic passive job hunting method. It reminds your contacts who you are and where to contact you. For job hunters, it's a passive method that goes well with active job hunting techniques.

Web sites. Your own website can be an easily managed DIY Job Wanted ad, if you work freelance or do contract work. It can operate 24/7/365, and it costs practically nothing. You can update it, tell people what you do, and establish your own network, too.