passive job seeker looking at jobs on her computer

3 Proven Job Search Hacks for Passive Job Seekers

Unless you love your company culture, get along well with your coworkers and boss, get enormous fulfillment from your work, and have a fantastic salary, chances are you’ve wondered about what other job opportunities are out there. And while you may be satisfied with your current position, there’s no reason not to remain open to new positions that might arise. But since you’re currently employed, you don’t have time to wade through less appealing positions looking for that one elusive dream job.

That’s where the passive job search comes in.

Passive job seekers aren’t actively looking for a new job, but that doesn’t mean they are doomed to miss out on awesome opportunities in their fields. Here are three ways you can take the next step in your career despite a busy schedule.

Man walking into sunset with suitcase


Know What You Want

Even a basic understanding of what you are open to will speed up your passive job search. Do you want to be somewhere with a warm climate? What benefits could make you move from your current position to another company? Try imagining what your day would look like working at your dream job. This doesn’t have to take any extra time out of your day—you can daydream about it on your commute to and from work or while you get ready in the morning. On the flip side, you can easily pass over ads that don’t meet your location or salary preferences.

Online media account profile


Manage Your Online Presence

Overseeing your online presence sounds a lot more complicated and time consuming than it actually is. Passive job seekers should focus on two major components of the process: building a personal brand and maintaining a current resume.

Growing a personal brand is simple. First, identify your primary personality traits (in particular, those that will appeal to employers). Then, showcase them in your social media posts and resume. Are you a go-getter? A people person? Tell employers who you are!


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The second major piece of managing your online presence for a passive job search is keeping a recent copy of your resume online where employers and recruiters can find it, such as on your iHire profile. While updating your resume may seem like a particularly daunting task, it’s actually quite easy if you don’t procrastinate. Any time you receive an award or recognition at work, add it to your searchable resume within the week. Not only does this eliminate all the extra time you would spend trying to remember every commendation you received months after you got them, but it also puts your increased value out there for potential employers to see ASAP. Don’t you want them to know everything you have to offer?

Cell phone with new email alert


Stay In The Know

Because a passive job seeker can’t afford to spend all day hunting down job openings to apply for, you’ll want to use your time wisely. Sign up for job alerts—iHire allows you to adjust how often you’d like to receive updates so you can stay as in touch with the job market as you prefer. Spend no more than a couple minutes a day on these alerts until you stumble across your dream job (when you do, make sure you add it to your job tracker!).

Set aside 10–15 minutes per week skimming your dashboard and saved searches for new jobs that look especially interesting. Hint: to save even more time, look for ads with high iScore Resume Match ratings. These positions match your qualifications and background particularly well.

Your greatest time investment should be in developing your network of contacts. Passive job seekers rely on their friends and colleagues to refer them for dream jobs in their companies when they become available. Additionally, the vast majority of employers strongly prefer to hire candidates referred by a current employee!


As a currently employed professional, you don’t have the time to spend hours on end scanning job postings and submitting applications. Luckily, this doesn’t mean that you have to be closed off to all other opportunities in your field. Because passive job seekers tend to be relatively happy with their current positions, they have the ability to be choosy about the roles they show interest in. With the strategies above, you can improve your passive job search and position yourself for your dream job in just minutes a week.

By Erin Coursey, iHire | July 24, 2017
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