Legally, in this country, your employer has the right to monitor all your communications at work, such as instant messages and e-mails, or when using company-provided hardware such as cell phones or laptops. It is doubtful that someone sits there and reads every single e-mail. It is much more likely that such communications are scanned for particular keywords so that a human can review them.
That is why you should conduct your search using your computer and non-company equipment. Obviously, you have personal integrity and won’t steal customers or data from your present employer, but they might not feel that way if they discover your job search, so it is best to be subtle.
Another Form of Stealth
While you were undertaking your search, several techniques slip beneath the radar of people conducting a conventional job search. Hopefully, by now everybody has clued-in to the fact that social media is one of the major stepping stones to a new career. Tweets, if they are pithy and related, might garner you some attention, but there are unlikely to get you a job.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, allows you to build up your network of connections and that offers a strong, legitimate possibility for obtaining a new position. In the same way, memberships in professional organizations related to your career can help to connect you to influential people. Attending professional events also keeps you in the loop and helps to build your network.
A Better Strategy
Networking is a strong candidate for helping you to make a change—in essentially most cases—but that’s where most people stop. There are other things you can do.
You are going to be interviewed, but it is strongly advised that you do not send a thank-you text from your Blackberry™ as soon as you get to your car, or before you leave the building. That has become so common that it does not score you any points with the interviewers anymore. If you don’t send a thank you note you are going to lose points, but you are going to differentiate yourself and be memorable.
You are going to go offline and carefully craft a thank-you letter. You are going to include specific details about the meeting and emphasize how your skills and abilities have met or exceeded the job requirements. You’re going to take the time to carefully tailor your background and experience to that particular job. Don’t trust that they will read your résumé and somehow draw the conclusions that you wish them to—it seldom works that way—so spell it out for them.
This is your time to be passionate about the whole industry; you’re going to talk about it as if this is the job you’ve been waiting for all your life. You’ll talk about how it allows you to combine your skills and interests with those of the company so that you can both grow, together.
During the interview, you probably spoke about your accomplishments. Don’t be afraid to reiterate that what you have accomplished before is strongly indicative of what you can accomplish again for your new company.
Whatever your accomplishments, e.g., that you saved your employer 17% year-over-year on development time, remind them that their system could see the same benefit.
And, as always, use job-specific keywords in case they run it through the ATS (Applicant Tracking Software) again. Don’t go overboard, of course, but do sprinkle them throughout your thank-you note.
Conduct your search discreetly, so as not to set off any alarm bells at your current company during the process. Be particularly courteous during your departure arrangements, and as helpful as possible to smooth the transition.
Using the preceding tips, become an expert letter writer, customizing and turning every aspect to portray you in the best possible light. This applies not just to thank-you notes but also to the initial cover letter, and any other writing you do, including résumés.
Stand apart from the crowd. Make a strong impression. Become the most desirable candidate. As a result, your job search will be shortened, and your career will be back in the fast lane before you know it…