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The power of passivity: How not looking could get you the job

Employers are found to prefer passive jobseekers over active ones, so how can your use this to improve your IT career prospects?

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While you make think that proactivity gives you the greatest edge in the job hunt, research has shown that many employers favour jobseekers who are playing it cool. Passive jobseekers are those that are open to a new position, although not actively searching or applying for vacancies. Instead of spending hours sifting through job boards and contacting companies, your best bet for progressing your IT career could be to stay passive and let the recruiters come to you.

Passive jobseekers have the advantage

A recent study conducted by research firm Future Workplace and professional networking company Beyond, The Career Network, revealed that 80 per cent of HR professionals feel passive jobseekers are the best source of quality employees. However, the survey also found that only 47 per cent of jobseekers are aware of this presence, showing that employers and candidates have very different understanding of what works in the recruitment world.

When asked what makes passive candidates more attractive than active ones, 42 per cent of respondents said these individuals take their careers more seriously, 44 per cent felt that that they had the most experience, and an additional 44 per cent said they had the best skill sets. According to Future Workplace Partner and Research Director Dan Schawbel, embracing passivity is a great way to improve your effectiveness as a jobseeker.

“I always urge my generation to become passive job seekers so they can gain leverage and power over their career prospects,” he said. “If you’re unemployed, you can turn into a passive job seeker right now by freelancing, selling items on sites like Amazon and eBay, being an entrepreneur, volunteering or blogging. By engaging in these activities while you search for a job, you won’t have gaps on your resume, you’ll be practicing new skills and potentially make side income so you will be less desperate for a job, which makes you more attractive as a job seeker.”

Tips for becoming a passive jobseeker

If you’ve recognised the power of passivity for your IT job search, try using the following strategies to your advantage:

  • Keep your CV up-to-date – If a recruiter ever contacts you about a position, you will be ready to show them what you can do..
  • Stay involved online – While you may not be engaging in an active job search, maintaining an online presence means staying in the forefront of your professional contacts’ minds.
  • Develop a solid pool of referrals – Your connections are the biggest assets of a passive jobseeker, as their recommendations will do the legwork for you.

Ultimately, succeeding as a passive jobseeker means having an experienced IT recruiter on your side, so talk to Talent today.