I was speaking with a senior professional with a large consulting firm on Friday afternoon. He had a big job helping to build a new practice and had decided to change jobs because he was was not partner, would not get credit or recognition for what he did or any of the recognition that comes from a successful launch.
As I’m speaking with him, I went on to LinkedIn and couldn’t find him. Maybe he isn’t in my network. That doesn’t happen often given the size of mine but it can.
I went to Google and discovered that any information about him was from his previous employer.
“For someone who wants recognition for what he’s done, you make it hard to be found,” I said and then explained to him what I meant.
I continued, “You’ve hired people. When they are out aggressively looking for work, you probably think a little less of them than when you get a call from a headhunter who tells you that they went out and found this person who wasn’t looking for something right now but had all the particulars you’re looking for. Sell him on the opportunity; you’ll be impressed by what he’s done.”
“The fact is that there is a bias in recruiting to the person who is believed to be “the passive job applicant.” The person who isn’t looking for work. The one that you have to sell to come on board because they are currently doing the work at a competitor.”
The way you take advantage of the bias is NOT to build your network once you’ve decided to change jobs. It’s to put yourself in the position to be found by updating your LinkedIn profile, blogging about your subject area expertise, answering questions on LinkedIn and on Quora, writing articles for the trade press, and by becoming a public speaker on the subject.
Search firms will seek you out for roles and think you are a superior potential new hire even if your resume is all over the job boards.
So don’t wait to be out looking for work.
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