Job Search Advice: Four Job Search Tips for the Passive Candidate

Yesterday, I was talking with a friend of mine whom I admire in the corporate HR space.  She is a well-respected HR professional at her organization and until now hasn’t given much thought to jumping into the job search.  She’s ready to take the plunge and after eight years re-enter the job search market.  Before we chatted, she spent some time on the blog and downloaded the copy of the resume template and cover letter template that I offer on the site. Even so, she wasn’t really sure yet where to begin.

Job Search Tips: Preparing for Your Job Search

The job search advice I gave my friend was that a job search strategy when entering the job search is everything.  Long before you send your resume or cover letter and launch into an aggressive job search, I recommend that job seekers begin to plant the seeds and attend events, following up with old contacts, and getting their name out there in strategic places.

Update Your Profiles Before Your Job Search

Meaning: get your house in order.  Make sure you’ve added the new feature of skills and qualifications to your LinkedIn profile, cleaned up your Facebook Timeline, and added a professional headshot and pictures to your social networking and web sites.  Don’t have your Mom take the photo or crop the family portrait from 6 years ago.  Hire or persuade a professional photographer to take your picture in a professional and flattering way.

Share Industry-Related Content as Part of Your Job Search Strategy

You should already be reading about the latest trends and changes in your industry of choice.  It’s great for professional development, and don’t be shy to share that content with others.  Social media management tools like Hootsuite offer the ability to schedule content to multiple social networks allowing you to work during the day while still reaching thought leaders, industry thinkers, and hiring managers at the same time.

Important Job Search Advice: Guest Blog

If you are considering being in the job market and want to be seen and known for your experience and innovation, consider guest blogging.  You don’t have to have your own blog to make an impact.  Blogging matters so consider targeting your guest posts to a handful of influencers within your target marketplace.  Make sure this content is new and original, portrays the right message, and is published in the right places.  I happen to offer guest blogging opportunities although surprisingly, I don’t get many offers.

Passive Job Seeker, Speak Every Chance You Get!

My friend is an experienced professional with 10 plus years.  Many job openings in the industry and position happen through job referrals making it so important to develop strategic relationships with hiring managers, influencers, and super connectors in the space.  If your organization was like the company where I used to work, they were very fearful of allowing me to be quoted or included in white papers limiting my exposure and opportunity to brand myself.  However, after talking with my boss I was able to speak at local professional events and colleges with the goal of using them as a recruiting tool first while also providing me the opportunity to meet and get my name out there.

From Passive Job Seeker to Active Job Seeker

Going from passive job seeker to active job seeker takes relationships, strategy, and a plan to build momentum as you move into a more aggressive job search.  Those with a solid strategy make the process look easy but behind the success lies months of planning, phone calls, networking events, and hustle.  Lots and lots of hustle.  How are you planning and preparing for your job search? 

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

Reader Interactions


  1. Anna says

    Why would a company be fearful or even hesitant to have an employee speak? Don’t they realize building their employees reputation and influence builds their own?

  2. Anna says

    Pssstt…you just said you don’t get many guest blog inquiries, but when I click on the link the first thing it says is “I get a lot of requests and inquiries about how folks can contribute guest posts to Blogging4Jobs.” ???

    • Jessica Miller-Merrell says

      Ha! I get a lot of spammy inquiries from people who are just into link building and not actual content and conversation. Thank you for the comment.

      My company was fearful that I was representing myself instead of the organization. I became a microcelebrity in their mind and a liability. That idea is changing but in late 2009 social media was still really new.



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