Secret job hunterIf you’re out of work, or carefree about your boss seeing that you are looking for a job then clearly you can pretty much do as you please. Send your CV to a handful of recruiters, upload a copy to Jobsite, Monster or any number of job boards and change your Linked In profile to ‘Seeking new opportunities’. Nice and simple, you’ll get loads of phone calls (probably from recruiters). This post isn’t for you.

What if you are reasonably happy in your job, in no desperate need to move, but you know that somewhere out there is a role that can take you to the next level of your career. You know it, but how do you find it, and not damage your circumstances whilst you look for that ‘special’ role? How do you be proactive, but not visible? Explore your options but not have to fight off recruiter calls, or risk word getting back to a colleague, or your boss? You work in a niche industry, word gets around, right? Well it is certainly pretty likely to if you follow the path in the first paragraph.

Your career is a valuable thing right? You’ve worked hard to get to where you are now. Maybe you have a perfect CV to date, or you’ve made a slip in the past, but got yourself back on track, and now you’ve earned the right for that next move. Would you buy a house without a few viewings and a lot of consideration? I expect not. Would you buy a car without a test drive, and taking time to consider and compare what’s out there? I doubt it. But isn’t your career more valuable than a car, or even your house? What pays for the car, and the house, and your pension, and your holidays and……. you get the picture. Your job does, your career. So with something so valuable it makes sense to do some due diligence. And that is exactly what you should do.

Ask your trusted friends and colleagues in your industry for recommendations of any recruiters they know and trust. Explore the websites of some recruiters. Are they generalists or do they operate in your industry, it’s not about how shiny the site, but about the words and how they operate. Make a shortlist based on your research. See if you can find consultant details on Linked In. Are they credible with good experience in your sector, do they have good client and candidate recommendations? Make a shortlist of ones that look and feel right, then interview them. Yes, you interview the recruiters, ask how they work, how they can help you, ask about their processes, CV policy, understanding of your background, experience and market sector. Choose one or two consultants you feel comfortable with, that you trust to be discrete with your details, that understand your market, your skills, and importantly your aspirations and ideals for your next role. Then work with them, keep in touch. Sometimes that perfect job is out there right now, and sometimes it may take a week, a month, or a year. The good recruiter will stay with you for as long as it takes, and if they can’t help you, they’ll tell you. Probably a world of difference from most ‘recruiter’ experiences you’ve had.

Like the perfect house, car or holiday, the perfect job is probably out there for you too, and the best way to find it is to let a good recruiter discretely, pro-actively, but patiently look for you, while you get on with what you do best, your current job. Good recruiters are in tune with their sector and know about opportunities before they come to the open market. Many of the best jobs never make it to the open market for that very reason. Take care with your career, and your personal details