How to stay job-ready even when you’re not job hunting

Being job-ready even when you're not actively seeking a job is like having a fully fuelled and well-maintained car in your garage. You might not be planning a road trip right now, but when the opportunity arises or an unexpected adventure presents itself, you can jump in and hit the road without any last-minute scrambling or worries about the vehicle’s condition.  

In the same way, being job-ready means you have the skills, qualifications, and mindset to seize career opportunities as they come, ensuring a smoother journey toward your professional goals whether you're actively job hunting or not. 

This article offers advice to professionals who are not actively looking for a new role, with actions you can put in place now to ensure that when you are looking, you’re best-placed to get the job.  

Maintain your CV 

Your job search shouldn’t be something you only think about when you are ready to move. Effectively managing and maintaining your career can make life easier when it comes to finding the next perfect opportunity.  

When is the last time you dusted off your CV? The temptation is to not even think about a CV until you are actively searching for a job, but this leads to the document becoming out of date, or even lost. Scrambling to make updates to meet a job application deadline can also result in a suboptimal CV that doesn’t showcase your achievements in the best-possible light. To avoid this situation: 

  • Keep a list of the big wins in your role: Make note of the results of key projects which demonstrate how you’ve made the biggest impact in your role. For example, keep track of how you’ve made or saved the business money, always including real metrics where possible.  

  • Keep your CV as a live, ever-evolving document: It’s much easier to remember key components or wins in your prior or current roles as you’re doing them, rather than in retrospect. This will ensure you have critical information and all the numbers that matter at your fingertips. Stay ready to have a conversation if you’re potentially tapped on the shoulder (headhunted) at any time. 

Build and maintain your relationships 

One of the worst networking sins is only reaching out to people when you need something – including a new job. Instead, networks should be maintained with regular check-ins and by looking for opportunities to help others. Ask your network for their point of view on the top thought leaders and recruiters within your space to get a sense of the key players.  

Create and maintain a relationship with a recruiter and let them know what you’re looking for in a potential role. Make sure you stay front-of-mind and don’t fall off recruiters’ radars to ensure they think of you when connecting the dots between great companies and great talent. This is especially important in circumstances where jobs are not actively advertised.  

Other key ways to maintain your network are to identify a mentor and catch up with them regularly, as well as attending events to build relationships in your industry. Remember, sometimes it’s who you know, not what you know. 

Map out your career plan  

People will often say they would leave for “the right role”, but what does that mean for you?  

Do you have a dream company you would love to work for? What’s the most important lever in your job search – a salary increase? More flexibility? Something closer to home? Write a list of your priorities and communicate these to your recruiter so they can help you nail your job search.  

At the same time, make a plan to progress your career within your current organisation. Be proactive – have a conversation with your manager about the next steps in your professional development.   

Nurture your online profile 

Don’t make the mistake of disappearing on social media between job searches. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and keyword optimised so you are highly visible to recruiters and employers searching for backgrounds like yours.  

To increase your visibility, consider becoming more active on LinkedIn by sharing your knowledge. Connect with key recruiters in your industry to keep track of advertised roles and build that all-important network. 

Finally, be sure to turn on your notifications! Imagine missing out on hearing about the perfect opportunity because you just aren’t checking your inbox regularly.  


Why not reach out to a specialist recruiter at Six Degrees Executive today? Even if you’re not actively searching for a job, we’d love to hear about your future plans and career aspirations to help us connect you to the perfect role in the future.

Contact the team