Looking for a new job while you still have one is smart. However, one of the biggest concerns is having your boss find out and losing your job. Here are some tips to assist you in your confidential job search.
Don’t attend job fairs. One job seeker reviewed the roster of participating employers at a job fair and didn’t see his company listed. However, as he made the rounds of the booths, his current boss spotted him, leading to an awkward conversation and his departure from the company sooner than he had originally planned. Some job fairs collect résumés and distribute them to all participating companies. A few companies enter these into a database to search for their company name to identify current employees looking for new jobs.
Don’t respond to “blind ads.” On a related note, do not submit your résumé for positions where the company name isn’t listed. More than one job seeker has applied for “the perfect job” only to find it was their job being advertised!
Don’t conduct your job search at work or on company time. This includes not making calls from your work phone or on your company cell phone or listing either of these numbers on your résumé. You may still receive incoming calls from recruiters and prospective employers on your work land line or cell phone, but you don’t want a record of you initiating these contacts using company resources. Only make calls at work when you’re on break or at lunch — again, from your personal cell phone. (If you take an early or late lunch, you’re more likely to catch the hiring manager or recruiter at his or her desk.) And make sure you make the call from somewhere you won’t be overheard.
Don’t use your company computer for your job search. First, your search history is traceable, and all your inbound and outbound emails are probably logged as well. Don’t store your résumé on your work computer, and do not use company printers or copiers to make copies of your résumé. It might be overkill, but also don’t connect to your company’s Wi-Fi — even when you’re conducting job search activities on your own time, using your own devices.
Don’t use your company email address on any of your job search correspondence.Again, not only is it probably being monitored but also it looks bad to a prospective employer that you are using company resources to support your job search.
Don’t post your résumé online. Not only is it likely to be found by someone at your current company, but also résumés posted publicly stay out there “forever.” Even removing contact information might not help you from being identified. When possible, apply only for positions you’re interested in, and apply directly on the company website, if possible, instead of through a job board.
Don’t schedule interviews during work hours. Schedule your interviews on your day off, before work, during lunch, or after work. You may have to be creative about when — and how — you interview.
Don’t post about your job search on social media. Also, don’t post about being unhappy in your current job on social media — no matter how locked down you think your privacy settings are. Anyone can take a screenshot of your post and share it with anyone else.
Don’t suddenly start attending lots of networking events if you haven’t regularly attended them before. However, if you do want to attend professional association or networking events, volunteer to help at the registration desk. You’ll get a chance to meet everyone who attends, without appearing that you’re trying to meet everyone.
Don’t lie if you are asked if you’re looking for a job. That’s especially important if that question comes from your current boss. If you’re asked, be honest — but you should also re-double your job search efforts. In the event of a layoff, you’ll likely be the first to be let go, “since you were planning on leaving anyway.”