The Covert Job Search

Covert Job Search

In today’s social climate we are constantly told to network and connect. Companies use social sites such as Facebook and Twitter to push their product. Job seekers are encouraged to create a network then tap into it as a way of ensuring that their resume is reviewed by the hiring manager.  Many job search articles and books, including some of my own, recommend that job seekers connect with people who currently work at companies where they would like to work.  Job seekers post their resumes on job boards, such as Careerbuilder, Monster and Indeed.  This is all very sound advice except when you don’t want your boss to know that you are looking for a new job?

Beware of Internal Snitches

As unfortunate as it may be, managers tend to take offense when they find out one of their employees is looking for another job, especially if you are a top performer.  This could cause the manager to decline your requests for additional training.  It could definitely sour any negotiation for a pay raise or promotion. In my 18+ years in talent acquisition I often accidentally found resumes of people, who already worked at our company.  Out of respect for everyone’s right to pursue new opportunities I always kept this information to myself.  However, some of my fellow recruiters believed it was their duty to inform the person’s manager that the person is looking for another job.

Confidentiality is Key

Job seekers who are currently employed should seek ways to maintain their confidentiality.  Most of the larger job posting sites allow job seekers to post their resumes using Confidential as the name.  This will hide your name and create a confidential way for you to be contacted by recruiters.  I must caution you to be sure to remove your name, address and email address from the attached resume that you post on the site, not just the profile that you create.  I can’t tell you how many times I have clicked on the resume of a Confidential job seeker and found their name and all of their personal information that they were trying to keep private. Create a separate email address to use for your confidential job search, that does not have your name in it.  You will also want to place Confidential as the name of your current employer otherwise it would be easy to determine who you are.

When to Look for a Job

Searching for a job while at work is always a bad idea, no matter how tempting it may be.  Many companies have the ability to track certain types of activity on employees’ work computers.  This could cause you to be fired immediately which means you would have less time to find your next best job.  You also don’t want any future or potential managers to question your integrity.

Your field of work, the industry, even the number of similar companies in your geographic location, may make your covert job search more challenging.  People who work in the same industry tend to know others like them at nearby companies.  For example, if you work at the Hilton headquarters in Virginia, your boss may be close friends with several people at the Marriott headquarters in Maryland.  So, if your resume lands on the desk of the Director of Consumer Affairs at the Marriott and he sees that you work at the same place as his good friend, who also happens to be your boss, he will not hesitate to call your boss to get feedback on you.  And poof, your confidentiality goes right out the window. Unfortunately, the only way to prevent this from happening is to avoid applying for jobs in your exact same industry, at least those within the same vicinity.


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