The last thing you want to do when you’re looking for a new job is tip off your current boss to your job-seeking status. But how can you keep all that networking, job searching, and interviewing on the down low? Read on for some time-tested tips.
Tips for Covert Networking
>> Keep quiet with your co-workers.
If you don’t want your boss to find out about your job search, don’t tell your co-workers. They could accidentally let the news slip; plus, you’re putting them in an unfair position should the question of your loyalty arise. It’s also unwise to list your co-workers as references.
>> Stay off the company phone.
Don’t give out your work phone or email address, and don’t include that information in your resume or cover letter, either. List only personal contact information (cell phone, personal email, home phone) to minimize the risk of being found out.
>> Lie low on LinkedIn.
When you update your LinkedIn profile, make sure you update your privacy controls, too. Turn off your activity broadcasts so no one knows you’ve been making changes to your profile or following new companies. Making a lot of changes at once can raise red flags at your current job.
Tips for Covert Job Searching
>> Search at home.
If you use the company phone, email, or fax machine in your job search, your activity could be monitored. Plus, many companies have filters to see what employees are doing online, and it’s highly suspicious if your browser history includes a bunch of job sites. If you need to conduct some aspect of your job search during the day, go off site on your break and use your own computer and phone.
>> Be smart about social media.
Don’t post anything about your job search, interviews, or networking on Facebook, Twitter, or your personal blog. And mentioning how much you hate your job is sure to raise eyebrows and more than a few red flags.
>> Cloak your resume.
Many employers subscribe to resume databases on online job search sites, so you need to make your posting confidential. Double-check the privacy settings on each job board and job search site. Most sites allow you to hide certain information, such as your contact information. You’ll also want to block your current company from seeing your information.
Tips for Covert Interviewing
>> Interview on your own time.
Schedule interviews for a vacation or personal day, or before or after work. A lunchtime interview isn’t the worst thing, as long as you can make it back to work in time. If you’re going to take the day off, don’t say you’re sick or make up a pathetic excuse that will come back to bite you. Just say you need the day off for personal reasons.
>> Check your look.
If you normally wear business casual and today you’re in a full suit, that’s a clear sign that you’re going on an interview. If you’re heading to an interview right after work, bring your clothes with you and find someplace discreet to change.
>> Request confidentiality.
It’s OK to tell employers that your job search is confidential, and that you would appreciate if they would tell as few people as possible that you’re interviewing. Obviously, ask them not to contact your current employer – so don’t list your boss as a reference!