10 Tips for Keeping Your Job Search Secret
In a day and age when it’s becoming increasingly common to move on from a job after a relatively short amount of time, many people are “always job searching” – or, at least, always open to new opportunities that might come their way.
That being said, you don’t want your employer to know that you aren’t 100% committed to your current position. if you are intending to move on, there are many reasons to keep your job search secret. Here’s how.
10 Tips to Keep Your Job Search Secret
1. Don’t job search during work hours. If you’re working on a company computer or Internet connection, nothing you do – from Google searches to your Google chats, your emails to any online activity – is private. It’s best to do your job searching on your own time when it can’t be tracked by an employer. Along the same lines, use your personal email and phone numbers when applying for jobs.
2. Don’t let your job search become water cooler conversation. Be extremely careful about confiding with coworkers if you’re thinking about leaving your job. Word can travel fast in an organization, and you don’t want news of your departure to reach your supervisor before you have the chance to speak to him or her yourself.
3. Be smart about using your current colleagues or supervisors as references. If you have yet to notify your boss about your intention to leave, obviously, you can’t use him or her as a reference. Ideally, you should use previous contacts as references until you put in your two weeks notice. Then, when you’ve made the move to leave, you can ask current colleagues to act as references – assuming, of course, that you’ve left on good terms. Review our tips for getting a good reference before you start lining them up.
4. Be honest with interviewers if you’re keeping your job search confidential. Most employers will understand about the importance of keeping your job search confidential. Try to broach the topic tactfully. For example, you might say, “Here are some references you can reach out to. I am happy to put you in touch with my current supervisor, too, once I put in my notice of leave. However, I am waiting to give notice until I am confident of another offer coming in. I hope you can understand.”
5. Plan your interviews strategically. Don’t interview during work hours if you can help it. If you do – or if you have an early morning or evening interview – beware of suddenly changing your appearance for it. If you usually dress casual at work, showing up all spiffy is sure to raise some eyebrows.
6. Don’t print your cover letter or resume at work. Even if you think you can print your resume in secret or after-hours, don’t do it. It just isn’t worth the risk.
7. Keep your performance top-notch. Slacking off because you know you’ll be leaving anyway can be extremely detrimental to your job search. Not only can it clue in your supervisors that you are planning to quit, but, it’ll also jeopardize your chance of getting a good reference after you move on.
8. Beware of social media updates. Social media can be just as dangerous as office gossip. Of course, you should know not to post statuses or tweets like “First interview today!” but even posting suggestive thoughts like, “Big news coming… stay tuned!” or “Wish me luck today! Opportunities on the horizon” can be indicative of your job search. Most importantly, manage your activity on LinkedIn, so any profile updates you make don’t appear on your feed.
9. Use personal or vacation days, not sick days, for job interviews. It is always best to use a personal or vacation day for your job search, not a sick day, especially if a “sick day” in your office environment implies that you may have to do some work from home.
10. Keep any mention of your job search out of the work day. So you know by now not to use your company computer, Internet connection, phone or fax to discuss your job search, but texting or emailing even on your devices be dangerous. Maybe an email or text pops up on your cell phone, and your co-worker spots it – or, maybe an iMessage flashes across your screen – and there goes your cover.
What else you should know: 17 Things Not to Do When You’re Job Searching