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Concealing Your Job Search
Conducting a job search while employed full-time can be a challenging
endeavor. The privacy needed to communicate with potential employers,
as well as the time off required to interview, can be a challenging feat
(especially if you are sitting in a cube farm surrounded by people who
have always been interested in your business). There are three major pitfalls
that can blow your cover. These hazards relate to e-mail communications,
posting your resume on Internet job boards, and believe it or not, your
Companies have the ability to track an employee's web surfing, and incoming
as well as outgoing e-mails. (This despite your diligence in dumping the
history of your website visits and deleting your personal e-mails.) Your
boss can simply ask the information-technology department, which probably
has invested in the relatively inexpensive tracking software, to retrieve
a record of your computer activities. Because of this, you should never
use your employer's computer to visit job boards, or send or accept e-mail
messages related to a job search. You may think your privacy is being
violated by such shadowing, however, in the US, there are no laws in place
to discourage this surveillance.
If you decide to post your resume on an Internet job board, keep your
identity as secret as possible. Monster.com, for instance, allows you
to hide your name and contact information. Many of these job board websites
will send you an e-mail when someone shows interest in your resume, therefore,
you need not be concerned about eliminating your contact information.
In addition to your contact information, you may want to conceal the name
of your present employer. This would protect you if your company's hiring
managers visited the job boards you posted on-to either seek out new candidates
or do some reconnaissance on their own staff! In place of your company's
name, create a generic description such as "prestigious public relations
firm" or "mid-size accounting firm."
As far as work attire is concerned, many a clandestine job search has
been unraveled when an employee shows up for work outfitted to the nines.
Be aware that your supervisor and/or colleagues will notice your upgraded
clothing and decide you are indeed wearing an interview suit. Therefore,
your strategy should be to either start dressing up almost daily or find
a place to do a Superman-type clothing change to protect your secret.
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