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Concealing Your Job Search

Conducting a job search while employed full-time is difficult. When do you find the time to search for postings and respond to them? And what about taking time off for interviews? All of that is challenging, but most concerning of all is how to conceal your job search. The privacy needed to communicate with potential employers can be a 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 work attire.

E-Mail Communications

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. This is paramount in concealing a job search. 

Posting Your Resume to Job Boards

If you decide to post your resume on an Internet job board, you can keep your identity as secret as possible. Most boards allow 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.” Many candidates do not go to such lengths when it comes to posting their resumes, but know this is possible if you want to take extra precautions to conceal your job search. 

Colleagues Notice What We Wear

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.