As an employee, you have every right in the world to spend your spare time looking for a new job—a better job, or perhaps just a change of pace. Depending on the kind of relationship you have with your current employer, you may even make your job search common knowledge. For the vast majority of jobseekers, though, it is preferable to keep the job search a secret—avoiding any awkwardness, prejudice, or other workplace unpleasantness.
Despite your best efforts to be covert, however, your employer may still find out that you’re on the job market. By knowing some of the most common giveaways, you can maximize your secrecy and do everything in your power to keep your job search private.
Robust LinkedIn Activity
You need a good, beefy LinkedIn profile if you want to succeed in your job search—but if you become an overnight LinkedIn all-star, that will surely tip off your boss that you’re ready to move on.
By all means, get recommendations and start optimizing your profile, but be strategic about it. Turn off your activity broadcasts, under Privacy & Settings, or else stagger your LinkedIn ramp-up so that it’s not quite so suspicious.
Incidentally, the same principle holds true for other social platforms. Becoming a thought leader on Twitter is great, but it can also be warning sign to your boss. Better to take things slow than to start bombarding your followers all at once.
Too Many Trips To The Dentist
Hopefully your boss is all right with you sneaking away for a dentist appointment, or taking a long lunch to take care of a personal matter or two. But if this kind of thing happens every day, it’s obviously going to get noticed.
Instead of leaving the office for interviews day after day, try your best to schedule them for your personal hours; many hiring managers are happy to accommodate this. You might also take a personal day or two, and schedule as many interviews as you can for that period.
Do you typically stop by your boss’ office each day to say hi, or to ask about her kids, or simply to get a second or two of face time? If so, then keep doing it—even if you’re planning on leaving some time soon! Whatever your “normal” workplace routine is, it’s best to maintain it, or else risk unwanted attention.
In short: There are plenty of ways to keep your job search a secret, but avoiding your boss is not one of them.
Companies with high turnover are especially on alert in a competitive environment for any activity of further defection. Use caution before responding to unsolicited recruiting by verifying who your response will be sent to. Employers have become creative in adding other addresses to monitor employee use of the internet
Professionals hunt for the next oppty on their own time. Continue being the consummate professional. If you feel it is necessary to post your resume on line, remove your current employer and list “Confidential”. Remove your name and place “confidential” with a special personal email just for your job search that does not have anything in it that will identify you. Communicate via personal email and provide a specific time to speak with your potential interviewer and share the number in that fashion. They can always text you to call them when you are available.