Keep Your Job Search Under Wraps

It's not uncommon for employees to want to jump ship and look for a new job and a new employer, even in this tight economy. If you've made the decision to find a new job or a new career and are currently employed, keeping your hunt a secret can be hard - but it's essential to keeping your current job intact until you are ready to officially make your move. Keep your job search under wraps and keep your personal business personal by following these tips for privacy.

Use your own time and property.
Resist the temptation to use your current company's resources to look for a job. This includes your work computer, your work email address, fax machines, telephones and even stationery, envelopes and the postage meter (yes, some people do help themselves to this company owned property). Even spending time for which you are being paid to research, write or even think about your job search takes you away from the obligation you have made to your current employer -- to some it is considered a form of stealing. If you absolutely must attend to phone calls or emails regarding your job search, follow up using your own cell phone or laptop when on your lunch break away from the office.
Network with discretion.
If you are planning to keep your job search undercover, you need to use discretion when speaking to others about your plans. Only share details with personal contacts whom you know will maintain your privacy and network with those outside your company who may help you gain entry into their business. Distributing your resume should also follow this guideline of discretion. You may not want to do a mass mailing of your resume, especially if you are in an industry where everyone knows everyone - the word could get back to your current boss. On job boards, you also often have the option to create confidential resumes that keep your name and contact information under wraps. You will want to swap out your name with the phrase "confidential candidate" and secure a non-identifying email address through a free service such as Yahoo!mail or Gmail. Taking additional precautions may also be necessary to keep your resume confidential such as describing your employer in general terms such as "leading apparel retailer" "or large advertising agency".
Choose references carefully.
Obviously, if you are flying under the radar on your job search, you cannot list your current supervisor as a reference. If you have close contacts in the company with whom you have confided, they may be used as references. Other people outside your organization who are willing to vouch for your credentials, character and skill set include professors, clients, contacts from volunteer activities you are involved with and past employers.
by Todd Denning

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