If you get caught conducting a job search while still working, many employers will conclude you lack loyalty and are no longer interested in the job and may terminate you on the spot.
On the other hand your job search may be unsuccessful, you’ve tested the waters and there is nothing better out there so you’ll just stay put. No sense to have your employer know of your job hunting efforts.
So what should you do to keep the employer from learning of your job search?
A secret is no longer a secret if you tell co-workers or think you can get some job hunting in on company time. Never use your company email address or phone number in your undercover job search. Be sure you have a professional message on your answering machine. If you have to make a call back do it on your lunch hour.
Further, if you start taking sick leave, or three-hour lunches for your job interviews; where you have to start telling stories about your absences the jig will soon be up. If you have to schedule an interview, tell the interviewer that you are busy at work but can meet after work and perhaps during lunch.
Job related references could be another problem. You do not want the prospective employer contacting your employer. Have references from other sources, like former co-workers or associates that you worked with at non-profits.
To be assured you job hunting stays undercover, try to limit the circulation of your resume and cover letter. Keep from posting the information on the public portion of job sites as you don’t want it spotted by your employer. On your LinkedIn profile do not indicate you are looking for another opportunity. When submitting your resume and cover letter indicate you expect the information to be treated confidently as you are currently employed.
In addition, all contact information on your resume and cover letter should be personal, never list anything that might be connected to your employer. You don’t need to be called at work by a prospective employer; it’s too easy for job hunting information to be leaked to co-workers.
Once you start your undercover job hunting campaign it’s real easy to consider yourself out of your current job and into a new position. Don’t use this mind-set as an excuse to slack off. Keep doing the best job as possible and resist the urge to let up on your required duties.
Comments you make on social networking sites should not indicate you are looking for other work. It’s too easy for your employer to get wind of your stealth job hunting campaign.
In summary, to keep your job hunt undercover, never do any job hunting activity during work hours, keep employer related contact information off your resume and cover letter. Critically look at using company time for job interviews, and attempt to schedule them after work. There is not need to involve co-workers in your job search, plus it’s too easy for your job hunting information to be leaked to your employer.
John Groth has changed careers seven times during his working life. Learn more about changing careers, job hunting tips and career planning at http://careersafter50.com. Discover how others over age 50, built winning career plans and found the right careers by effective job hunting after 50.