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Networking Confidentially While Employed

RESUME WRITER: Lou H.
CATEGORY: Grow Your Network
POSTED: September 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Searching for a new career opportunity can be a little tricky when the candidate is still on staff with a company. If your employer gets wind of your job search, it can mean that you will be terminated before you are ready to go. At the very least, it will mark you as someone who is unhappy and this is never a good thing when it comes to maintaining a positive relationship with an employer.

Do Your Homework to Avoid Embarrassing Situations

You certainly do have options when putting yourself out in the job market. Research companies you are applying with to ensure they are not connected with your current employer. Large companies many times have subsidiaries and own smaller divisions, so check things out very closely before submitting your resume. I would strongly discourage submitting the resume to blind advertisements in which the company names are not disclosed. You simply do not know to whom you are applying and this can prove to be a problem if it turns out to be the company you are working for. Imagine your boss receiving your resume in response to a blind ad they placed!

Working through recruiting firms can be helpful in maintaining a confidential search as well, provided that you have alerted them to use extreme caution when submitting your resume. I also recommend indicating “Confidential” on the resume to the right of the name of the company.  Most of the time, personnel departments honor your wishes when they know you do not want to tip off your employer. Just make it clear, in a positive way, that you are conducting a confidential search.  Noting the resume is usually the best way to accomplish this. I have seen candidates submit “blind” resumes without their name or company name, but it has been my experience this is not very effective. Additionally, do not post your resume on job boards, otherwise your current employer may stumble across it.

Use Social Media Carefully

If you use social networking sites, it is still a good idea to connect directly with other professionals who work for companies you have interest in; however, I would not post the resume on your profile.
You also do not want your current employer contacted as a reference, even during the interview process. Provide other professional references that aren’t connected with the company you are with.
By following these guidelines, you should have success in searching for a rewarding career opportunity without fear of your current employer finding out before you receive a new offer.