How to Keep Your Job Search Discreet

Looking for a job that allows for better work-life synthesis, while trying staying afloat financially often means keeping your job search a secret. 

Here are some tips on how to successfully keep your job search discreet:

Don’t search for a job while you’re at work!

“Use common sense,” says Tanisha Sykes, Senior Editor of Personal and Finance Careers at Essence.  “Do not use your work phone, computer, printer or any other work-related equipment or time at the office to conduct your search. Conduct your search at home, only provide recruiters with your cell phone number and go to interviews before or after work. If that’s not possible, do it during your lunch or take a personal or sick day. Be strategic, not frazzled, about your search. And remember, using the office equipment to search for another job is grounds for termination.”

Network with caution

Networking is key to finding a great job, but remember to stay positive while reaching out to your peers.  Don’t act desperate for a new job; no one wants to hire someone who is dying to get out of a job. 

“When you speak with potential employers or contacts, you can say something like, “I’m doing well at my current position and I’m always entertaining options for what’s next,” suggests Amy Gallo, contributing editor at Harvard Business Review.  And be sure to avoid social media, where privacy doesn’t exist.

Be selective about your references

It’s likely that your references are a part of your tight-knit network, so let your references know that your job search is confidential.  And of course – if you’re trying to keep your job search confidential from your current manager, make sure they aren’t listed as a reference.  Instead, provide the names of previous managers as well as a trusted colleague from your current company who is aware of your job search and can speak to your performance. “If a hiring manager insists on a reference directly from your boss, explain that you can provide one at the point of offer,” says Gallo.

Have you ever kept a job search professionally confidential?  What worked best for you?


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