Why it is increasingly difficult to conduct a confidential job search (and tips to improve the odds you won’t get caught out by your current boss)
The majority of job seekers, don’t’ want their boss to find out there looking for a new job. Yet increasingly, it is becoming more difficult to conduct a confidential job search. So in this article, I share with you the key steps you need to take to ensure your job search is confidential and you safeguard your privacy.
Be very selective where you post or upload your resume
Most job seekers are unaware that as soon as they upload their resume, their resume and the content within the resume can be shared, without having any control over who views or accesses your information.
Take the SEEK profile for example. If your profile is set to standard, then any Advertiser (including your boss) can view and purchase your profile, including your resume and contact details. What this means, is there is no way to hide your profile from a particular person or advertiser and that your information is being sold, without you have any control over who is purchasing your information. Even if you set the SEEK Profile to Limited, your details can be viewed.
After a careful review of the privacy settings, the only way you can hide from your current boss or employer is to change your settings to Hidden, which means NOBODY can view your profile. Hiding your profile from everyone pretty much defeats the whole purpose of creating a SEEK Profile in the first place.
Uploading Resumes on Major Job Boards and Job Aggregators
Likewise, if you upload your profile to sites such as Monster, or Indeed you have just provided them with permission to sell your information to any 3rd party that they desire. They are also farming additional information about you via cookies, including adding information gathered from public websites to your profile and also selling this information to 3rd parties.
In short, once you upload your resume on one of these sites, you have NO control over who views, or accesses your information.
Get Super Selective with what Recruiters you work with
I wrote recently how some recruiters are just sharks and should not be in the business of recruitment. With an increasingly competitive landscape among recruiters and a race to the bottom with declining margins, many recruiters are happy to share your details to 3rd parties without your permission. This is a MAJOR problem, if you want to conduct a confidential job search. So make sure you are only working with ethical recruiters.
Lesson: If you want to conduct a truly confidential job search, don’t use these job search methods and make sure you only work with ethical recruiters
LinkedIn on the other hand is a little less problematic, you can simply turn off notifications to your connections, update your profile and because it is such a common networking tool, it is a much safer bet if you don’t want your boss to know you are proactively looking for work. However, you still need to make these changes discreetly and over an extended period of time, as it is a HUGE giveaway, if you go from an inactive LinkedIn user, to connecting like mad overnight.
Lesson: Don’t update and go on a frenzied connection rampage only when you are looking for a new job on LinkedIn. If you do, it is a dead giveaway that you are seeking a new job.
Don’t conduct a job search at work
Most employers monitor the websites you visit, the phone calls you make, as well as have the ability to access your official work email. So, don’t use the workplace and equipment to conduct a job search. Instead, keep your resume, all email correspondence and anything related to a job search on your home computer. Likewise, don’t use your work phone number for job hunting. Instead put your mobile (cell phone) number on your resume and use an effective and professional voice mail message.
Lesson: Never conduct a job search at work, – you risk getting caught out.
Don’t change your workplace habits
If you are suddenly out of the office at strange times, or turning up to work in a suit and you normally wear casual clothes, this is going to be a dead giveaway. So schedule interviews in such a way, so that your normal workplace schedule is not interrupted and carry on like everything is normal.
Lesson: Don’t change your habits, persona and schedule at work. Arriving in the office with a full suit on casual Friday, will blow your cover.
Be super Discreet (online and offline)
No matter how close your work buddies are, don’t tell them that you are looking for a new job. While they might be trust worthy, they could still inadvertently spill the beans – so just don’t leave it to chance.
Likewise, be careful what you post on social networking sites. Unless you have Facebook locked down like Fort Knox, (and Facebook has a bad habit if changing their privacy settings on a frequent basis), sharing your job search activities via Facebook, could lead to someone that you know through a network, sharing this information more generally. Plus, you have to remember, everything you post onto your social media profiles, such, as Facebook is public. If you put it out on the web, your employer can find out this information and will know you are looking for a new job.
Lesson: Everything you post online, including tweets, blogs, web profiles, images, Instagram, and Facebook is public, so don’t publicise your job search on these forums.