If you have a job and you are searching for a better one, then beware, for if your employers come to know about your new job search, they will take not much time to fire you. In the process, you lose what you had and there is no immediate chance of landing another job. That’s a fearsome scenario. Even if you don’t get fired, your current employers will not trust you any longer. Hence if you want to search for jobs, then maintain secrecy because that’s the only way to go.

keep job search confidential

Here are 20 ways in which you can keep your job search confidential and go on about searching without fear or anxiety:

1. Keep away office computer:

Never, ever use your office time and computers for job search. That includes the office mail ids, fax lines and telephones too. Do not visit job sites or indulge in any job search communication. A survey on Electronic monitor and surveillance conducted in 2015 by the American Management Association reveals that around 76 percent employers keep an eye of their employees’ computer activities, the websites they visit, the work they do and in some cases, even the documents they work on and store.

2. Be careful at each step:

If you are searching for a better job in the same job position and in the same industry, then you have to be careful at each step and you will have to use discretion. In today’s time and phase, there is a lot of networking between companies and recruiters and so on and not to forget, the individual networking that your boss might be into. Thus, it is very difficult to hide job searches. The only way to do it is to tell your recruiter to keep away companies that might be in collaboration or in contact with your current employers. Only involve those you trust implicitly with your job search.

3. Keep your resume and your details partially hidden:

On job sites, there are many options as to how visible you want to be. Adjust those settings. In your resume, it is best not to disclose your current employer, rather mention, as an example, ‘a multi-national company manufacturing industry valves’ and so on. You can choose not to display your name or you can choose to display only your email ID as your contact information. These tips give you lot of confidentiality.

4. Use company websites to apply:

You will definitely have a list of companies you wish to work with. They will have their own websites. You can directly apply through the website. If there are no direct ‘career with us’ icon on their website, there will be an email id listed. You can send your applications to this mail. This is a good way to apply confidentially and is rather much simpler way to do so.

5. Give only your mobile number or your residence number as the contact option:

Even if your current office does not allow you to use your cell phone during office hours, do not give your office number, even if it is a direct line and no one else has access to it. Also avoid speaking on phone regarding job searchers or rather avoid answering job reply calls during office hours. If it is urgent, then go out and talk. Again, this too can give away your plan.

6. Limit your job search period and activities to lunch time:

If there is a mail that you have been asked to sent urgently by a prospective employer, then wait till lunch time and go to a café or a restaurant with your laptop, where you can work in peace. You can use the time even to return calls.

7. Schedule your interview time:

If there are interviews to attend, request them to schedule it either early in the morning or after work. If you pack an interview during lunch time, then it will be great. Otherwise, you will have to take leave from work. But beware, taking too many days off can send doubts about your activity. Hence be careful about it. The best way is to take a short time off and attend as many interviews during this period. Your office will assume that you are away on a vacation and there will be no further queries.

8. Don’t dress up:

Just because there is an interview you need to attend, do not dress up much because then people will automatically think that you are bound to visit some other place. Instead, wear the same clothes that you wear to work. If the dress code at your current job is informal and you are asked to appear for an interview in formal attire, then change accordingly but your office should not come to know about it.

9. Discreet is the way to go:

It is better not to tell anyone in your office about your job search, even if it’s a close friend. Informing your family is something you should do because they can take messages in your absence. You can also tell them to be discreet in front of visiting colleagues.

10. Use social media responsibly:

Do not write anything that might give away that you are searching for another job, even if you are writing on a friend’s inbox. Even on LinkedIn, maintain your current job position. Your bosses may not be looking at your social media accounts but there is always someone who is eager to break such news to your employers.

11. Careful thought needed if you are contacting rivals of your current employers:

You may search job in the same sector and the rival company of your current employer might be where you wish to apply but you have to be very careful while applying.

12. Use LinkedIn settings wisely:

Now, there are options as to what activity on LinkedIn you want your connections to see. This will help you keep your job search on LinkedIn discreet.

13. Think before you give your references:

If a company asks for a reference at an interview, then give only those references who won’t threaten your current job. You can speak to those people before hand, explain them the situation and then give their names as references.

14. Create a discreet email id:

Of course, you will have to give your personal id and not your office mail id in your resume. If your office bosses and HR department are aware of the personal email Id you are using, then it is better to create a separate email id for your job searches. Refrain from using your name and you can create an email id which will not give away your identity.

15. Refrain from posting your resume on job boards:

Job boards can give wide visibility to your resume and one of them will be your current employers. You can cut your name and contact information from the resume, even then other information will be available for all to see but that won’t be of much help.

16. Do not ask for experience certificate or a copy of past performance evaluation:

No matter what excuse you give, these requests will place you in a position of doubt. If your future employer has asked for one, then you have to tell them politely that you can get such a letter only after you join the new office. Most employers will understand.

17. Never keep any documents related to job search in your current office:

Be it your resume or cover letter in your computer at office or any copies or documents in physical form. You might think nobody touches your computer or your desk but you never know. So, you have to be extra cautious.

18. Do not be slack in your current responsibilities:

You may be looking for a better job and you may be even confident that you will land up that dream job, but that does not mean you have to take your current job lightly. In fact, you should display a normal behaviour. Participate in team activities, do your job with the same passion and dedication as before and do everything to make it sound that this job is much important to you.

19. Do not say no to workshops or conferences:

Just because you are looking for a job does not mean that you act pricey now on and refuse to attend workshops or conferences your current boss wants you to attend. In fact, keep your job search activities on hold for a sometime and give full attention to these activities. You benefit in two ways, first you can add one more point to your resume and second, you are also showing commitment to your work.

20. Don’t clean up, yet:

Even if you have landed that job, do not start packing. You should start it only when you have submitted your resignation letter and have made things clear amicably. When best of luck pours in with a smile, start packing your things. Leave with a kind and grateful smile.

Surveys and studies have pointed out almost 75 percent of employees are unhappy with their current job. That means you are not the only one looking for a new job, there are many, so do not feel guilty. But at the same, you have to treat your job search as a confidential matter and tread the path slowly and carefully. The above 20 steps are what you need to follow and you can be assured that no one else comes to know about your job search except for you and your potential employers. So, why wait? Go ahead practising these pointers and hunt for that dream job of yours.