Top Secret Job Search

Written by on July 4, 2012 in Career - No comments | Print this page



Top Secret Job Search

Keeping your job search secret can help keep you from getting fired.

Keeping a job search private can be a challenge. Many employers want to interview during business hours but, that’s when you’re at work. Also, it can look a little suspicious to come to work wearing a suit when you normally wear khakis. Despite the difficulties, there are ways to keep your job search private.

Personal Email &Phone Number

It seems counterintuitive but, many people use their company email address as their primary email address. This is not a good idea in general but, it is an even worse idea when you’re looking for a job without your employer knowing.

When searching for a new job, use your personal email address and your personal phone number. This way, your employer will not be able to find out about your job search from internet monitoring software. Also, you can’t be accused of using company time and equipment to look for a new job if you do this..


While interviewing, you are often asked for references. One way to handle this it to stipulate that your current employer can only be contacted when an offer is pending. You can do this both on a job application and when providing a reference sheet during an interview. This can help to keep your employer from being contacted without your permission. You want to make sure that your employer learns about you leaving from you and not from some slip-up.

Network Quietly

When networking, make sure that you don’t use your co-workers to help you find your new job. This can put them in an awkward position if they are ever asked about your move. Also, this is how rumors get started. So, make sure to network with people from outside of the office.


Handling interviews can be one of the biggest problems when conducting a secret job search. Make sure you’re not using company time to do this. If possible, use half a vacation day, a sick day, or personal leave to take the time off for your interviews. If you’re asked why you’re doing this, you can always be vague about an appointment or a personal situation. No one really needs to know the whole story.

Also, if necessary, take the time to change out of your interview attire. Showing up in a suit after a morning off will definitely call attention to yourself if you work in a more casual environment. So, make sure that you look like your usual self after an interview.

Covert Operations

Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, you must be incredibly secretive about your job search. During these times, you may want to omit your name from your resume on sites such as You can use an alias such as “Confidential Job Seeker.”

 Also, you may want to make your resume more anonymous. You can do this by removing the name of your current employer and replacing it with something generic, such as “Accounting Firm.” You can also remove the city and other identifying information about your employer. When you take these drastic measures, be sure to remove your name from file names and use an email address that doesn’t use your name, such as

Conducting a secret job search can be difficult but, not keeping your job search can have definite consequences. So, make sure to protect yourself while you look for your next new job.

What do you do to keep your job search secret?


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About the Author

Jen Small

Jen is a writer who is originally from South Florida. A former recruiter for a Fortune 500 company, she has also worked in several different industries - real estate, insurance, construction, and education. Jen has now taken this experience to help others as a resume writer and designer. She currently lives and works in South Korea. View all posts with career advice.