2 Must-Do’s for Keeping Your Job Search Confidential

Don’t want your current employer to know about your job search?  That makes sense.  Some employers get mad if they think you’re leaving.  Many clients tell me their bosses openly react negatively to the news that they’re looking for other opportunities.

Here are two tips for keeping your search private until you’re ready to announce your departure.

  • Create a nondescript, non-identifiable email address for potential employers to contact you.  This week one of my clients learned, to her horror, that a hiring official had inadvertently emailed her, and every other applicant, using the “To” field of the email, rather than – as the official intended to do – using the blind-copy (BCC) field to protect everyone’s identities.  Many applicants – including my client – had used email addresses that contained their real names. So every candidate could see the names of everyone else.  Some are coworkers  of my client.  How to protect against a hiring official’s sloppy practices? Create a generic email, such as one based on your field, like CareerArchitect@gmail.com.  While many recruiters suggest you use an email address containing your real name, I say the exact opposite.  Mistakes are going to be made.  Hiring officials receive thousands of applications for even the lowest-level job. Don’t let their mistakes become your career disaster.  For what it’s worth, here’s the hiring official’s response to my client’s complaint about the breach of confidentiality.   It shows an alarming lack of appreciation for the risk created for my client and the other applicants:

  • Obtain commitment from a potential employer not to check references without your consent.  A reference check is a sure sign that you’re on the way out.  That could cost you potential promotions, choice assignments, even your current job.  Omit references from your initial application and submissions.  And when you get to the appropriate point, email the hiring official and ask for their agreement not to contact your current employer.  Finally, ask for a binding offer before reference checks begin.  You would have a legal basis to pursue the potential employer for the loss of your job if they’ve break either of these commitments, even accidentally.  Without such a commitment, it’s doubtful you could do anything about it.

Jim Garrity

Employee Rights Lawyer, Florida & Georgia


Categories: Job Searches, Job Searches & Interviews

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