Last updated: January 19

Conducting a Confidential Job Search?

Loyalty and the job hunt

Are you concerned that your employer will uncover your job search? You feel disloyal to your company and fearful of the consequences of being discovered, because there is a lot riding on your ability to provide for your family.  This is a natural concern, especially when you’ve had a good relationship with your firm.

Integrity and transparency by supporting your current employer

You owe your current employer loyalty and integrity, but you do not owe them your future. One effective way to launch your search is to understand what you want. If you repeatedly find yourself in the same types of positions that do not reward you, you need to think about what you are attracting. I see many people listing skills on their resumes for things they don’t want to do, but because they have always done those things, they feel compelled to list them. Now is the time to get them off the resume and replace them with skills you want to use with companies you want to work with.

Create a List

Create a list of businesses to target. Begin with six. Leverage your current relationship with your firm while reaching out to organizations on your list. By promoting your current organization’s goals and supporting them through your efforts, you remain in integrity to your employment relationship. While you serve your employer, you can serve yourself.  Help your company succeed. Help yourself grow your career.

Gap Analysis

Identify a gap in your company’s business…complete a SWOT analysis to uncover opportunities that let you step out into the business community to meet others, preferably in an area that is of interest to you. What is your company missing that you can help with, perhaps it is social media, business intelligence or business development? Is there an opportunity to be seconded to another division or a special project? Gain senior management approval and consider this as a stepping stone to your next opportunity while you are promoting the interests of your organization.

Ah, but you say “I can’t tell these people I’m looking for a job!” Of course you can’t. And you need not.

Identify individuals who hold key information. As you contribute to the success of the project, you will develop a reputation as an expert outside the current organization. This builds trust and credibility—the foundation for any relationship, including a potential new job opportunity.

Corporate Research

What organizations do what you want to do? Who are the thought leaders and the trailblazers? What will it take to be successful there? According to management guru, Peter Drucker, “Today knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement.” Conduct research and collect information from the experts. Your outward view is easily explained to your employer and is a perfect way to tap into the hidden job market.

Online Job Boards

You likely know that 80-95% of jobs are never advertised. Why then do we invest precious time scouring job boards looking for posted jobs when we know that fewer than 5% of us find new opportunities this way? With 200 -1000 applicants per posted position, we face fierce competition. To counter this, tap into the unadvertised job market and get to the job opportunity before it’s ever posted.

Be Discovered on LinkedIn while remaining loyal and transparent to your current employer

You are reluctant to build your profile because, surely, someone at the office will notice. Fear not. Recruiters and hiring authorities like to see professionals supporting their current employer and your current employer will appreciate your attention to them. It demonstrates loyalty, professionalism and illustrates your business savvy to others. Build the profile slowly; turn off your activity broadcasts and move forward.

Build a profile that screams to recruiters: “I am an ideal fit for your company, just look at how I successful I am with my current employer and how good I make them look. I can do the same for you.”

According to The Undercover Recruiter, 97% of all HR and staffing professionals use LinkedIn in their recruiting efforts. You can’t afford to ignore this fact because recruiters depend on LinkedIn searches to find highly skilled professionals like you.

Position yourself as an attractive candidate by creating a keyword-rich LinkedIn profile to pique the interest of recruiters. You will continue to be “in service” to your employer throughout your job search by using LinkedIn to promote, support and advocate for your employer while reaching out to others and using keywords that recruiters use to search for people like you.

Remember when launching your confidential job search:

  • Know what you want; collect information.
  • Help your current employer while helping yourself.
  • Attract recruiters by building a keyword-rich LinkedIn profile.
  • Promote your current organization to your colleagues, your customers and your community.
  • Be a role model and then you become highly attractive to other organizations.

Enjoy the hunt and have fun!

Do you want to discuss how you and I can work together to move your career forward? Please reach out today; confidentiality and discretion are absolutely guaranteed.


Maureen Farmer

About executive resume writing author 

Westgate - Maureen Farmer, helping C-level executives step up or step out.

Maureen Farmer is the Founder & CEO of Westgate Executive Branding & Career Consulting Inc., an international personal branding and career consulting firm delivering premier executive branding and career consulting services for high-profile leaders. Author of The CEO Script Vault: Job Search Scripts for Busy Executives, Maureen believes that when we’re doing work aligned with our values, everyone wins. Using the law of attraction to identify quality employers utilizing the hidden job market is a cornerstone of her career management strategy.

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