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Ten steps to conducting a confidential job search

Confidential job searchLooking for a new job while you have a current one can be a daunting task. Consider conducting a confidential job search to avoid risking your current job before you have another one lined up.

Here are ten steps on how to look for another job while you still have one:

#1 – Be discreet.

You want to control the narrative when you turn in your resignation and not have any information or misinformation spread before you are ready to discuss it. A job search can turn into juicy gossip and may make it to your boss’ ears, which may not be viewed favorably. Don’t assume you can trust everyone you work with. Literally, keep it confidential.

#2 – Update your resume and LinkedIn profile.

Before you start looking for another job, make sure that your resume and LinkedIn profile are up to date. Your resume should be tailored to the job you’re applying for, highlighting your skills and experience that are most relevant to the position. Your LinkedIn profile should have all the sections completed and be optimized with keywords that will help recruiters find you. Turn on the confidential (recruiters only) open to work flag and choose the position titles that you are targeting for your next role.

#3 – Network.

Networking is still the best way to find a new job. Attend industry events, connect with recruiters and other people on LinkedIn, and reach out to former colleagues and acquaintances. Make sure if you share that you are job hunting, that you inform them it is still a confidential search.

#4 – Use your lunch breaks and after-work hours.

Looking for a new job can be time-consuming, but it’s important to make time for it. Use your lunch breaks and after-work hours to search for jobs, submit applications, and follow up with potential employers. Do not use your current employer’s time for your new job search purposes.

#5 – Be selective.

Depending on the reason you want to leave your current job, it can be tempting to apply for just about any job, or take the first job offered just to get out of your current situation. Identify what are must-haves in your next job and only apply to jobs that align with your list.

#6 – Develop and leverage relationships with recruiters.

Recruiters can help you gain access to positions that may not be posted to the public.

#7 – Be honest.

When you’re applying for a new job while you have one, it’s important to be honest with potential employers. Let them know that you’re currently employed and that you’re looking for a new opportunity. If you need to schedule interviews outside of work hours, be upfront about it and explain your situation.

#8 – Never badmouth your current employer.

When you’re looking for a new job, stay positive and speak positively about your current employer. Potential employers will see trash talking your current employer as a red flag and may question your professionalism. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your current job and why you’re looking for a new opportunity from career perspective only.

#9 – Keep the quality of your work high.

Once you’ve made the decision to leave your job, it can be easy to disengage from your current responsibilities and pull back on the quality of your work. It is important to remain focused on your job both in terms of work quality and attendance while you are looking for another job. Maintain the highest levels of professionalism in all you do throughout the transition.

#10 – Beware of the counteroffer.

Often times, once presented with a resignation, an employer may offer a raise to entice to you to stay. The offer may seem flattering, but it’s usually made in response to their lack of preparation for your departure. Accepting a counteroffer to stay rarely makes an employee happy long-term, and you may find yourself looking again soon. Also, the relationship with your employer can be strained now that they know you had the desire to leave. Ultimately, make the decision that is right for you, recognizing the pros and cons of accepting it.

Looking for a new job while you have one can be a challenging task, but it’s important to be strategic, discreet, and professional.

You’re now ready to conduct a confidential job search!

Make sure to give at least two weeks’ notice of your last day and be grateful for the learning opportunities you were provided.

About The Author

1 thought on “Ten steps to conducting a confidential job search”

  1. You are spot on, Cathy! Thanks for articulating what our clients need to know so well; clear, concise, and makes total sense!

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