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  • Carol Adams, CPRW


I frequently talk to people who are desperately unhappy in their jobs but are afraid to look for a new one for fear of being let go if someone in their current company finds out. So here are 12 tips to help you conduct a stealth job search:

1. Be discreet. This is the most important “rule,” and should govern everything you do.

2. DON’T TELL ANYONE AT WORK, no matter how much you think you can trust them.

3. Do your job search from home on your personal computer, or at the public library if you’re using a laptop provided by your company. The same goes for any work-provided device unless you are 100% sure that nobody is monitoring your calls, email, or online activity.

4. Never use your business email account for job searching, and try to not to make or take job-search-related calls at work.

5. Don’t announce your job search on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, your blog, or in a widely disseminated email.

6. Be very careful when posting your resume to job boards. Unless you can post it as “confidential” or “private,” your best bet is to apply directly from each company’s website, rather than having your name and current company name circulating on Indeed or Monster, etc. (Because some employers do regular searches for the resumes of current employees.)

7. Don’t hire a resume distribution company for the reason above.

8. Carefully update your LinkedIn profile by adding some keywords to your headline and writing a summary that touts your current company, along with some of your accomplishments at that company. (If someone at work asks you about the update, tell them that you want your profile to look good to customers because that will help the company.)

9. Grow your network outside the company via LinkedIn and other avenues. Join LinkedIn Groups related to your industry/role, and spend time every day liking, commenting, and posting to slowly raise your digital profile.

10. Schedule interviews before or after work, if possible, or take a personal or vacation day.

11. Be mindful of your interview attire. If you are suddenly dressed up in a casual workplace, questions will be asked. You may need to take nice clothes with you and change somewhere on the way to the interview.

12. Use former employers and co-workers as references.

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