Shhhhh! How To Conduct A Secret Job Search

People change jobs often throughout life. And currently employed people always worry about how to conduct a secret job search.

The average person born in the latter years of the baby boom (1957-1964) has held 11.7 jobs from age 18 to age 48, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While there are different methods used when attempting to find a job, gaining new employment when you are already employed may be especially tough.

What behavior types are “reasonable” and when are you “going too far?” While you may be looking for a new job, it is still imperative that you devote your time and attention during work hours to the job that you do have.  Things such as using your work computer to search for jobs or contacting potential employers while at your current job shouldn’t be done. Scenarios such as these may be acceptable if you are applying for an internal job within the company you work for. However,  if you aren’t sure of the specific protocol, you should ask human resources how to properly apply for these internal open positions.

  • Networking

If you are conducting a secret job search and decide to use “word of mouth” as a method to find a job, be sure that everyone you speak with understands that you are attempting to be discreet in your search. Network after work or on the weekends, and it is best to speak only with individuals who have no connections to your current workplace to minimize the chances of office gossip.

  • Online

Being discreet online is almost a laughable concept. The Internet is anything but discreet and once your resume is out there you never know whose desk it may end up on. While it is nearly impossible to remain anonymous on a resume (employers HAVE to know who you are, right?) it is possible to refrain from acts such as posting your job search efforts publicly on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or your LinkedIn profile. You can never be sure who has access to view your online profiles and you don’t want your supervisor or coworkers to catch wind that you’re trying to find a job other than the one you already have.

  • Getting Around

Most jobs require you to be at work 5 days per week for 8 hours each day, so going on interviews or scheduling appointments to speak with recruiters or staffing agencies may be tough. If you can’t schedule a time to meet before work or after work, try the weekends or your lunchtime. Be careful how you dress though. If you normally come to work dressed in business casual and then all of a sudden you arrive wearing a business suit, your employer may become suspicious. It may be best to use a vacation day and just opt to go to the interview instead of going to work. If at all possible, try to schedule more than one interview that day or go to more than one staffing agency to make the most out of your time off.

About the Author: Michelle Dumas

Michelle Dumas is the founder and CEO of Distinctive Career Services, one of the internet's longest-standing and most respected professional resume writing firms. Michelle is a 6X certified and 7X award-winning resume writer and career consultant. To learn more about the services offered by Distinctive Career Services visit

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