How Do I Look for a New Job Without My Boss Knowing About It?

I am a Director of Product Development and it doesn’t look like I will make the next step here, so I am looking to see what else is out there for me. My concern is I do not want anyone at my company to catch on that I am looking. How do I indicate on my LinkedIn profile and to my network that I am looking without it getting back to my boss and colleagues? I work with a lot of the people on my LinkedIn network so I feel like I can’t use LinkedIn to search when that’s the first place people go these days to look people up and to network for jobs.

Ann-Z-newHow to actively search for alternate job opportunities without risking your current position is easily the most frequently asked question that we get queried with these days. The advent of all these incredible on-line portals allows people to job surf from the sanctity of their own desk, but also puts people in the precarious position of being identified by their current employer if they are not careful.

Here are some easy to implement suggestions to allow you to explore other job opportunities without jeopardizing your current employment.

1) BEFORE you have a direct need for their services, invest the time and energy in building relationships with recruiters who specialize in your industry. Like, comment and share their posts on LinkedIn, and offer to suggest potential candidates when you see recruiters doing a search. Help them and they will help you. If you are in position to hire people, use them to source your candidates.

2) When you decide that you would like to quietly put out feelers, reach out to these recruiters who you have ideally already established a working relationship with, and let them know of the types of opportunities you would be interested in hearing about. Send them an updated resume along with a list of bullet points on the types of roles you would be open to making a change for. Emphasize that you only want them to share that resume after you have gone over the opportunity in-depth and have given them permission to share it with the potential hiring manager.

3) Set up alerts on ExecuNet. You will then be alerted to jobs that fall within your scope of interest. You can then determine if you want to throw your hat in the ring by sending in your resume directly into the company’s job portal, or letting your recruiter know of the opening and asking her help in gaining you an interview. Ethically, companies are expected to keep applicants confidential, but many people, especially at the executive level, feel much more comfortable and rightly so by working with an executive recruiter, who can investigate potential matches while maintaining their confidentiality until the last possible moment.

4) Set up Google Alerts for the types of roles you are most interested in hearing about, and once you hear about them, either apply directly or bring them to your recruiters attention who can ideally be able to present you on a highly confidential basis to the key decision makers within the hiring company.

5) Make a list of companies that you are most interested in, and set up alerts directly on their career pages to be alerted to new positions.

6) Consider posting a blind resume on Indeed. At the executive level, this is is a lower percentage avenue. This is tricky at the executive level, because to make it truly blind, you will need to take out much of the pertinent information. Executive jobs are best found through networking. I also strongly suggest making up a unique gmail account that does not reflect your name or any identifying information but remains professional. With the help of a good recruiter, rest assured there are actually many ways that you can explore different job opportunities without risking your current role.


Ask Ann,

Have a question you’d like a recruiter to answer? Write to me at AskAnn@execunet.com



Ann Zaslow-Rethaber

Ann Zaslow-Rethaber

A recruiter since 1996, Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is the president of International Search Consultants, a global executive recruiting firm launched in 1999.

ISC has become one of the country’s most reputable search firms, earning more recommendations on Linked In than any other 3rd party recruiting agency in the entire country. With a team of 15 talented recruiters, utilizing the very best high- tech tools available, ISC can produce highly qualified candidates for companies with hi-volume recruiting needs.

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