News and Insight

Resources, advice and thought leadership from our experts.

How to Search for a Job Without Making it Obvious

For anyone who has looked for a job, you know it’s a full-time job in itself. And when you are employed on top of that, it can make the search stressful as you try to do so discreetly. This is especially the case if you think your boss will look poorly upon you or assume you are disengaged with your current job if you’re looking to make a professional move.

So, how can you look for a job without making it obvious?

Schedule Interviews Appropriately

Consider doing interviews during your lunch break, after work hours, or on a PTO day. Lunch is always a good time because it avoids that awkward end-of-the-day sprint to leave work. However, if you don’t have a designated lunch time and leaving work early is frowned upon, think about using PTO. Also, it’s okay to turn down interviews if a hiring manager can’t work around your schedule.

Save Time-Consuming Tasks for Home

Do you need to update your resume or re-write your cover letter? Save time for more in-depth job-searching tasks for hours outside of work. These tasks need more focused attention and possibly a lot more time than would be appropriate to reserve at work if you want to keep things quiet.

Browse Incognito

Searching for jobs on a work computer is something you should try to avoid, but if you have to, make sure you’re using an incognito browser. There might be things that come up like needing to respond to a hiring manager’s email, so if you absolutely have to respond, do so, protecting your privacy.

Keep Things on the DL

Water cooler conversation should not revolve around your job interview later in the week. And it’s not all about what you are putting out into the world verbally. Remember to be careful with your digital footprint, as well. If you’re making updates to your LinkedIn profile, turn off the option to send notifications to your network. As a helpful hint, turn on the option to let recruiters know you’re looking for a job in your privacy settings. Your circle of connections will not see this.

Pick the Right References

When keeping a job search quiet, it’s important to network thoughtfully, and in turn, pick suitable references. It should go without saying but choosing your current boss as a reference might not necessarily work in your favor depending on the situation. Remember which references might lead back to your current job when keeping a job search quiet. For example, do you have a former colleague who is now in a managerial position within another company? Don’t consider them if you think they might spill the beans to your current boss.

Keep Things in Perspective

We all have gotten wrapped up in a job search at one point or another. Albeit stressful, it can be very exciting, empowering, and refreshing. No matter how revved up a job search may be and how much you want to fulfill all the hiring managers’ needs, remember that your current job is still your job. Be considerate with your actions.

In reality, you are the one who is most engulfed in what you do at work. For example, you may see your 30-minute dentist appointment as a huge intrusion in the day, when in actuality, your colleagues can go about business as usual in those 30 minutes. But, when it comes to searching for another job, do your best to respect your current job and put yourself in the best position for your professional livelihood.

Have you ever looked for a job while you were employed? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out 7 Ways To Develop a Learner’s Mindset in 2022.