When looking for a new job, the majority of professionals need to conduct their job search without their current employer knowing. And with the advent of social media, and the importance of using LinkedIn in your search, it can be difficult to know how to conduct a job search effectively, yet discreetly.
First, take heart knowing you are not alone. According to LinkedIn's 2015 Talent Trends report, nearly one in three employees are actively searching for a new job -- a lot of professionals. So how can you go about looking for a new job, including utilizing LinkedIn and networking within your industry, without everyone finding out? Here are a few pointers:
Consider an internal change. When job searching, many people don't fully consider whether there is an opportunity for them in their own backyard. Before you send your resume to other companies, ask yourself if you are unhappy with your role and the organization you work for, or if it is just about your current job. Evaluate all options before you launch into a search.
Consider if there would be an opportunity for you within your current organization that would provide more job satisfaction. If there is, take the time to find out more before you make your final decision. You never know. When people are unsatisfied with their jobs, they tend to feel like they have to make a dramatic change. And nine times out of 10, they don't need to; they only need to make a course correction.
Don't search during work hours. It is unprofessional to search for a new job while on the clock at your current position. It may be tempting to do so if you are having a slow day or are incredibly unhappy in your job, but there is another thing to keep in mind besides professionalism. Most companies have a transparency policy with their computers and other devices, so keep in mind nothing you do is necessarily private on their devices.
Although not all companies spy on their employees, you never know when they might schedule a random check of websites you visit or emails you send. If you decide you really need to check on organizations currently hiring or make an urgent call about a job interview while on a work break, don't do so on your office computer, phone or tablet. And do it on your lunch hour. Keep your searches on your personal devices and on your own time.
Enable stealth mode online. LinkedIn and other job-search applications have settings to let you job search discreetly. These settings are always evolving, so make sure you understand how these features work in each application and that they haven't been changed before uploading a resume and cover letter. For example, on LinkedIn you can disable the feature where other users are notified if you make updates or changes to your profile. Check out your applications' privacy features thoroughly prior to launching your search.
And keep in mind that on LinkedIn, even though users may not be notified that you are making changes, you may want to make your updates slowly over time so they attract less attention, especially with a public profile.
Be careful who you tell. If you have decided that you need to make a change to a new organization or career path, you will want to share your news with your network and people who can assist you with your search. But before you tell everyone, consider the possible implications with each person.
If your uncle is close friends with your boss's boss, will the news accidentally be shared over a game of golf, for example? If you tell your close work buddies, could the news accidentally slip out at work when your boss can overhear? And if your industry is small and close-knit, does that mean that news could travel quickly? Whoever you decide to share your news with while you are still job searching, ask them to be discreet as well.
Hallie Crawford is a certified career coach, speaker, author and freelance blogger for U.S. News. As a certified coach for over 15 years, Hallie specializes in career direction, job search and work performance coaching. Her coaching company, HallieCrawford.com, has helped professionals worldwide identify, secure and succeed in their dream job. Her team of coaches work with people of all ages, and have helped thousands achieve their career goals. She is also regularly featured as a career expert in the media, including on CNN, Fox Business News, The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger and Forbes.com. Connect with Hallie on LinkedIn or contact her at http://www.halliecrawford.com/contact-us/.