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Resume-posting sites like Monster.com have options to hide contact information and the name of a current employer. Even if I hide that information, someone familiar with my experience from my company would be able to identify me even with that information hidden.

I would like to put my information up on sites so I can be contacted with potential offers, but I would like to minimize the chance that my employer finds out about it having a potentially negative impact on my current situation before I can find an alternative job.

How can I minimize the chance of my employer finding out that I am looking for other jobs when I have very unique work experience?

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    Hey Anonymouse, and welcome back to The Workplace. I think you have a great core question here which was put on hold only because of the way it was phrased. In order to try to get it reopened I've made a significant edit to it. If you think I missed something, or otherwise think it could be improved, feel free to edit it yourself. Thanks in advance, and thanks again for the question! – jmac Jan 14 '14 at 4:47
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I think this is a good question but sadly I would say the answer is "no, it's impossible".

These public sites are just that - public! Even if they wanted to offer a "public.. to everyone except my boss!" service, how could that possibly work? Even if there were some way to prevent staff from your company seeing it, what happens when your boss engages a new recruiter to find staff, and they tell him "hey I have this guy Mr. A. Nonymoose who is a perfect fit!"

No, if you want to jobhunt but don't want your boss to know about it, then you need to rely on push not pull. You need to find the job ads, and send your résumé to the employers/recruiters. Not just post it online and hope that someone comes asking for you.

  • I don't see that it would be technically difficult. Employers register and pay to use Monster, so it would be simple enough for the site to hide my résumé from searches made by people from Bob's Moose Ranch, where I currently work. Not perfect, but better than nothing. – Anonymoose Jan 13 '14 at 1:53
  • Ah, OK, from your use of the word "public" I assumed that résumés on monster.com were viewable by the public. However, even if it is behind a registration wall, there's still the situation of a recruiter/headhunter engaged by Bob's Moose Ranch viewing your résumé there. – Carson63000 Jan 13 '14 at 2:11
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    Imagine if you were offered the same job you do currently at the same company, but with a higher salary. What would happen if you applied? :philosoraptor: – Juha Untinen Jan 13 '14 at 13:18
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    Knowing some HR departments, you'd ace the interview, then next day get a pink slip as HR comes to tell you that unfortunately they've found somebody more qualified for your position. Enjoy the weekend and come back on Monday. Pretty much what happened to a friend of my mother. – MSalters Jan 16 '14 at 13:25
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Just put your CV on any site you like and if someone asks you about it, just say you forgot to take it down, or you are simply keeping a record in case you need it in future. The working world isn't what it was 50 years ago. It is expected that people will change employers a few times during their lifetime.

For instance, it is very common for people in the information technology sector, especially software development, to change jobs every 3 to 5 years as they either outgrow their current job or they wish to take on a new area of expertise.

Leaving your CV up on a site isn't frowned upon.

That being said, many job hunter sites I know of have the option of making your CV private. That way, only if you take the initiative of applying for a position can a prospective employer view it.

  • That won't wash if the CV is bang up to date! – Julia Hayward Jan 15 '14 at 9:14
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    Depends on the employer. But I'm not saying I disagree. I just went ahead and told mine that I am simply keeping my info up to date because that's the type of person I am. Which is the truth. In fact, I edited my online CV just two days ago, adding a new skill and updating my experience matrix. – Captain Kenpachi Jan 15 '14 at 10:17
  • The key here is plausible deniability. – Captain Kenpachi Jan 15 '14 at 14:35
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If you want your search to be confidential, do not post your resume on public career boards/sites.


Consider going through a Recruiter: This is one reason why Recruiters exist. Going through a reputable recruiter (or 2) ensures complete confidentiality. Recruiters are not suppose to present you a company without your permission and they keep your information confidential. That's their job to do so.

Do your own search: You can also search for positions on your own, but that's more of a reactive job search. You want to include proactive techniques in your search. In other words, rather than finding the position and applying to it online, start with first identifying 10 to 20 companies that you want to work for based on your personal criteria (i.e., less than 10 miles from home, their involvement in the community, the size of the department you'd be working in, their reputation on sites like glassdoor.com, etc.

Build Your Proactive Job Search Strategy: Now that you know WHO you want to work for, now you can determine WHO you need to build rapport with at each company and dedicate at least 90 days to the process of reaching out to people at that company that are either decision makers or influencers. LinkedIn.com is a perfect tool to use for this. If you take this approach and focus at least 90 days to 4 months on it, natural attrition will likely occur in the department: someone will quit to relocate with a spouse to a new city, someone will get promoted, someone will get fired, maybe even a female employee will elect not to return back to work after being on maternity leave. When any of these situations occur, you want to already be TOP OF MIND.

If you wait for the position to be posted, you're several weeks behind because that hiring manager starts first with his/her inner network to try and get referrals before posting it online. By the time it's online, it's usually been open for several weeks. You want to get into the game as close to when the position became available. There's no better way to do that than to start building rapport with the people who have the influence or authority to hire you before the position even shows up on the internet.

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Depends really. If your company works only through recruitment agencies then you have a buffer area. Whenever a recruiter contacts you, you simply tell them that if it is your company that you are not interested because you are looking at other options and they have no reason to tell your company because if they do, they loose a client.

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    The OP would have to know which recruiter his boss uses or the recruiter would have to tell the OP (early in the process) which company the job is for. Both are possible but not guaranteed. – Jan Doggen Jan 13 '14 at 8:46
  • Well not really. When the recruiter makes contact you simply say "I work for ExtremePOS" please exclude me from your applications to that company if they are one of your clients. This is no more information that you want to give, it should be available on your CV anyway. – Ross Drew Jan 13 '14 at 9:37
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This actually happened to a colleague of mine some time ago. We both work for a fairly large company (well I finish tomorrow).

My colleague's CV was spotted by our HR department and they contacted him to ask if everything was OK, I see this as a good thing. He can either say 'I am unhappy here' and this could possibly lead to discussions about his role and whether he needs a change within the organisation, and at least he is being heard. Equally he could answer 'No everything is fine' but of course leave his CV online.

I realise this could work very differently depending on the role and organisation. From my own point of view I am a full time Front End Developer, however I do offer freelance work, and seem to be doing that alot, so I feel that I am entirely justified in having my CV publicly available, whilst not causing any conflicts with my day time employer.

If you have a linkedin account I see this as almost as interchangeable as an online CV.

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