The main problem with it, that it is simply impossible to apply anywhere without giving my in-real-life name. And, looking for that, it is very easy to find me anywhere, and also my current employer.

Of course, I can say that it is a private thing, and ask the company to not try to find out this information, or not use this information anywhere, but then they will think:

  • There is no guarantee that they will follow my this wish. After they found out my actual employer, they can simply ignore my this wish and ask them about me behind my back. This will also serve as a warning. A question like "How well this M.S. worked for you?" serves also a warning: "Hey, this M.S. wants to leave you!"
  • They can think, that maybe I want to hide something about my relation with my current employer.
  • They can also think, that I will search my next job after them just so behind their back, as I do with my current employer.

As an additional info: I am in Germany, where I am a foreigner. Here the companies doesn't do very often something behind others back, but from the other side, there is an informational network of bosses informing eachother from their employees. They also consider foreigners as not enough trustworthy (which is, in a mean sense, is not groundless).

How to solve this problem?

Extension: Thank you everybody the answers and also the comments - they were informative to me, even the not so friendly ones. I already know, what I wanted to know. So this question can go, if you want this. Btw, I think it would be useful for the googlers of the future and closing/deleting it would be an irrecoverable information loss, but it is your decision and not mine.

closed as off-topic by AndreiROM, gnat, Chris E, Kilisi, Carson63000 May 5 '16 at 20:45

  • This question does not appear to be about the workplace within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Jane S May 6 '16 at 2:38
  • I vote to reopen this question, because it is very clearly isn't mentioned as offtopic reason in the help center, while it belongs very clearly to its ontopic definiton. – Gray Sheep May 6 '16 at 3:55
  • If you feel that your question should be reopened, the best thing to do is to post in meta.workplace with a link back to this question, outlining why you think it was closed in error. The community can then decide whether the question should be reopened or remain closed. – Jane S May 6 '16 at 3:58

When applying for a new job there are a few implied rules:

  • You provide a (relevant) history of employment, including your current occupation and responsibilities
  • The recruiter/potential employer does not go out of their way to screw you over by informing your boss that you're seeking new employment
  • You eventually provide references whom the potential employer can speak to (this could be a fellow employee, a previous employer, etc.)

You're right: there's no guarantee that a recruiter will not contact your current employer for some reason. However this is simply not done. It's a convention which is not broken by a professional. All of us take this risk when applying for a new job, and I have never heard of this happening.

Minimize this risk by applying for jobs only through well known agencies, recruiters, and websites which have demonstrated good behavior in this regard - you can research recruitment agencies in order to find out if they're ever breached the trust of their customers in this way.

However, trying to keep this information (your current employer) secret will basically guarantee that you are not called in for an interview.

Just a few more examples of risks you take when applying for a new job:

  • No guarantee that the company you're applying to will read your resume
  • No guarantee that the company you're applying to will want to contact you after reading your resume
  • No guarantee that the company you're applying to will want call you in for an in-person interview after speaking to you on the phone
  • No guarantee that the company you're applying to will want to hire you after interviewing you
  • No guarantee you won't get struck by lightning on your way to the interview

Do you see a pattern here? There are never any guarantees.

  • 2
    If you don't provide your current employer in your resume you look unemployed which is far worse. If you state you have been employed at some employer whose name you won't give, your resume will be laughed at and no one you would want to work for would consider interviewing you. Honestly, I have never heard of a company calling the current employer without your direct permission. It would get around so fast and no one else in their market would apply for their openings. It is stupid thing for any company to even consider doing. – HLGEM May 5 '16 at 17:29
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    @Morningstar "If I would be a boss of a company, I would question everybodys previous employer, and a positive answer would significantly improve his chance " - Thankfully you're not. Otherwise the amount of lawsuits and otherwise your company would get would cost them millions. – Dan May 5 '16 at 17:34
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    @MorningStar - you seem to be asking us about how to minimize risk in a system of your own making. We are trying to tell you that this is not how things work in the real world, yet you are adamant that it's how you would do it. There is no secret network of bosses who call each other to gossip about you. There is no conspiracy to tell your boss that you're looking for a new job. Since you seem to be insisting that you, rather than us are correct then maybe the question should be migrated to Worldbuilding, because it's not how things are done on this planet. – AndreiROM May 5 '16 at 17:37
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    Just let it die guys, OP clearly doesn't want help, he's/she's just letting us know what he/she plans to do and just wants the site's blessing. – Just Do It May 5 '16 at 17:42
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    Millions and possibly billions of people look for new jobs everyday without having this problem. – HLGEM May 5 '16 at 17:44

I am in Germany, where I am a foreigner. Here the companies doesn't do very often something behind others back, but from the other side, there is an informational network of bosses informing each other from their employees. They also consider foreigners as not enough trustworthy (which is, in a mean sense, is not groundless).

Wow. Do you know this for a fact? While I cannot prove that this is not the case in your specific region and/or industry, I would say it's very uncommon in Germany generally speaking.

Germany does not have a system of "references". We do not call people. We just don't. Employees get written testimonies from former workplaces when they leave and they attach them to new applications.

For obvious reasons you never have a written testimony from your current workplace. You get this when you leave and you don't want to alert people to the fact that you leave.

The only exception, where people actually call each other and talk about employees is consulting and short-term contractors.

I don't know where you got the idea that Germans consider foreigners less trustworthy. If you have the required permits to live and work in Germany, and translations of your certificates or diplomas you are just as trustworthy as anybody else.

Now, there is something the insurance companies call general risk of life. Can anybody here guarantee that the CEOs of your future and current companies aren't best buddies from high school by pure chance, meet to watch a soccer game on Friday and get so bored out of their minds that they talk about work? No. We cannot guarantee that. But there are no guarantees that you don't get hit by a bus on the way to the interview either. Life is risky, there are no guarantees. You take a step forward and hope for the best.

  • I have very few possibilities to know, what are the native Germans (i.e. most of the bosses) really thinking, but I have a general impression about them, and a lot experiences what I've collected in the years working here. Generally, there are characteristic differences compared to my native country, with much more advantage as disadvantage, and I don't think this disadvantage would be so bad or important, especially that I agree it. – Gray Sheep May 5 '16 at 18:15
  • Btw, all of my important papers are bilingual (German or English + my native language), and I have the required permission. But I've also collected some experience and understanding, how the things are going here, so I am a little bit surprised, maybe we live in very different regions or social environments, or so. On my experience, the bosses of the region don't inform about the candidates sometimes, but it is a common practice. Maybe in a very big city, as for example Berlin or Köln it wouldn't be so, but it is not such a big city where I live. – Gray Sheep May 5 '16 at 18:21

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