Ways to Look for a Job Confidentially

Career advancement, a shift in passion, better benefits, burnout, or career transition are some of the triggers that might motivate you to rewrite your executive resume to conduct a confidential executive job search.  We often consult with clients who are currently employed but often ask for help with how to conduct a confidential job search.

Clearly, this is a very sensitive aspect of your career and should be approached with extreme caution to preserve your professional reputation and livelihood. In some cases, if your current employer discovers that you are considering leaving, you may find yourself unemployed sooner than you had planned. Below we have provided some of the best resume tips for strategically using discretion in targeting prospective employers during a confidential job search.

Tip #1

Tap Into the Hidden Job Market:

You have probably figured out by now that many employers wish to fill crucial positions within their company without posting or advertising them. With that in mind, as opposed to posting your executive resume on career sites and jobs boards or uploading it into an applicant tracking system (ATS), you can bypass this altogether by tapping into the hidden job market to reach prospective employers. Write a good executive resume with the goal of getting it into the hands of the hiring manager. By networking with trusted individuals within your professional community, volunteering, or following target employers on LinkedIn you can maximize your chances of connecting directly with the intended recruiter or hiring professional. 

Tip #2

Edit Your Resume for Privacy:

In the event, you feel the need to post for an executive role on an online job board keep in mind that your present employer may also be on those job boards to source active and passive job candidates. If you want to avoid an awkward one-on-one meeting with your boss, try replacing your name with confidential candidate; add your city, state, zip code, mobile number, and a professional email address that does not include your first and last name. 

As an alternative, your current employer can be replaced with a less descriptive title that reflects the industry as opposed to the specific name of the company. For example:  Major Healthcare Distributor, then proceed to write your modern resume showcasing your value proposition and leadership talent for inspiring others and managing multimillion-dollar P&Ls while spearheading growth strategies and transformative processes. Remove your name from the properties section of your executive resume created in Microsoft Word and add the title of the position as the saved file name.

This is an area in which you should exercise great caution as we live in a digital age and nothing is 100% secure.

Tip #3

Adjust LinkedIn Settings:

One of the first things the majority of employers do before making a hiring decision is to check future employees for an online presence. They naturally lean toward those that have a strong positive online brand versus those who have a negative or limited visibility. The trick is to get noticed by the desired employer without setting off any warning bells to your current one. One of the first things you can do is turn off your broadcast settings on LinkedIn prior to making any updates to your profile.  Remember, your job-winning resume and cover letter for a CEO position, IT Director, or Supply Chain Management executive should read slightly differently than your LinkedIn profile.  Your senior leadership resume is more succinct, achievement-driven, and very focused on key roles. Conversely, your LinkedIn profile should be written in the first person and convey more of your personality in addition to your value, passions, career trajectory, and defining moments.

Tip #4

Connect with Target Recruiters:

Engage with a select group of targeted, trusted recruiters. Be sure to share that you are executing a confidential job search. During your initial conversation with the recruiter, ask for advance notification of any leadership opportunities that your professional resume will be submitted to. Send the recruiter a thank-you letter in appreciation of their time, and in keeping your job search confidential.

Tip #5


Provide references that are not affiliated with your current employer. It is often a good idea to have three personal and three professional references. Be sure to use trusted references and obtain their approval for use on your application.

If you need help with writing an executive resume, professional resume, or LinkedIn profile we can help. Contact us at info@resumesbyjoyce.com or toll-free 1-888-607-7793.