How to do a job search on the “down low”….by Amanda Matthews

In today’s tough market, the best time to look for a job is while you have one. I often have candidates that are concerned about confidentiality…especially when they weren’t looking and I reached out to them.   So if you plan to start a job search and you are concerned about the word getting out to your current employer, I have provided some Do’s and Don’ts that may help:


  • Tell coworkers that you are interviewing. It’s best to keep the information to yourself. Even the most well-meaning coworkers, can have a slip of tongue.
  • Post your resume to job boards without carefully reviewing the content. Without some edits to your resume, you may be making it easy for your current employer to figure out who you are. After all, there is a reason why your skills are in demand. A recruiter with your current company is likely trying to find your next colleague.
  • Post your work email or phone number on your resume unless you are comfortable with a recruiter reaching out to you through those channels. I often get candidates surprised that I emailed them at a work address that was listed on their resume. If you don’t have a personal account, now is the time to create one.


  • Update your resume and profile on Linked in. Linked in is a great tool to update your resume where recruiters have access to you, but you don’t appear actively engaged in a job search. It’s also a good idea to send out invitations to former colleagues and grow your network. Their team may have an opening that would be a perfect fit for you.
  • Plan ahead and make sure you have adequate vacation time to take off for an interview.
  • Let your recruiter know that you need confidentiality. This becomes more important if you are interviewing in the same city where you reside and are well networked. There are steps we can take on our side that will increase your confidentiality, like providing a conference room away from your former colleagues or friends and reminding the interview team that your interview has a heightened amount of confidentiality.
  • Ask your recruiter about suggested attire. At Microsoft, business casual attire is acceptable for interviewing and will not raise any red flags at your current employer. If a suit is the best choice, make sure to leave it in the car.
  • Make applications online to companies of interest. If you read a job description that is a good match for your skills….the company is likely looking for you!

As always, continue to work hard and foster good relationships with your boss and coworkers.  This will come in handy in the future if you ever need a list of references.  Happy Hunting!

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