When you're looking for a job while you still have a job, you need to do a bit of balancing. Not only do you have to maintain your job duties to keep your current employer happy, but you also must impress your potential employer and show him why you're the best candidate for the position. If you're really worried about keeping your job search from your current employer, you could ask your potential employer to keep your candidacy confidential. You can use your cover letter to explain your situation.
Ask the prospective employer whether he uses any forms for confidential information. If you're applying at a public entity or an office that must adhere to public records laws, the managers may not be able to keep your information confidential unless you fill out a confidentiality request. If that's the case, it won't seem out of line to ask about a confidentiality form. Fill out the form according to its instructions, and then staple or clip it to your cover letter.
Type "Confidential" in big, bold letters across the top of all of the pages of the cover letter. Use a font that is one or two sizes larger than the rest of the letter, without being too obnoxiously large.
Include a phone number or e-mail address at the top of the cover letter that is different than the ones you use at your current job. Then, don't check that e-mail or voice mail on company time. That way, you won't get caught performing job search tasks while working at your current job -- something that could earn you a reputation as a short-timer, or worse, get you fired. To make yourself even more anonymous, you could also use the words "Confidential Candidate" instead of your name in the cover letter and resume, advises the job search website Monster.com.
Include a sentence in the closing of the letter in which you ask for the employer's discretion and confidentiality as you move through this process. Explain that you value your current position and don't want to jeopardize it by letting your employer know you're looking elsewhere. If you've completed a confidentiality form, mention that it is included in your application materials.
Write "Confidential Information Enclosed" on the front and back of any envelopes you use to send out your cover letter.
- Some prospective employees and employers also draw up a non-disclosure agreement during the hiring process to protect both sides againist disclosing sensitive information before, during and after employment. When you talk with the Human Resources department about confidentiality forms, it may also be appropriate to ask about a non-disclosure agreement.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.