The Stealth Executive Job Hunt

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You’ve decided it’s time to move on. You’ve polished your executive resume and LinkedIn profile. Now the last thing you want is for your current employer and colleagues to find out that you are on the hunt. So, lacking Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, how can you search on the sly, but still conduct an effective search?
The first and most important rule is: Do NOT use your work email address for sending out your executive resumes, applying for positions, or corresponding with employers and recruiters. Your personal email is the only way to go for electronic job search communications.
The same goes for phone calls. It is best to use your cell phone versus your work line, and when doing so to either be in a closed door office situation or perhaps go out to your car or the nearby McDonald’s to have your phone interview.

Posting your resume on executive-level job sites is risky, unless there is an option for confidential posting. Even in this instance, it may not be too difficult for your current employer to figure out who you are if they stumble upon your resume. A better option is submitting your resume directly to recruiters at the companies that interest you, or going through their corporate website to apply, versus an aggregator job board.
As far as interviews are concerned, if you are out of the office frequently during the day on outside business, your boss will of course become suspicious. As much as possible, schedule interviews for early morning, just after close of business, or at lunchtime.
Discretion is key. Avoid telling co-workers, no matter how sympathetic, that you are looking. Don’t discuss it on Facebook or Tweet about it.
And needless to say, don’t indicate that you are looking for a job on your LinkedIn profile. Include material that promotes the company. Be prepared with a good answer if your boss or colleagues happen to notice that you’ve updated the profile recently.
For example:

”I routinely update my profile to effectively portray my position as a representative of the company and expert in my field.”
“… for business development purposes, to build up our sales prospect pipeline/generate leads.”
“…as part of my ongoing efforts to expand my network (and thus our company’s visibility).
“…to enhance the company’s competitive position and public image,”
…or a combination of the above.