If you are really committed to your job hunt it can feel like a full-time job itself!  Screening calls with recruitment partners, completing application forms, and touching up your CV are all tasks that seem to take longer than anticipated.  All of this before even scheduling and attending the interviews themselves.

Of course, this is manageable if you are out of work. But how do you successfully job seek whilst employed?  If this is the case, it is not only the logistics you have to juggle; it can also be a mission of stealth and discretion.

Here are our tips on how to successfully manage job hunting whilst employed.

Be discreet.

While it may be tempting to share your intent to look for work elsewhere with a colleague it is advisable not to.  This is the sort of information that easily gets passed about the workspace and may get back to your management team.  It is best to sit on your excitement and don’t reveal that you are looking for other job opportunities.

Only use your personal devices for job searching.

It’s sensible to only use your personal computer, mobile, or email for dealing with all things job searching.  If you must do any job hunting admin during the working day, use only your personal mobile and data plan, rather than the company phone or WIFI. Obviously, you should only use your personal email address too.

Schedule wisely.

You should let the prospective employer or recruitment professional know that you are trying to be discrete with your job search and ask if you can schedule calls or interviews before or after work.  Your lunch break is also an option, but it’s important that any rooms you use to receive a call are private and you can’t be overheard.


When it comes to references, consider only providing previous employers. Make a list of former employers and let them know that they may be receiving contact.

Be aware of your dress.

If your current workspace enjoys a casual dress code, then arriving in a suit or wearing shoes rather than your usual Converse may be a red flag to your current boss or colleagues that you are interviewing elsewhere. Have a plan in place that allows you to change elsewhere!

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Update your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is a double-edged sword. Great for job seeking, but also can be a direct giveaway that you are!  You should turn off notifications so that any changes won’t be broadcast to your LinkedIn network.  You should also keep your skills list up to date, and in line with your current role.  Your photo should be professional and current.  In short, you should avoid making any sudden drastic changes that may alert anyone to your intentions.

It is, of course, best practice to keep your LinkedIn profile complete to ensure that you’re always ready to make a career move. It also makes sure that your profile is most visible, and that you are in line to hear from recruitment teams all about those suitable job opportunities that you may have missed!

Make and take job-related calls away from the office.

Potential employers and recruitment consultants may want to conduct screening calls before scheduling an interview. You must make sure that you schedule these when you are going to be away from the office. Perhaps you could go to a coffee shop unfrequented by your colleagues or to your car so that you can concentrate and have privacy.

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Job hunt on your own time.

Make sure all your job-seeking activity happens in your own time. Avoid the temptation to review job postings or respond to notifications whilst at work. If emails need to be responded to quickly then maybe set aside your lunch break to do this.

Ask potential employers to be discreet.

Both recruiters and hiring managers will entirely understand that you are wanting to be discreet about your job hunt.  However, do not assume that they will know it.  To be clear, ensure that you are direct and unambiguous. State clearly about your desire for discretion.  If you are unsure they will honour this, then perhaps this isn’t the role, company or recruitment consultant for you.

Be careful online.

Be careful when you are using social media or job boards.  You should check your privacy settings as a single update could alert your employer that you are looking for other roles.  If you are posting your CV on job boards, use the services that anonymise your profile.

Work hard.

It is important that you continue to perform at your best, and put forward your best work.  Yes, you have every right to find work that is intellectually and personally fulfilling, but you still want to maintain positive working relationships with those around you.  When you do secure a position somewhere else, you may need a professional or personal reference. You want them to tick the “Would you re-employ box?”.

Keep positive.

Despite the fact you have made the decision to seek work elsewhere, you should maintain a positive attitude to your current role.  Stay enthusiastic and remain a productive member of the team you are in even if the position or organisation is no longer right for you.

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Are you looking for a new role? Are you struggling to interview well or do you think your CV may be letting you down?  We can help you. The ‘Employee Advice‘ section of our blog is jammed full of hints and tips to help you on your way to securing your next role.

Here are just a few quick links to get you started.

How do I network on LinkedIn?

How to ace your tech test.

How can I improve my presentation skills?

Quick CV wins.

10 common CV mistakes to avoid.

How to ace your remote interview.

About the author: I manage the recruitment for a range of digital roles for my clients on both a retained and contingency basis. I specialise in senior and confidential appointments, always giving a first class representation of a client’s employer brand.

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