Many people are understandably concerned that their current company will find out they’re looking for a new position. Though nothing is 100% foolproof, here is the most effective thing you can do: make managing your career a part of your lifestyle.
This is good practice even if you’re happily employed. It keeps you top of mind for great opportunities you might not have considered. But keeping your current company in the dark is a side benefit. If you always keep your LinkedIn profile updated, they won’t suspect you’re looking for a new role. If you wear a suit to work once a week, you won’t be advertising “I have an interview!” when you finally do dress up.
Applying online is the one place where things can get tricky. If the name of a company is kept confidential, you could end up inadvertently sending your resume to your current employer (this HAS happened)! If there’s even a chance this could be the case, it’s best to avoid applying to the position.
People are also concerned that having an online brand – a blog, Twitter account, etc. – would lead their employers to suspect they’re in the market for a new job. While you can’t control what anyone else thinks, it’s unlikely this would raise a red flag if you position it correctly. Again, since you should always be managing your career, this won’t seem like a sudden move. But establishing yourself as a subject-matter expert could benefit your company as well. You’ll build a positive reputation and can make valuable connections that could be an asset to your company (for example, sales prospects or vendors).
All this being said, you still need to use common sense. Don’t divulge any proprietary company information; don’t bash your company, job, or employer; and make sure everything you put online is appropriate.