The Incognito Job Search

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Finding a new job without losing the current one.

Now that the economy is showing nominal signs of life, odds are people who managed to stay employed through the Great Recession are now thinking of dipping their toe back into the job market, at least according to a recent survey from job placement firm Manpower, Inc.

Perhaps you’re among the 84 percent of respondents who indicated they plan to look for a new position this year. Now may be the time to look for new opportunities.

But if you do, be careful, as discretion is a must. Here are some rules to follow:

Rule No. 1: Thou shalt never use the company email, company-paid cell phone, office fax machine or company Internet service to conduct a job search.

Rule No. 2: Thou shalt be careful of what you say and do on social networking sites. It’s hard to conduct a job search without an online presence, but remember that everything you hope to show potential employers can be seen by your current employer, too.

As you manage your LinkedIn profile, Twitter and Facebook accounts, make sure to promote your expertise, not your availability. You can also make sure that no new connections or updates will show up in your alerts by changing your settings. Go to “Settings” (underneath your name in the top right corner) to manage your privacy controls and set who can and cannot see your activity.

Rule No. 3: Thou shalt use extreme caution when posting a resume to job boards like Monster.com.

Rule No. 4:  Thou shalt not go to a job interview on your lunch hour. Keep all job searching activities confined to before or after work.

Rule No. 5: Thou shalt choose references carefully. Resist the temptation to list a current colleague as a reference. Despite their best intentions, co-workers could let it slip that you’re on the job hunt. RT

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