12 Tips to Keep Your Home Builder Job Search Confidential

Key Points:

  • Keep your home builder job search confidential with these discreet job search, networking, and resume tips.
  • Making the change while employed should be approached with caution in order to preserve your professional reputation and livelihood.

12 Tips to Keep Your Home Builder Jobs Search Confidential

There are many reasons why you may wish to brush up your resume and begin a new confidential home builder job search.  Be it career advancement, a new passion, better benefits, burnout, or for career transition, conducting a new job search can be frustrating and challenging.  Making the change while employed should be approached with caution in order to preserve your professional reputation and livelihood.

It’s reasonable to consider that if your current employer discovers that you are considering leaving, you may find yourself unemployed sooner than you had planned.  Below are a handful of tips for strategically and discreetly targeting prospective employers during a confidential job search.

1. Keep Your Job Search to Yourself

Career writer Jeri Hird reminds us to keep your job search to yourself, it’s a confidential job search after all.

“To conduct an effective job search, you will need to talk with people about it.  However, you can let them know the information is confidential.  Be especially careful about telling anyone at work who might accidentally let your secret out or consider you a disloyal employee.”

In most cases, it doesn’t make sense to let your peers at the office know you are considering a change.  Louis Garver with Career Directions reminds us mistakes are easily made with secrets around the office:

Benjamin Franklin has been credited with saying something like, “The only way three people can keep a secret is when two of them are dead.”  Be especially careful about telling peers you’re seeking new employment because they might let that news slip.

2. Approve What Jobs You Are Submitted For

It’s important to know when and to whom you are being submitted for a job.  Be sure to ask the executive recruiter you work with to inform you before they submit you to a company as a candidate.  It’s important to know this information because of how small the industry is.

For example, you will want to be aware if you are submitted for a job where the employer is best friends with your boss.  At MatchBuilt, we have a policy of not submitting any candidate to a potential builder without their approval and confirmation.

3. Consider Confidential Versions of Your Resume

You may have heard the advice that you should replace your name with “Confidential Candidate” at the top of your resume.  In many cases, this will not work due to the amount of info you have already logged on LinkedIn.

To create a true confidential resume, that will be viewed in RARE cases, you will need to use a generic email account that doesn’t include your name or any other information that identifies you.  Then you will need to remove your contact information except for your generic email address and personal cell phone number on your resume.  You’ll also need to remove the company and university names and dates from the experience and education sections.  Finally, you’ll need to remove your name from the file name and the properties box on the final document.  That’s a lot of work to hide your qualifications.

In general, it can be a big challenge using a confidential resume and may be off-putting to a potential recruiter or employer.

4. Continue Working 

Companies want an employee committed to their job, not their job search.  Commit to your job search during off-hours and focus on priorities at the office while working.

5. Skip Job Fairs

Your company may not be listed as a participant, but your boss or a colleague might be there scouting for candidates. Some job fairs collect resumes and distribute them to all participating companies who can then use the list to identify current employees looking for new jobs.

6. Avoid Responding to Blind Ads

A blind job ad is a great looking job posting with awesome description but no company name.  It’s possible that you can apply for “the perfect job” only to find it was their own job being advertised.  In these days of identity theft, and especially when trying to stay confidential, be careful of who exactly you are sending your name, address and contact information to.

7. Don’t Use Company Resources

Don’t use your company time, phone, computer, wi-fi, or email address for your job search.  Also, don’t store, print, or copy your resume on your work computer.   And simply don’t use current colleagues or management as references.

Email Address
Do not use your work email address for job hunting. Use your personal account or set up a free web-based email account specifically for job searching. Remember to check this account frequently, because some employers have a tight schedule for interviewing and hiring.

Office Equipment
Don’t use your employer’s computers or phone system. Many employers monitor Internet usage and review phone call logs. Keep your resume, your email correspondence, and anything and everything related to your job search on your home computer or online. If you have a smartphone or tablet, you can use it for most of your job search activities.

Telephone Tips
Do not use your work phone number for job hunting. Instead, put your cell phone number and/or home phone number on your resume. Be sure to have voice mail set up, so you get the messages in a timely fashion.

8. Be Careful Where You Post Your Resume

One of the ways you can ensure that your resume doesn’t get into the wrong hands is by applying directly to the company or to specific home builder recruiter websites.  This way, your application will go directly to the employer or their preferred homebuilding recruiter and it won’t be floating around the Internet.

Pro Tip:  Look for confidentiality statements like we have at MatchBuilt for additional peace of mind.

Statement of Confidentiality:

Privileged information such as resumes, current employment, and personal details are treated with complete confidentiality and will not be released without your consent.

Be careful where you post your resume especially if you don’t want your current employer to accidentally find your resume when searching for candidates.  If you must, post on job sites where you can keep your employer and contact information confidential.  For example, if you post your resume on Monster, you can make it confidential and your contact information and references won’t be displayed. You can also block your present company’s name by entering an end date of present for your current position.

9. Interview During Off Hours

When conducting a confidential job search, schedule interviews on your day off, before work, during lunch, or after work rather than during regular work hours.

Danielle Braff with Mental Floss recommends the following 8 Ways to Schedule a Job Interview While Working Full Time:
  1. ASK ABOUT INTERVIEWING BEFORE OR AFTER WORK.  Dan Schawbel, the author of Promote Yourself and Me 2.0, advises explaining to the prospective interviewer that you have a full-time job, and see how flexible they are with doing the interview outside of working hours.
  2. CHANGE YOUR WORK SCHEDULE.  Peg Newman, a managing partner at the executive search firm Sanford Rose Associates, advises adjusting your calendar for the next 90 days so you can schedule a late start once a week. That way, if you’re planning on doing many interviews, you can be out by 4 p.m. and no one will raise an eyebrow.
  3. TAKE A PERSONAL DAY.  “If you accept this job and leave your current role, you may not benefit from unused sick or personal days anyway,” says Amy Hakim, a psychology practitioner, and executive consultant. “Further, if you take the full day off of work, you will be able to attend the interview calmly and will not worry if the interview is extended.”
  4. TELL YOUR EMPLOYER THAT YOU’RE DEALING WITH SOME FAMILY MATTERS.  Explain that you’ll get your work done while also managing your personal responsibilities, but you may have to take longer lunches and personal vacation days as needed to deal with your issues, says Scott Wintrip, author of High-Velocity Hiring and founder of the Wintrip Consulting Group.
  5. REQUEST A PHONE INTERVIEW.  Tell your boss that you want to be respectful to your current employer by not ducking out of work frequently. Jeff Altman, a job search and leadership coach at The Big Game Hunter, suggests saying something like the following to your potential new employer: “Can we schedule something by Skype or Facetime to cover some of the preliminaries of our valuation of one another? After we’ve had a chance to assess one another, if you and I would like to proceed further, I’m happy to meet with you.”
  6. BUILD FLEXIBILITY INTO YOUR SCHEDULE.  Do this before you start your job search, says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career expert with SixFigureStart in New York.  “Start taking longer lunches, taking your meetings out of the office or working from home, so people get used to not seeing you as much.”
  7. DON’T BE SPECIFIC.  Minimize your explanations so you don’t have to come up with specific excuses: Ask for time off for an appointment (but don’t volunteer what type of appointment), Ceniza-Levine says. Or come to the office early so you can leave early—or come in late, then stay late.
  8. TAKE A LONG WEEKEND.  Start burning some leftover vacation time or accrued overtime every other Monday for the next few weeks, says Jana Tulloch, a human resources professional with DevelopIntelligence. “Having an additional day off during the week would allow you to set up interviews without having to dream up a way to get out of work at the last minute,” Tulloch says.

10. Be Mindful of Social Media

Be really careful what you post on social networking sites.  Obviously, don’t tell your Facebook friends or your LinkedIn connections that you’re job searching and don’t tweet about your job search activities either.  Even if your boss doesn’t follow your updates, someone else may, and the word that you’re job hunting could get back.  Don’t post about your job search or being dissatisfied with your job no matter how secure you think your privacy settings are.

11. Get Noticed

When conducting a confidential job search, look for opportunities to write, speak, volunteer, and advise.  Make sure you have a complete and attractive LinkedIn profile and connect with the right people where perhaps opportunities will find you.

12. Hide Your Job Searching Activities on LinkedIn

  • Ensure all “notify your network” options are checked NO.
  • Keep the “let recruiters know you’re open” checked to OFF.
  • Don’t publish calls-to-action on your profile; e.g. “open to new opportunities” or “accepting invitations from recruiters and hiring managers.”
  • Avoid posting updates showing intent to change employers.
  • Under job seeking preferences, turn off “signal your interest to recruiters …”

About MatchBuilt:  MatchBuilt is a team of executive recruiters that is focused on matching top building industry talent with leading residential construction home builders and LBM / building products and building materials manufacturers.

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