Most Tragic Mistake Job Seekers Are Making… Right Now!

Day in and day out, I get emails from prospective clients in need of resume assistance, which I welcome as a service provider in this area.

But a lot of times, after I get this message, I have to start an elaborate dance with them because they have put their job search in complete jeopardy.

What’s that, you say?

It’s true. Call it comfort. Call it laziness. Call it being too busy or tired to work on looking for a new job when they get home, but many people continue (astoundingly) to conduct job searches from their current workplace.

On my end, I can see that the person sent the message from their work account, and now I have to be careful – just in case the boss IS reading the email when I reply back. So I send a discreet email in return, asking to take this résumé service discussion offline to a personal email account. Sometimes, if the person sends an email with a phone number, I call the number and see if I can reach them to ask for that personal address. But I don’t leave a voicemail… simply because I don’t know who is checking their messages (possibly an assistant?) – which could also let the “cat out of the bag.”

The point is that I don’t want to be the one to blow the job seeker’s cover. And I shouldn’t have to be.  Nor should anyone else, for that matter. Job seekers need to be careful about getting reckless in their quest for a new job.

It’s just plain good sense to take ANY job search offline and only do it during your time using your own resources, not that of your employer.

So why should you care? Do you REALLY think someone is reading your emails? Do you think this post is a little paranoid??

Think again.

Many employers have implemented spyware and keystroke monitoring software without the employee’s knowledge. The program could be sitting on your desktop, or on the company server that taps into your desktop.

And yes, there are bosses who do read those messages, or set up flags with certain words that would trigger a report that goes onto the supervisor’s desktop about those keywords.

Some job seekers are very aware of this software, but think that their company is too small to have spyware installed. Guess again. I once worked at a 35-person office. Thought I was safe until I was at a conference out of town and the big boss was bragging to some board members that he had just installed spyware on all the employees’ computers.

So I found out before I did something stupid that caught his attention. You’d better believe that from that moment on, I kept my work email squeaky clean.

So, sending an email to a résumé service provider, with a nice subject line of “Résumé Assistance” isn’t the smartest move you can make.

It boils down to basics: Don’t conduct job searches from work, stupid!

Many people have gotten waaaaayyyyy too comfortable sending out personal email messages from their work account.

It could turn out to be the biggest tragic mistake any job seeker could make, if they care about being discreet in their search. And once the boss knows you are thinking about leaving, they might just show you the door first.

Photo by Matthew Bowden ( [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

One Comment

Mark Hauler

This should be a no brainer, but obviously it happens all the time. There are ways to (quietly) conduct a search without raising too much attention during work hours, but even that involves risk. However, as you note, any actual 'applying' needs to be done away from the office and on one's personal computers and private email accounts once back home.

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