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Old 10-02-2008, 12:15 PM
SiXSwordS SiXSwordS is offline
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Resume/ How to Ask Not to Contact Current Employer

I'm looking for a new job. I would prefer that prospective employers not contact my current employer.

Straight up I don't want my current employer to know I'm looking. I would expect personal and work related reprisals. (I've seen this happen to others and it can be vicious.)

What is a good way of saying on an application or resume, this is why I prefer you do not contact my current employer?
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:19 PM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
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I've never had a prospective employer contact a current employer without asking specific permission. Any employer with any degree of common sense knows that most employed applicants are in your position. If they are considering making you an offer and just want to check references, normally they will tell you that and ask if there is anyone specific (a trusted colleague, perhaps) they should contact.
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:22 PM
Bearflag70 Bearflag70 is offline
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My resume has a line near the top that says "submitted in confidence"
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:32 PM
SiXSwordS SiXSwordS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eva Luna View Post
<snip>Any employer with any degree of common sense knows that most employed applicants are in your position.
Part of the reason I ask is that I am applying to a large company with many different departments and many different positions I might be eligible for. They have an option to fill out an online "standing" application that I can submit for different jobs as they become available.

They asked specifically, "May we contact your current employer?" and, "If no, please explain."

I'd rather not leave the section blank, but I don't want to make a mistake by saying, "Because they're a bunch of jerks!"

Submitted in confidence sounds really good for a resume, although, maybe I should just leave it out...?
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:39 PM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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Put "no" and in the explanation put in a contact at the company that can explain your work performance, duties and history there.

Frankly, nobody will bat an eye at this.
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:01 PM
SiXSwordS SiXSwordS is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Moto View Post
Put "no" and in the explanation put in a contact at the company that can explain your work performance, duties and history there. ..
I'm not trying to be obtuse, and I do appreciate any input, but I should say no and then specify the person I don't want them to talk to...?

What if I were to simply write, I do not wish my employer to know I am seeking other employment?

It sounds a little harsh to my ear, but so does saying no and then specifying who they would contact if I had said yes.
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:34 PM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiXSwordS View Post
I'm not trying to be obtuse, and I do appreciate any input, but I should say no and then specify the person I don't want them to talk to...?

What if I were to simply write, I do not wish my employer to know I am seeking other employment?

It sounds a little harsh to my ear, but so does saying no and then specifying who they would contact if I had said yes.
It's not the same thing - if you say to have them contact your employer, they're going to talk to HR and your superiors. What you're doing is giving them a way to verify your employment without tipping off your company - by giving them a contact that they can use to do so.

Just approach one of your coworkers - it shouldn't be an issue at all.

This sort of thing goes on all of the time, and there are no ethical problems with any of it.
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:47 PM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiXSwordS View Post
Part of the reason I ask is that I am applying to a large company with many different departments and many different positions I might be eligible for. They have an option to fill out an online "standing" application that I can submit for different jobs as they become available.

They asked specifically, "May we contact your current employer?" and, "If no, please explain."

I'd rather not leave the section blank, but I don't want to make a mistake by saying, "Because they're a bunch of jerks!"

Submitted in confidence sounds really good for a resume, although, maybe I should just leave it out...?
How about "Please contact me before contacting my current employer"? I've done that before.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:23 PM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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SIXSwordS, you've got nothing to worry about -- this is a very small deal with practically nothing riding on it.

Not contacting a current employer is very much the standard. Indicating that you don't wish for your current employer to be contacted will not take you out of the running for a position, nor will it even raise an eyebrow. It will be understood by 99.99% of employers. It's not something you have to tiptoe around.

The only reason employers even ask this question is because it sets their starting-off point in researching your employment history. No one's out there saying "yeah ... Person A is a lot more qualified, but Person B said we could call his current employer! Person B therefore gets the gig!"

Quote:
It sounds a little harsh to my ear, but so does saying no and then specifying who they would contact if I had said yes.
Alternatively, you could indicate "no", with the reason being "This resume is submitted in confidence". That will more than suffice.

Last edited by bordelond; 10-02-2008 at 02:25 PM.
  #10  
Old 10-02-2008, 02:33 PM
SiXSwordS SiXSwordS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bordelond View Post
SIXSwordS, you've got nothing to worry about -- this is a very small deal with practically nothing riding on it. .. It will be understood by 99.99% of employers. It's not something you have to tiptoe around.

Alternatively, you could indicate "no", with the reason being "This resume is submitted in confidence". That will more than suffice.
Thanks all. It's been a while since I've been in this position and I'm more than a little apprehensive.
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