As we pointed out in Part 1 and Part 2 on looking for another job, three of the biggest suggestions for conducting a job search without getting caught include keeping the job search entirely out office, knowing where your resume is going, and networking on the down-low.
In this last post, we offer our last tip on conducting a stealth job search…
Consider using a recruiter – This point may sound self-serving, but for the concerned job seeker, confidentiality is the bread and butter of legal recruiters. Furthermore, recruiters have a unique relationship with the recruiting personnel at the law firms they will be sending your resumes to. If you are worried about confidentiality issues, recruiters can ask their firm contacts to use additional discretion when reviewing your candidacy. This is especially valuable for attorneys in smaller legal markets or practitioners in a highly-specialized field where “everyone knows everyone.” A recruiter can also ask for other accommodations you would never dream of asking for before an interview. For example, one candidate worked at a business-casual firm and would have outted himself if he showed up to work in a suit and tie. The recruiter he worked with spoke with her contacts at the interviewing firm, explained his situation, and he was able to go to the interview in his business casual attire without any problems.
Beyond these confidentiality benefits, a recruiter will not waste your time or risk your exposure by sending your resume to positions that are not open and active. For non-open positions, recruiters typically send “blind inquiries” that will highlight your credentials without revealing your name. Thus, you remain anonymous but still benefit by being considered for a possible job opening. Finally, most recruiters are willing to accommodate you by meeting with you after-hours or on the weekends.
In closing, don’t stress out too much over the job search. Know that the vast majority of attorneys at big law firms make lateral moves. Moreover, it isn’t a crime to want to “test the market” to see what your options are or to gain possible negotiation points at your current firm. Trying to juggle a full-time job while quietly searching for a new one can be strenuous, but don’t let the fear of your employer finding out consume you. If you are confronted about your job search by the firm or a colleague, be honest and explain your situation. Chances are, your firm may try to rectify some of the issues that instigated your job search. While you can’t control the ultimate outcome, the tips we’ve mentioned should help mitigate your chances of getting caught and enhance your chances at securing a better position.