4 ways not to tip off your boss that you’re looking for a new job

Job hunts are almost never easy on the nerves, but add your office — and the possibility of your manager finding out — and you’re in for a really bumpy ride.

Here’s how to make sure your boss stays out of the loop.

Don’t spend too much time away from your desk

You’ll make it too obvious.

Laura McMullen writes in U.S. News & World Report about one way your boss will catch on to your job hunt: “[Y]ou’re taking four-hour lunches and have way too many dentist appointments.”

“Yes, it is that obvious when you’re interviewing elsewhere and go MIA, with or without a flimsy excuse. Schedule phone interviews for personal hours, like a lunch break, and take vacation or PTO days for lengthy in-person interviews,” she writes. “That way, you’re not feeling pressured during the interview to get back to work — which can affect how you handle the interview — and you’re not stealing time from your employers,” she continues.

Keep your hands off your work computer

Back away.

Amy Levin-Epstein writes in CBS MoneyWatch that you shouldn’t turn to your work computer when trying to look for a new position without your manager knowing. She features advice from Lisa Quast, founder of employment consulting firm Career Woman.

“Many companies consider using company equipment for personal reasons a violation of policy. Using your office PC to look for a new job is even riskier, and can even get can you fired,” Levin-Epstein writes. “To prevent your digital footprint from being tracked or coworkers form overhearing an interview, conduct your search on your own time.”

We’ve also echoed this before.

Don’t shout about it from the social media hilltops

Susan P. Joyce, online job search expert and Job-Hunt.org writer, writes in HuffPost about how you should “keep a low electronic profile of your job search.”

“Don’t announce your job search in Twitter, your blog, Facebook or LinkedIn, or in an email sent to the general world. Don’t hire a resume distribution service to post your resume at dozens of job sites or email it to thousands of employers and recruiters,” she writes. “It could so easily end up in the wrong hands or become visible to someone in your current employer’s organization. Some employers do regularly scan resume banks looking for the resumes of current employees.”

Use the right words in your cover letter

Monster Resume Expert Kim Isaacs writes on the site that you should “cover it in your cover letter,” and features advice from Wendy Terwelp, president of career services firm Opportunity Knocks.

“There are no guarantees that mentioning your job search’s confidentiality will prevent your employer from discovering your search, but it doesn’t hurt. Terwelp suggests adding a line like: ‘As this is a highly confidential career search, I would greatly appreciate your discretion in handling my candidacy,’” Isaacs writes.