One of the biggest concerns for all candidates that we speak to is confidentiality. There are so many stories of agents sending unsolicited CV’s or indeed companies seeking informal references before an interview has even happened. The legal community is a global village and confidentiality needs to be kept at all times. How can you ensure that your confidentiality is maintained? Here are our tips:-

Keep your job search outside of your workplace

Keep all research and planning for your next career move outside of your workplace. Avoid talking to colleagues about your potential job search and certainly do not give any recruiters or employers your work contact details. Ensure that confidential information including your CV and website searches for jobs are not on your work computer or devices.

Using Recruitment Agents

Unfortunately there are some agents that will send out your CV without your permission. To avoid this we recommend that you only deal with two or three agents, or ideally one only. Stress to your agent that they cannot send your CV without your permission (get them to confirm in writing). If they ask to put your CV forward for a role, always ask for a job description. If they don’t have a job description then the chances are this is a speculative approach. Once again, ensure your agent doesn’t contact you on any of your work contact points. If your agent puts you forward for a role, make sure you ask the agent to ensure their client maintains confidentiality. If the agency has a strong relationship with the client, then this won’t be a problem for them to insist. Therefore one good question to ask the agent is how well he/she knows their client?

References before an offer is made

Be careful about providing references before an offer is made. It’s normal practice for an employer to ask for references when you accept an offer. If they ask before an offer, make sure you only get references from people who you can trust. Talk of your job search could spread like wildfire otherwise!

Best practices of potential employers

The legal recruitment market is a small world. Employers do have a duty to keep the CV’s that they receive confidential. We do hear of instances where clients receive CV’s and will tell other members of staff, who in turn may gossip and the news eventually gets passed back to the candidate's employer. We all owe a duty to insist potential employers do not this and employers uphold best values. It is bad practice and ultimately makes candidates reluctant to apply for jobs. Best practices need to be adopted and implemented. Confidentially will ensure that the market encourages quality candidates to make applications, which is the ultimate aim for all employers.

Watch your social network footprint

Be aware of your social network footprint. Individuals will use social media to conduct job searches. It’s easy for employers to notice any profile changes or who you are connecting to on LinkedIn for example. Be selective about the groups that you join. Be very careful about your use of social media as everything is in a public forum.

These may seem like obvious pieces of advice, but you'd be amazed how often people compromise their own confidentiality, without even thinking about it. Think carefully and act with caution.