Career Exploration The Hiring Process
Question: Iâ€™m filling out an application, and it says: â€œMay we contact your present employer? Yes or no.â€ I really donâ€™t want them to contact my present employer; not that they wonâ€™t say nice things about me, but I donâ€™t want them to know Iâ€™m looking. But if I say â€œno,â€ wonâ€™t the prospective employer think Iâ€™m trying to hide something?
Answer: Good news! This kind of question is just an informational one. Most employers just want to know if itâ€™s okay with you to talk to your current boss. If so, great; if not, they will respect that and not think any the less of you.
Human resources folks know how the game is played. Of course you want to have control of your job search, and you want to reveal it when and to whom you want. The person reading your application was probably in the same place you are once. If you say not to call, generally they wonâ€™t, and the only assumption they make will be that youâ€™re not ready to have your current employer know that you want to replace him.
On the other hand, maybe itâ€™s fine for them to contact your current supervisor. Maybe the company is closing, and everyoneâ€™s leaving, including your boss. Or maybe youâ€™re moving out of the area, and your boss already knows that.
One other note about applications: be sure to read the instructions! This is the first task the employer is giving you. If you blow this one, you wonâ€™t get any others. They want to know if you can follow instructions. Donâ€™t disappoint them.