Looking for a job is not really anybody’s idea of fun.
Even if you are excited about seeking a new position in an industry that you love, poring over your resume and job postings online can be stressful and tedious.
One of many challenging aspects of job hunting, especially if you’ve been off the market for a while, is that you may have to brush up on new lingo.
A term you may encounter while you are looking for a job online is “confidential job posting.”
What is a confidential job posting?
A confidential job posting is a notice for a job in which the company has chosen to remain anonymous. If you apply, you will be submitting your resume or application without knowing what company it is for.
Why would a company use a confidential job posting?
There are several reasons that a company might want to post a job confidentially. Some of those reasons are benign and understandable while others are signs that the company might not be a good place to work.
Unfortunately, you can’t tell just from the job post alone which of those reasons it is!
Since you have no way of knowing, if you do see a confidential job posting that interests you, it can’t hurt to send them your resume.
If they are interested in you, at some point in the hiring process, you will find out who you have applied with.
You will not be able to tailor your resume based on researching the company, but every other applicant will be up against this same disadvantage.
The only potential drawback is if it could be a job posting from your current employer and your current employer does not know that you are job-hunting.
This could put you in an awkward position at work.
Protecting the company
A company may use a confidential job posting simply because it does not want to deal with follow-up calls or other contact from eager applicants.
The post may be confidential because the company does not want its competitors to know anything about its hiring process or the skill set it is looking for.
Another reason is that the “company” might actually be a famous person, such as an actor.
In this situation, the person needs to hire someone who is a good personal assistant, pilot or whatever the position is.
They do not want to hire someone who is just a big fan and wants to get closer to the celebrity!
Secrecy from employees
Some companies might not have informed their employees that they are hiring yet.
In fact, they might be planning to fire the person who is currently in the position, but they have not yet done so.
Some companies have a reputation as a bad place to work. Whether or not this is deserved, they may use a confidential job posting to get a wider pool of resumes.
Unfortunately, there are also recruiters who might use a confidential job posting to simply scout and gather resumes when no job is actually available.
Confidential job posting — Examples
A confidential job post is not very different from any other type of job post except that it does not tell you the name of the company and tries to avoid too much identifying information.
Here’s one example for a confidential job post for a video editor:
We are looking for a talented, hardworking video editor to support a small studio specializing in documentary films in the Atlanta area.
You must have fluency in Adobe Premiere and After Effects. Job duties will include file management, simple animation, title creation and color correction.
Please include work samples with your application.
One thing to keep in mind about confidential job postings is that despite their efforts to be as general as possible, sometimes they might give enough information to give you an idea about what the company is.
For example, you could look online for small documentary film studios in the Atlanta area, and you might actually be able to narrow down which company or companies a posting like the above is likely to come from.
Of course, with working from home on the rise, a confidential post may give no information about location, which gives you a lot less to work from:
We’re a growing company in search of a social media strategist for a full-time remote position.
Your responsibilities will include being a lead across all social media platforms, including using tools and analytics to gauge ROI and adjust strategy.
You will manage the brand’s digital image and develop an editorial calendar.
You must have five years of experience, a proven record of creating successful social media campaigns and strong organizational skills.
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.