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How to State in a Resume or Cover Letter to Please Use Confidentiality

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Confidentiality in job searches is important, though being overly concerned might portray an employee as someone who won't fit well into the workplace. Most employers dealing with personal information are aware of its proper use and the legal consequences of abuse. If you have good reason to suspect a breach of trust, and the consequences of such an action are high, stating on a resume, "Please use confidentiality" should be done with tact. The intent must imply that if this information does happen to get out, it would be detrimental, rather than accusing the employer that he would release your information.

Only Use if Necessary

Determine your relationship with past employers as you are writing your resume. There may be jobs that you wish to not include in your history if they would paint a negative picture. If you need references from current work or jobs where your direct supervisor may not be positive, consider peers or personnel who can vouch well for you. Be sure to list them as the contact or reference. Most employers are aware that if you are currently working and submitting your resume, they most likely should not contact your present employer without first asking you.

Take into account that if you type several times within the resume in red, boldface capital letters something like, “Do not contact present employer!” this may ring a warning bell in the mind of the hiring officer that something is really wrong. He is likely not to ask to interview you, or will ask a great deal of questions why you felt the need to state your request so strongly.

If you feel it is important to make an extra effort to ensure confidentiality, many copy machines or word processing programs have a watermark-like imprint that can be put on your resume, cover letter or enclosure folder. This will mark them in a light gray as, "Confidential", and could appear that you simply stamp all important documents like this. A light gray watermark is much more delicate and tactful then type that causes undue attention.

You can type or stamp a statement like, "Please protect the confidentiality of this communication. Thank you." Or "Confidentiality with regard to present employer is requested." Place such statements at the top or bottom of both the resume and cover letter.

If your resume is on line, most job search companies such as and ask you if you want to keep your information from being searchable by anyone on line. Consider clicking the appropriate box for this, if you feel this is a possibility.


Daryn Edelman, a professional writer/lecturer in spirituality, mysticism, business ethics, culture and politics since 1999. He has written scripts for "The Chabad Telethon" and diverse articles featured in "Farbregen Magazine" and He graduated from the University of California Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies and the University of Liverpool with a Master of Arts in English.

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Sirinarth Mekvorawuth / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages