02/03/2014 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

Confidentiality & Conferences

profile of woman holding finger to mouth to hush

When you register to attend a conference, you know that, about two weeks prior to the event, registered candidates and school contacts gain access to our online conference module.  Through the module, candidates can review a list of attending schools, and schools can review all attending candidates.  This system facilitates message exchange among candidates and schools and allows schools to schedule interviews with candidates of interest.

One thing to consider amid the excitement of sending messages and scheduling interviews: if your current school has registered for the conference you’re planning to attend, the hiring contacts who are going will have access to your file.

For many candidates, this is not a big deal.  Many have told their current employers that they are gauging what other opportunities exist, or that they’re flat-out searching for a new position.  And many employers understand that—they, too, work in schools, and they understand that it’s important to keep your options open.

But if you haven’t told your employer that you’re searching and up until conference season you had been searching confidentially, the question “to register or not to register” can pose a dilemma.  Realistically, you have two options:

1. Not ready to tell? Don’t register.

If you’re not prepared to have the conversation about potentially leaving your school with your current employer—whether you’re unsure you want to leave or unsure of how the administration will react—play it safe.  There’s no way to “hide” your conference attendance through our module; if you register and your school registers, hiring contacts will be able to find you in the system.  If that would be too startling, then attending a conference might not be right for you.

2. Be proactive—have the conversation, attend the conference.

If you think there is a reasonable chance you won’t renew your contract this coming spring, and you think your school would understand your desire to keep your options open, think about having a conversation before you register.  Tell your administration that you’re interested in seeing what’s available, and that you’ll be registering for the conference in your area (or one of our national events).  Clarify your expectations, and let your superiors know that registering for an event does not necessarily mean you’re ready to jump ship.  Need some help handling this conversation?  Check out our tips here.


The job search is stressful enough; worrying about whether or not you’ll cross paths with your colleagues at a conference shouldn’t slow you down.  Still wondering which option is best for your search?  Have a conversation with your placement team.

Image credit: Microsoft

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