Rachel asked us through our blog:
“Hi, What do you say when they ask "why cant we call your supervisor?" (I marked "no" to "can they contact")… I dont want her knowing that I am looking for another job.”
Hi Rachel - Great question. I do not blame you at all for not wanting your employer to know you are out there looking for other positions. Remember that “Friends” episode where Rachel got caught on a job interview, which caused her to be let go from her current position?
It is perfectly acceptable to request they don't contact your current supervisor. If you are asked why, simply tell them you don't want your current employer to know you are searching for another job. If they insist, tell them you would appreciate it if they would only contact her if they are absolutely certain they are going to offer you the position. They may need her to confirm that you do work there or your current salary. This should keep you safe from being caught (and once you are caught you will know you have the job locked up)!
Make sure you are not looking for open positions while you are working and don’t let your coworkers know you are thinking about leaving. I probably don’t have to tell you how fast office gossip can spread!