I love the latest stylecareers survey about job postings and red/yellow/green flags that drive people away from certain listings.
How do people feel about CONFIDENTIAL job postings, which, let’s be honest, are MOST of the stylecareers postings?
In this day and age of transparency, diversity, inclusivity, etc, I still find it surprising how many companies still do not reveal who they are, or even the barest details about themselves. Yes, I understand in some cases a company is hiring a replacement while a person is still there, and so they want to be discreet about it. But I’ve been thinking more and more that the CONFIDENTIAL company title is a yellow, or maybe a red flag, as it shows an unwillingness to let the applicants know the slightest bit about them. You want us to reveal our resumes, portfolios, linked in profiles, contact info, references, even salary information (don’t even get me started on that!)- but yet you hide behind the CONFIDENTIAL title?
Some companies have bad reputations-- they know who are they are-- and posting something as confidential just means you’ve wasted my time- and theirs- by applying to a company I’m not interested in. (And if you have a bad reputation- you should be taking an active approach to fixing that).
Some companies are replacing someone, hence the confidentiality, which is shady but at least I understand that.
And the majority of companies are hiding themselves- why? Do they not want anyone to know they are hiring? Or are they just fishing for resumes and possible new blood?
I prefer to know where my resume is ending up, so I can make sure it’s a good fit- position-wide, location-wise, culture-wise, etc. I also feel like that way I can tailor my resume and portfolio links better. (Ummm… you’re welcome to scroll though page after page of outerwear/denim/swimwear Cads, but if you’re just looking for my relevant loungewear design work, I’m happy to curate that for you). A generic “DESIGNER” posting roils me the most. A lot of us have specialized focus and taste levels, and know where we can best fit in. I also feel more prepared when I get a phonecall/email about a 1st interview- rather than asking- WHO IS THIS?
At the end of the day, I feel like most companies and positions should be honest about who they are from the get-go. We’re going to find out anyway.


I won’t apply for any confidential job posting, and I will not allow a recruiter to forward my resume to any company without disclosing to me in advance who the company is.

I do this most of all because I am only interested in working in a very specific sector of the industry and I know that I am flatly disinterested in any role inside a company outside of that specific scope.

Further, my corner of the industry is very small and there is no way I will apply for a role blind because it’s highly likely I either know someone inside that brand, or someone there knows someone who knows me. I know this will rule me out for consideration in many roles but as someone working at a senior level, I’m lucky to be having companies and recruiters chasing me and I don’t have to be concerned about chasing them.


As someone who puts out job postings, sometimes it truly is because the company is recruiting to replace someone. I’ve done that.

Generally if the job posting looks like something I am interested in, I would send my resume. I don’t think it’s a matter of the company hiding anything.

Further - some popular, well known brands probably get tons of unqualified resumes just based on the brand name - maybe trying to root that out as well.


Agree and feel this also applies to salary range. They have a budget, not wanting to disclose that range feels like they want to see “how cheap they can get you” Salary/pay opacity allows the industry to devalue everyone’s work.

@grandpoobah - would you be open to requiring posters to include the company and pay range?


@twirlgirl , I can guarantee that most of the jobs on are NOT confidential. :slight_smile:

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@BrooklynDesigner We’d go out of business if we made that requirement. Similarly, if we asked every job seeker to include their salary range with every application, people would stop using our site.

It’s a great idea and one that I agree with but until both sides are willing to provide total transparency, it would kill our business. The only way to make it work would for there to be state or federal requirements.

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In my latest job search I have decided not to respond to Confidential company post because they seem shady. I do not like the thought of replacing someone who thinks their job is secure only to be replaced so quickly after being let go! I feel this same company could do the same thing to me! Why so many shady practices in this business?


The survey is great but it only serves the NYC maybe the LA areas. I think it’s understandable for a company to post on SC a job as confidential as maybe they are working on a new role, or recruiter and/or a company looking for specific candidates? or yes possibly to replace someone. The industry is totally not fair but maybe SC job site can help by getting rid of “confidential” job postings to embrace and promote transparency in the industry.

I personally do not know how i feel about companies who post as confidential, I haven’t applied to them in recent years so I have no experience.

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I raised this topic as a point of discussion, and love seeing responses. I don’t think there is any “right” answer here. I understand in some cases, a company has to replace a current employee, and while that sucks, sometimes it needs to be done, and I totally understand why the posting would be listed as “confidential”.

However, I think that it is kind of become acceptable to check the “confidential” box when companies are posting jobs. (Maybe they just see it as a norm?). I’ve been at companies and they’ve posted ads, and I see them and I’m like- why is this confidential, and my boss was like, “I don’t know, I just posted it that way, I’m not sure why”. So I think raising awareness of this issue will make hiring managers a little more conscious when they post things.

Seeing the results of the survey today, I think what we are all seeking is a little more transparency in the job market. If you are able to, tell us the company we’re applying to. Tell us what your salary range is. Tell us in detail what the role is, and what the expectations are. It will only help us, as candidates, in applying to positions that would be a good fit. I know, companies get bombarded by applications. But vague postings only increase that, because a lot of people are like, “I don’t know what the role/company/pay is, but I might as well throw my hat in the ring.” So we all end up wasting each other’s time and energy in applying to things we’re not serious about.

It’s not a perfect science, but if this hits home with even 1 or two hiring managers on here, then maybe we’ve helped.