Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, March 18, 2016
It is acceptable to request that a potential employer not contact your current employer, but I would not recommend stating this in a cover letter. There are a couple of other places in the process where it is more appropriate. One, when you apply on line and are listing your previous employers, in many cases, the system allows you the opportunity to choose whether or not you want that employer contacted. If the system does not allow you to choose this, I would instead mention it during an interview. A company will not contact your employers until they have interviewed you. When making this request simply state that you prefer that your current employer not be contacted until you have received a job offer. This is a perfectly reasonable and common request.