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Ask a recruiter: Sending a CV without permission

Read our latest instalment of our blog series titled ‘Ask a recruiter’, where we share questions we receive about interviews, CVs, the application process and really anything our candidates might be concerned or curious about. If you missed our last blog, make sure to check it out: “Ask a Recruiter: Being contacted at work“)

Each week we’ll be answering one question that comes up in conversation with candidates; this week’s being about recruiters sending your CV.

An Accounts Senior based in Southampton asks: ‘Why does a recruiter send my CV without my permission?

The short answer is, they don’t. (Or at least, they shouldn’t*). Ultimately, there’s only so much you can do to prevent this from happening – read a couple of our other blogs about choosing a recruiter and meeting your recruiter to ensure that you’re only working with recruiters that have good values and will respect you and your data.


The longer answer is more to do with answering ‘How do they have my CV without my permission in the first place?’. When you’re looking for a job, what do you do? In our experience, there are usually a couple of different approaches; the main one being: to plaster your CV across every job board. You know the ones; Reed, Totaljobs, CV Library, Indeed, etc. Did you know that the majority of recruiters will pay for access to these? That means that we can see your CV when you last logged in, all your contact details and sometimes even which jobs you’ve applied to. That’s a lot of information you’re putting out there for the world to see, and we can’t promise that everyone viewing it has taken data protection as seriously as we have. Not that when you put your CV everywhere justifies anyone sending it without permission, but you have to realise that it might happen. Choose one recruiter, give them your CV and ask for the name of each company that they send it to. Make sure you’re in full control.

And if you find out a recruiter has sent your CV without your permission, what can you do? Snitch on them! (the one case where ‘snitches get stitches’ doesn’t apply). Clients love to hear when their PSLs aren’t working by the book, and hopefully by doing so, you’re preventing the rogue recruiter from getting away with it again!

Tune in for our next blog in the ‘Ask a recruiter’ series. If you want to get in touch about a question you’d like to ask us, contact our team.


*Within the Code of Professional Practice for our governing body REC, Principle 10 goes into detail about respecting confidentiality and privacy.

An excerpt from this Principle:

‘Members and their staff must ensure that they have obtained consent or that they have another legal basis which they can rely on (such as consent or legal basis to be documented) before disclosing, transferring, displaying, submitting or seeking confidential or personal information.’

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