The importance of managing your CV
Your CV defines your personal brand. Before you rush to register with multiple recruitment agencies and post your details on popular job boards, like Simply Law Jobs and Reed, it’s critical that you are aware of the potential pitfalls of doing so. When you send your CV to several recruiters or upload it to several online jobsites, you could be jeopardising your prospect of finding a rewarding new role.
Be aware that it’s all too easy for our information to be found and misused by people who don’t have our best interests at heart. Your CV is not only key to finding a new role, it’s a document containing a chronological record of your education and employment history, your personal contact details along with other sensitive information and may include information about what you do outside of work. You must take great care where you send your CV to make sure it’s used in the right way.
So as to not fall foul of The Data Protection Act, recruiters are required to obtain a candidate’s express prior consent before they pass on their CV to anyone. Most agents will honour their legal obligations and consult you before putting you forward for a role. However, recruiters are often racing against one another to find the perfect candidate for a role, aware that it will be the first recruiter who sends your CV to a prospective employer who will get recruitment fee should you be successful in securing the job. As such, in some cases, your details may reach an employer without you knowing. Rogue agents may be inclined to deliberately cut corners to chase a recruitment fee and may submit your CV without your knowledge.
This practice can be damaging for jobseekers; if your CV is sent out without your permission it could harm your reputation and hinder your search.
Your CV could be submitted more than once for the same role
If more than one recruiter has access to your CV, a firm might receive more than once for the same role. Not only will this give the employer the impression that you’re disorganised and unable to keep track of your applications or desperate to move, a conscientious recruiter who has followed the correct protocol might decide against working with you out of fear that every time they submit your CV to a firm they will end up in a wrangle with another agent.
You could be put forward for a role you aren’t interested in
If an overzealous recruiter sends your CV to a firm without your consent, it’s possible that you won’t be interested in the position or perhaps even, the employer. This wastes your time and if you turn down an interview, the firm in question might be reluctant to reconsider you in future.
Your CV could be sent at the wrong time
How do you know that long after you’ve secured a new post that your CV is still not in circulation? If you were to find yourself in the jobs market again say 6-12 months down the line and were to apply to a firm that’s already seen your CV, what message will it send?
Your current employer could become aware of your job search
It’s also possible that your CV could end up in the wrong hands. While there’s a presumption of confidentiality within the recruitment sector, people talk, especially if they know each other well. Naturally, recruiters won’t be aware of the countless personal relationships between people within different firms. If they were to put you forward for roles without your knowledge, your details could land on the desk of a friend or acquaintance of your boss. Whether you’re still looking to move or not, this could be disastrous or, at the very least, undermining.
How to spot when a recruiter has passed on your CV without your consent
In the worst cases, recruiters might pass on your CV even if they haven’t spoken to you. Once a firm registers interest in the candidate, the recruiter will call them, expressing their enthusiasm for their CV and experience. They’ll then ring a second time to say that they have passed their details to an unnamed “suitable” employer.
Some recruiters are more subtle than this. They may, for example, have had contact with you and retained your details. When an “appropriate” role arises, they pass on your CV, without permission, but retrospectively explain that this was done in your best interests.
Making sure your CV is in the right hands
You can’t always guarantee that your CV will be used responsibly, however there are some straightforward steps you can take to prevent yourself from falling victim to bad practices.
Choose a reputable recruiter
First and foremost, when appointing an agency, it’s essential that you’re careful about the company you work with. Will your chosen agency enhance your career? Does the relationship feel comfortable in every respect?
Like most recruiters, at Realm, we advise that you work with a single agent, preferably a specialist consultancy with extensive knowledge of your industry. Some candidates are willing to test the market and prefer to work with more than one agency in the expectation that this will make their job search more efficient. However many recruiters you decide to work with, be absolutely clear to them that they must never present your CV to an employer without your express consent.
Be wary of job boards
While they might appear to give you very quick and easy access to a vast number of jobs, we would advise caution at the point of registration. Although you will more than likely end up hearing from a number of good agencies as a result of posting your CV on a job board, there are pitfalls. Aside from the mild inconvenience of receiving a lot of missed calls, voicemails and emails from a vast number of recruiters, it is likely that your CV will end up in the hands of some more casual recruiters.
If you must use job boards, carefully check your profile privacy settings. You might want your CV to only be seen by the agencies whose roles you’ve specifically registered an interest in, rather than your CV be viewable to all via the job boards’ recruiter databases.
What to do if you think your CV has been used without your consent
If you think that your CV has been passed onto an employer or another recruiter without your permission, legally, you are able to hold them to account via the UK data protection watchdog, The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). If the ICO receives evidence of non-compliance of the Data Protection Act, it can intervene on your behalf and fine the recruiter responsible.
At Realm, we always put our candidates first, our reputation depends on it
As a progressive and ethical recruitment consultancy, we maintain high standards and we expect our clients to too. We act consultatively with each of our candidates and operate openly and honestly. When you work with Realm, we’ll work hard to find exactly the kind of role you’re looking for and understand your long term career goals before advising you on that important next move. If we have a suitable position, we will discuss the role in detail with you to make sure that you are happy to be considered for shortlisting before we pass your CV to an employer.