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R13 #AskTheRecruiter

What should I do if an agency sends my CV without my consent?

Let’s start by saying that recruitment agencies should never do this. Not only is it unethical and disrespectful, but it ruins the relationship you have with the recruiter, is a violation of your data protection and can potentially harm your chances at the company in question should you apply directly without knowing your CV has already been sent.  Unfortunately, just a quick Google will show you several cases of where this unethical practice has happened to others.

We all want to find the perfect job and so many of us will upload our CVs onto job board sites (CV Library, Reed, Indeed, TotalJobs etc..), this is where recruiters will most often find your CV. At this point, the recruiter should contact you, discuss the vacancy, meet you and then once you have given your consent, submit your details through for the vacancy and company in question. This is sometimes not the case, and some agencies will find your CV, think it’s perfect for their client and send it without your knowledge or permission. They may then call you with the offer of an interview for a job at a company which you have no interest in, or never call you at all, but your details have been shared and you don’t know by who and with whom. It could also be the case where you register with a recruiter, and they then send your details to all companies they work with, without your prior knowledge.

Here are our thoughts on how you can tackle this issue…

Make sure you are in full control

When dealing with recruiters make sure they update you and that you are made aware of each step in the process. At R13, your point of contact will discuss companies and job details with you first, qualify your interest, gain your consent to share your (tailored) CV, and keep you updated with the progress of your application and timeframes. If you’re declined, they will let you know and reasons why.

Don’t let an agency “Spec you out” without gaining more information

If a recruiter asks for your permission to do this, without providing you with information of where and what for, we would suggest declining their offer to avoid future instances of applying to the company and being declined based purely on having seen your (usually unformatted and untailored) CV already. If you work with R13 and we are sending you for a specific role, we will help you to create a bespoke tailored CV which showcases your most relevant skills for that job role, maximising your chances of success.

Notify the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation)

All reputable agencies are governed by the REC. If you have been unhappy with the conduct of an agency in this instance, you can contact the REC and report the agency in question to them. This activity is unlawful and unethical, and the REC will be able to take action against the agency in question.

Cease working with that recruiter

It may seem obvious, but the situation has clearly shown that this particular recruiter does not care about your wishes and it is likely the situation will happen again. Under GDPR you can request that all your details be removed from their databases and specify that you do not wish to be contacted again. Although, do remember that if they have no record of you, they may still find your CV online.


We do hope that this situation never happens to you. Issues like this are one of the reasons recruiters sometimes get a bad reputation. Here at R13 we care about what you want and make a point of getting to know you and what you are looking for. We would always discuss opportunities with you first before sending your CV over to the client. It’s important the role is the right fit for not only your skills but the kind of environment and culture you want and there is no way we could find this out without taking the time to talk to you.

A good recruiter would never send your CV with your consent or without getting to know you first, so make sure you chose one that is right for you.

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