The day a recruiter sent my CV to my boss

Whoops!


The day a recruiter sent my CV to my boss

Well, to be honest, it wasn't my CV, it was my colleague's.  But that doesn't make such a good headline.  

I know, I'm naughty. What actually happened was this.  I worked for Dixons as an Area Manager back in the days when most things were powered by steam, calculators had just come down in price to £99.99 and I had brown hair.  I was in the Regional Office in Bristol one day when I heard the Regional Director chuckling to himself in his office.   I stuck my head round the door to find out what was so amusing.  

"I've just had Bill's CV faxed to me by a recruiter", he said.  Now first things first, a fax is a bit like an email but in a physical form, and originally came out on silver, curly paper.  Well this curly silver document was in fact the CV of one of my peers and colleagues, another Area Manager.  He was obviously looking for something bigger and better and had given his CV to a recruiter who had promptly sent his CV to our boss, complete with a cover note extolling his virtues.

"I recognise the name but nothing else in this CV bears any resemblance to Bill whatsoever", the gaffer said.   Ouch!  Setting aside the veracity of Bill's CV the point is that this cock-up - for I think that is the most accurate description of what happened - this cock-up could easily happen to you.

The reality is that modern technology makes it even easier for a recruiter to make such a mistake now.  A click of a mouse sending a CV to a mailing list of clients; an admin person doing the work and not checking who is on the recipient list.  It happened back then, it can happen today.

So, here's what to do to avoid it happening to you.

  • Your CV is yours - take responsibility for it and do everything you can to maintain control of who has your CV and how they use it.
  • Do not send your CV to every recruiter in the market.  Seek out the experts, the specialists and work with them alone.  Three or four tops.  Talk to them and work with the ones with whom you can build a relationship of trust.
  • Agree with them how they are going to use your CV and to whom specifically it will be sent. Confirm this in an email.
  • Agree whether they will send the CV or only an anonymised (no names, no current employer) summary of your skills and achievements.  This may differ from company to company.  If they are using an anonymised summary agree on what basis your identity will be revealed.
  • Agree a timetable for weekly follow ups and ask them to update you as to progress with each of the companies you have authorised them to contact on your behalf.
  • If you are uploading your CV to a Job Board be aware that your current employer might be able to access it.  Most Job Boards, however, offer you different levels of privacy controls, for this very reason.  For example, Totaljobs offers 3 levels of Privacy control to choose from, ranging from all of your details being searchable to making all of your information private.  The best option is the middle ground where only your experience and non-personal information is searchable. You only have to reveal your identity when you reply to an enquiry from a recruiter.  Consider only using job boards with these features and make sure that you use them if they do.
  • Consider the content of your CV. Is there something in your CV (some numbers, something in breach of a confidentiality agreement) that would unleash World War 3 if it got out? Perhaps save those particular details for the interview.

There you go, I hope that helps. Oh, and what happened to Bill?  Well, luckily for him our boss was in a good mood that day and simply made him squirm a bit.  Quite a bit, actually.  Lucky Bill!

If you like my advice on writing CVs with impact, Interview Technique, Linkedin and Job Hunting please sign up for BLOG updates, and please tell your friends. If you don’t like my advice – please keep it to yourself.  :-)

For personal help with CV Writing, LinkedIn Profiles, Interviews or your Job Search, please give me a call on 0333 300 1296. 

 


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