Control Freak

I’m sure this scene will be familiar to many of you.

You get back from work, have something to eat, pour yourself a glass of wine and settle down to watch a DVD generic for premarin.

First thing you get? That anti-piracy warning:-

DUN-DUN-DUNYou wouldn’t steal a carDUN-DUN-DUNYou wouldn’t steal a handbagDUN-DUN-DUN……

Fairly presumptuous I suppose, but in most cases quite valid. However by this point your head’s throbbing and you’re starting to doubt yourself. Actually, would I steal a car? Have I stolen a handbag? Are those sirens I can hear? RUN….!

If this doesn’t ring a bell then how about the warning which originated on American TV – “it’s 10pm – do YOU know where your children are????” Even when I was 4 years old it put the fear of God into me. Where’s teddy? I told him not to go across the road and now I can’t find him and……oh there he is, next to the train set where I left him.

So you know you’re watching a kosher DVD, and that the car and handbag have been paid for legitimately. You know that the kids are safe outside and wouldn’t dream of crossing the road without your consent:- what about your personal information? Who may be looking at that without your knowledge?

As the world becomes more digitally-focussed we spend more time making sure that our identities are protected, whether it be log-ins to online bank accounts or passwords for shopping websites. For years we have covered the keypad when entering PIN numbers and every time a bank statement comes through it usually gets shredded or thoroughly destroyed. Yet every day our consultants at VG Charles talk to candidates who are unsure about where their CV may have been sent to.

Speak to any law firm or a quality legal recruiter and they can tell you that one of the factors which complicates the recruitment process is duplicate submission of CVs. It drives firms mad, as they receive the same details four times from different recruiters for the same role, and as well as making the recruiter look foolish it can make the candidate look desperate, potentially weakening any negotiating position if and when it comes to offer stage.

A CV can be duplicated for a number of reasons; sometimes due to a poor recruiter, more often unfortunately it is the fault of the individual. How to avoid this? Well the simplest way is for candidates to extensively track where their CV has been sent and when, as well as which role it was for and the location; that way if another recruiter approaches you for the same position you can highlight that this has already been covered on your behalf.

Occasionally a CV can be duplicated when a candidate has been spoken to about an opportunity but for reasons of confidentiality the recruiter will refuse to disclose which firm it is with, and convince you that it is ‘standard policy’ to work this way.

Nonsense. Absolute rot.

Do you really want your details to be in front of your peers yet not know which people will have seen these? How can you go into a mediation yet not be slightly concerned that the person across the table from you may just know that you’re on the market, what your frustrations are at your firm and also have an idea of what you’re being paid?

If a recruiter won’t tell you who the firm is then tell them where to go. Different if it’s a headhunt, as there is usually a strategic reason for the recruitment which means the client doesn’t want it known that they’re hiring, certainly at the early stages. However for ‘standard’ contingency recruitment you should always have been advised exactly where your details are being sent.

As online job boards become more common your CV may be on a website which can be accessed by anyone who has the database search capability. At best you can then expect a number of calls to come through from people who have ‘seen your details online’; at worst, someone unprofessional may send details out to every firm in the hope that something ‘sticks’, then contact you retrospectively.

It’s imperative in this market that candidates retain full control over their CV at all times. You will find that often a job advert contains the details of the consultant advertising the position, so why not pick up the phone and talk to them about the role? That way if it’s not right for you then you haven’t released your details; if it does then you’ve already had the chance to convince the recruiter that you’re right for the role before your CV even arrives. It also allows you to verify that they will respect your details and will not send them out without your consent, which is crucial in this market.

Additionally you can get an idea of the person you may be relying on to represent you; if they sound to you like they don’t know what they’re doing will they be able to convince the recruiting firm that you’re the person for the role?

The duplicate CV question raises its ugly head more often that we’d like, and unfortunately at times can be to the detriment of a candidate’s chances of getting the role. So how to avoid it? Quick do’s and dont’s.

  • DO track everywhere that you’ve given consent for your CV to be sent, including when, which recruiter sent it and whether it was a speculative application or for an actual vacancy;
  • DON’T trust your CV to someone that you may not have spoken to before. If it’s a recruiter, speak to them first about the opportunity and only when you’re satisfied that they’re professional enough to respect your confidentiality should you release your details;
  • DO make sure that you get a guarantee from everyone that you speak to that your CV will not be sent out without your consent;
  • DON’T send your CV out to every single recruiter on the web at once. Identify one or two who you feel can represent you positively and professionally, both in relation to actual openings and who can work proactively on your behalf; and finally
  • DON’T steal handbags, cars or DVDs. It’s not big, it’s not hard and it’s not clever.



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