Software

Recruiters may be selling your resume

Recruiters are using fake job ads to gather resumes, and then they sell those resumes to other recruiters.

Back in April, I wrote about the despicable practice of fake job postings. These are "employment" ads that end up being nothing more than come-ons from career-marketing services that can charge up to $10,000.

Now there appear to be more people seeking to make a profit off of job seekers: Recruiters selling your resume to other recruiters or companies.

Apparently people post fake job ads to garner 1,000 or more resumes and then sell those resumes to other recruiters.

Larry Chaffin, writing in a blog for NetworkWorld, did an experiment to check this story out. He and some partners created three fake resumes from a CIO-type to an entry-level employee. He explained,

"We looked at the positions that stated remote position\work from home office with a national telecommunication company or Fortune 100 companies. Also we applied for architect, engineer, and executive jobs as well. We applied for around 70 jobs and on some of them we made sure we had the experience they wanted. Being just right or over qualified you would think we would get a call, but no, we got emails saying, "Sorry but you did not meet the qualifications of the position."

Within three days, they started to get emails and calls to their temp cell phone from people they didn't know in regard to jobs for which they hadn't applied. In the calls, people said they were forwarded the resume. Calls and emails started coming in from India, China, Canada, and other countries. One recruiter in Canada even admitted that he bought one of the resumes after it had been fully vetted, and a background check had been done.

It might not be a bad thing to have your resume circulated around; it could be, however, if you don't want certain people knowing you're looking. I don't see a problem with recruiters paying for a service that delivers fully vetted resumes, but the fact that these people post fake job ads to draw in those resumes really rankles me.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

38 comments
ddynia1
ddynia1

Just do the same thing as the recruiters do. Pretend to be some high-end recruiting firm, or place an ad that your seeking qualified candidates for potential jobs, and then get those qualified techs to send you their resumes, and then you can sell those resumes to staffing firms, recruiters and head hunters for a small finders fee. Problem solved.

Kam Guerra
Kam Guerra

Resume farming has been around. Places like Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs, and just about every other job board has recruiter looking to snag resumes while claiming you're an available asset. On the government contract side (for those of us with clearances) they get $30,000/head and will stop at nothing to lure you to switch teams. They'll lie about anything and everything: pay, benefits, location, schedule, job description, you name it - they'll lie about it.

gary
gary

To the client (i.e., the company with a position to fill), the headhunter pretends to be very professional and concerned about satisfying the client's needs and expectations. To the candidate (i.e., the person looking for a job), the headhunter pretends to be their friend, helping them progress their careers. To the headhunter honestly looking at himself or herself in the mirror, it is a greedy individual staring them in the face. Considering this behavior, would you trust a headhunter?

lodestone
lodestone

. . .morality isn't relevant? --Allen

tinsley.paul
tinsley.paul

I estimate that I get a response from around 1% of all of my online applications. A great ROI on effort for a Chartered Professional with over 22 years of experience [/sarcasm]. I think it's time to go back to good old fashioned letters.

rfolden
rfolden

Kind of like prostitution, this practice has been around since the dawn of headhunters.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

One of the local employment organisations near where I live is also a registered training provider, for over two years they advertised two rotating ads for people to do entry level IT work as an IT Tech. If anything, I'm over qualified, but I applied to them eight times, eight times I got letters saying I didn't get the job. I spoke about this to another employment firm and they got out some other paperwork and asked when the ads were run. We compared the two lots of papers and the job ads were being run three weeks before the company ran basic IT Tech training courses. About eight months ago their IT Tech instructor got a better job with another training provider and the first company hasn't run an ad for IT Techs since. To me, this is clear evidence their ads were simply come ons to get people to sign up for training. Since then I've learned that company has had several complaints for that sort of behaviour and it is a common one amongst organisations with licences to do both recruitment and training.

alaniles
alaniles

I was actively seeking a position and was approached almost on a daily basis from agents who had seen my Cv and 'Had a job perfect for me!' they would give me speal about the position and give a great salary and saying the job was practically mine. They would then lull you into giving them details of who you had worked for and reference details...they would give false names and positions in premier agencies so when you called back you hit a dead-end!! Your references were then subjected to a barrage of cold callers from proper agents who had been sold the leads. I felt complete foolish and no only give out references upon successfully gaining a position. Information is power!

raj_534y
raj_534y

Thanks for the information Toni bowers...

datepuru
datepuru

Yes, it is true story. I have had such bad experience while working at an Indian IT company. This organization floated fake requirement only check who from the organization applies. Then, those who applied got 0% increments although we did well on our IT projects. I surpassed profit target on my project, but got 0% increment stating that I better look out job outside

139320
139320

As much as the practice may have its advantages (more recruiters); I feel that if the actual applicant was not informed; It should not happen. Unfortunately though; the recruiters who pay for this service also encourage it to some extent. I also don't think Job seekers would actually refuse for their resume's to be distributed to other potential recruiters but that must be made clear form the onset.

GSG
GSG

OK, what's wrong with this? "One recruiter in Canada even admitted that he bought one of the resumes after it had been fully vetted, and a background check had been done." How could it have been vetted and a background check done? Having worked for a headhunter, I know it's common practice to share resumes among the recruiters, and I'm not surprised they are being sold. However, in the case where the person was told there was a background check, she/he obviously didn't get what they paid for. I also think they should say up front that this is not an actual position, but that they'll be sending the resume to recruiters.

mjd420nova
mjd420nova

Nothing new in this practice. After submitting a resume to one prospective employer, I have begun getting job offers to sell insurance, which has nothing to do with my experience or knowledge base. How they got my e-mail is unknown and have begun using different name spellings and e-mail addresses to try and track the origin of where they were submitted. I'll find the originator and post it when I find out.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

I was aware of this, due to some double submissions that occurred in the past. At a number of places a double submission is enough to be disqualified, which in the current job market stinks.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

few were doing that. One set of clowns in the UK actually set up a job board and asked for cvs to build up a candidate base. Quite by accident on doing so you got spammed to crap by their sister site with offers on various IT gadgets....

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

with some years ago got paid by the company whose positions they filled, by law they can't have a contract with both parties, so the contract is with the company. They got paid the commission ONLY if the person worked out and was still working at the company four months later. They were under real pressure to ensure good fit of staff to the vacancy.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

ones used to just cut your noggin off for dinner, they never did these sort of barbaric practices as the original head hunters were far more civilised.

john
john

Try your best not to let a bad experience with one obviously bad Head Hunter cause you to lose other potential opportunities. Many of us good ones won't work with someone that won't give them reference information, For Obvious Reasons. If you have been in this business long enough, 6 months or more, you will soon learn that people lie. They lie about achievements, salary, work history, degrees, certifications, you name it. It's the Head Hunters job to attest about an individual's good skills and character prior to submitting them to that perfect job. BTW - a good Head hunter will often work on filling positions that have not been advertised. That's why we're called Head Hunters. The person that you dealt with was a Scammer. They try to scam us too. John

david.buckley
david.buckley

This has been happening in Aus for years, th efake job ads thing. Hasn't hurt me yet. Actually managed to get me a good job once that I hadn't originally applied for but was a perfect match for me. Haven't heard of the resume selling happening here though. Nor have I been stung or heard of the double application issue that GSG posted about. DAVE :)

mckinnej
mckinnej

Sounds like CareerBuilder. As soon as I posted a resume on that site I started getting bombarded for insurance sales and financial advisor positions. It seems that previous experience is not a barrier to entry in these career fields. I was on other job sites and never got anything like this from them.

rhomp2002
rhomp2002

I ran into this years ago. I got a letter from a company I had never even heard of telling me I was scheduled for a job interview in 2 day's time. I was not even looking for a job. I went to see them and found they had an old resume of mine they had submitted without my permission or knowledge. That got scotched immediately. I went back to my job and talked to the people there about it. It seems that these companies jsut blanket the market with your resumes. Then if you do ever show up for an interview from a valid recruiter and your resume is on file already from the scuzzy recruiter and you get hired, then the scuzzy recruiter gets the bucksbecause they had the earlier resume submitted. Companies got wise and checked. If your resume was submitted by more than 1 recruiter, then you were automatically dropped from consideration. If they did go ahead then it was up to you to get the scuzzy recruiter to admit that they could not produce you and have their copy of the resume withdrawn and then your valid recruiter could be paid. It is a despicable practice and has cost many people jobs they would have been hired for. It behooves all of us to deal only with reputable recruiters and with only one at a time. That at least keeps the chance of your being skewed this way to a minimum. Also follow up if your resume is out there without your permission and get that stopped too. The incidence where I almost got messed up happened back in the 1960's so it was going on back then too, at least in NYC.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Stand a bit further away. Headhunting is about the candidate, recruiting is about the vacancy.... I never bother lying, can't be arsed. Any gain would be short term at best, and an overall loss. For recruitment agencies we both (having been in the business more than six months) know that their business model is to get paid for placing people. If it turns out to be the wrong person. Great, they paid again..... Selling on contact details, that's just a bonus ball. One bad recruiter, I wish....

a.barry
a.barry

Every head-hunter I've ever worked for gives me the final say before formally putting in my application for a position.

jmarkovic32
jmarkovic32

Until I have an offer on the table, I want to keep my job search confidential. I don't want some recruiter grilling my supervisor about me when there's not even a job, then I walk around feeling awkward because my supervisor knows I'm looking elsewhere. I'll give you one reference: The HR Department. They will confirm hire date, job title and maybe my current salary, but that's it. There's no need for anything else besides that. I respect the time and graciousness of my references and I won't have them subjected to phone spam by recruiters who may or may not be trying to get their next meal ticket. If you want three references, I'll offer you that one. If you insist on three then we're through talking. I've been led by the balls by one recruiter too many.

LouCed
LouCed

Yep, happens here in the US of A. Recruiter spams your CV without your knowledge, you apply for a position, and they say no. The reason? Even if they threw away the CV from the recruiter, the recruiter can sue and claim that you got the job because of his sending the initial CV. I don't use recruiters anymore if I can help it.

a.barry
a.barry

CareerBuilder seems to be the VistaPrint of job boards. I got a funny feeling when they intersperse filling in your profile with applications for various career related services whose fields may be auto-filled as you fill in your profile. Actually CareerBuilder may simply allow companies to have a very loose search criteria (anyone with a college degree) or perhaps is set up for bulk emails.

creativenrg11
creativenrg11

I have some call center experience in my past, so add that to the financial and insurance position. At least there's some level of relevance, but obviously they don't filter according to current info and the specs i've set up (such as minimum $, for instance). they're just another example of questionable "business practices" that employ a shotgun approach to whatever they do. a nuisance at best. besides, it's well documented that the best way to job hunt now is through networking, so we all had better evolve in that direction if/when we find ourselves looking.

jmarkovic32
jmarkovic32

A clueless recruiter sent my resume to a firm based on a bullet-point on my resume. I put on my resume that I used some VBScript with Group Policy Objects in Active Directory. Stupid broad submitted me to a job that was basically writing automation scripts in VBScript. Most embarassing phone screen ever.

rhomp2002
rhomp2002

In fact I demand that. If they don't comply then they are immediately history. I want to know who I am being submitted to and for what position. I also want to see what the company asked for since I have seen all too many times the company and the recruiter are talking 2 different languages. I was an application programmer and I found that one recruiter submitted me as an experienced DBA for a Fortune 500 corporation I could probably have done it with a lot of help but that is not a skill I had and I resented being marketed as that. Don't lie. I will do the best I can for you but let's start out with the truth and work from there.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Everey recruiter who's ever rang me about a buddy has asked me If I'm looking If my company is looking. As a candidate it's this one that gets right up my nose. The company is x, don't tell any other recruiters about it. Followed almost immediately by what other jobs are you applying for at the moment and who with? It's as though I do IT, because I'm too thick to get a job as a pimp.

LouCed
LouCed

Companies do not like the hassle, so they just put both copies in file 13 and forget about it.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

still hanging around as it's been a few years, but they were common here in Australia as they couldn't claim a fee for representing you unless they had a contract to do so. It was a lot like the contracts the real estate agents got you to sign giving them exclusive right to represent you to sell the land. The down side was if you got a job that went through them during the period of the contract or shortly after the contract, regardless of if they sent your resume in or not, they got a fee. the upside was the pressure was on them to find you a job within the time frame.

EBradford
EBradford

I had never before considered the implications of a Contracting or Recruiting Firm having my resume without specified instructions about what the resume may be used for. I don't like this situation at all. Could some please post their Representation Contract and "Sunset Clause" for us to view and consider for adoption. Should such a contract also include a clause to not change the information contained one the resume? I'd write one myself, but I fear it would come across too negatively. I do like the idea of having different e-mail accounts on the resume, or other coding that indicates the Resume's initial distribution. There must be some "rights" assigned to the individual where by a company can not represent you without your permission. Wouldn't it be considered fraud if a company claimed to represent a person for whom there was no agreement to represent the person? Is there some sort of legal remedy?

a.barry
a.barry

There are contract companies which provide services to end-users, and contract companies which provide people to other contract companies. In many cases, you see the same job (as in identical wording) listed with many companies, and it's tricky to pick the "primary" company and avoid the "bottom feeders". I wish Dice (the main source for these) would scan for identical postings, but then again no job site is designed for job seekers.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

contract between you and them that's current. that's why when I use a recruiter and sign a contract with them I make sure it has a sunset clause that limits how long they can represent me. I had one baulk at the clause and I simply asked "Why do you need more than three months when you promise you can get me employed within six weeks, or were you simply throw bulls**t around?" They accepted it in the end. Once the contract expires they have no legal right to represent me and force a payment from the company for doing so.

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