I sent a lot of cvs speculatively to employers in May 2018.

I received the usual formulaic drivel ' we dont have anything suitable at the current time..... We will keep your cv under reference for suitable junior positions .... we will contact you if anything suitable materialises'.

I am currently studying my Masters and I wonder if these cvs sent almost 1.5 years ago would have been deleted under GDPR? How long are cvs kept on file, if indeed they are?! The industry I refer to is investment banking and boutique banking firms.

I have tried looking it up online but couldn't find a straight answer.

I could just re-send my cv but it is a lot of effort writing cover letters, especially if they still have my cv as other than commencing my masters nothing has significantly changed.

EDIT: Intersting responses. So since GDPR all firms are asking for explicit consent to keep cvs on file? Can anyone include a sample rejection asking for consent to get an idea.

  • If it's been a year without contact, I don't think they could assume your permission to keep the details anymore, if you even gave it in the first place (unless they specifically stated how long they would keep them and got your explicit permission), so they should have been deleted. May 2018 would have been in a bit of a murky area but firms should have sorted this stuff out by now. – Smock Nov 5 '19 at 14:51
  • Outside of the scope of your question, but it's just a line. I really doubt that big firms look at old cvs when a new position opens up. If you really want to work for them, they know you'll keep an eye out for openings and apply again. Employees usually chase jobs, not the other way round! – Gamora Nov 6 '19 at 13:37

The general line is:

personal data shall be kept for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it is being processed.

So if they still happen to be looking at your CV for matches, then they can keep it, otherwise they have to bin it.

However, the real question here is whether they're stil actively looking at your CV or not for matches, irrespective of the reason. After 1.5 years, I think it's highly unlikely most companies would still be hanging onto CVs for potential junior level positions, let alone actively scanning them.

I wouldn't be surprised if the "we'll keep your CV on file for matches" line was simply a placeholder for most companies, and the CV went straight in the bin after they determined there were no good matches.

My only other advice would be to spend your time applying for specific roles rather than just mass-contacting companies in the hope something is available (and it lands on the desk of the right person.) In my experience, that would be a better use of your time.


Disclaimer: Not a lawyer, not legal advice. Based on guidance and interpretations as current in germany, YMMV slightly depending on locale / stance of regulatory agencies.

Resend your CV

Unless they specifically wrote you back to ask you permission to keep the CV on file, and unless you agreed in writing, the CV will likely be deleted.

In my company we keep CVs on file for 3-6 months after the application process is concluded, but only to preserve evidence in case we're subject to a employment discrimination action. These CVs are kept in a seperate system that is not accessible for recruiting purposes. This is because the justification for saving and retaining the CV (Art 6, (1) c) GDPR) -> necessity because of a possible contract) is only valid as it relates to the specific position you applied for. Further retention needs to be authorized via affirmed consent (Art 6, (1) a GDPR).

Even if businesses don't follow this and keep your CV on file, sending it again is almost free and not worth losing out because of.

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