I was asked by a recruiter recently for different firms I was recruited to - both sell-side (investment banks) and buy-side firms (prop shops, hedge funds, HFTs, etc.). I am wondering if this is fine, as well as if this would constitute any legal or privacy issues? I know that recruiters (especially from large firms) tend to ask these, but for some of the more secretive shops, is even giving their name allowed (as in, my resume has been submitted there)?

I would like to know since this may be not legal (even if I didn't sign an NDA/NC) as well as perhaps unethical/mess up my future chances with some of these said firms that are much more secretive.

  • Sometimes it's not your choice though, but any company who doesn't want you to tell people will tell you not to
    – Gamora
    Feb 27, 2020 at 11:17

2 Answers 2


Well, there are two possibilities.

The recruiter may be trying to avoid duplicate submissions. This is a Good Thing.

The recruiter may be looking for leads as to companies that would be looking for guys with backgrounds like yours, and he wants you to do his homework for him. This is a Bad Thing.

The answer is to tell him "I understand you don't want to do a duplicate submission, and there may well be companies you'd consider that I already know I'm not interested in. We can work both of those problems easily by running the company past me BEFORE you submit me there."

And then SHUT UP. What the recruiter says next will tell you which possibility is in play.

Now, I have run into recruiters who will try very hard NOT to tell the candidate who the Client is, out of fear that the Candidate will try to end-run the recruiter and cost the recruiter his fee. I have never seen this behavior with a good recruiter, only the bottom feeders. My rule is this: If he's not telling me the Client's name, there are probably other far worse things he doesn't want me to know, and it is not in my best interests to work with that recruiter.

  • [S/he] may be looking for leads .... This is a Bad Thing. It's mainly a bad thing because the recruiter will then submit candidates who will be in direct competition with you for the role. Worst case, they also badmouth you ("Oh yeah, we we're going to submit qxzsilver, but they had really bad references and did not disclose criminal convictions"). Or "Oh hi, manager. I got your name from your bestest employee qxzsilver...". Or "So, you're interviewing elsewhere?" - thinks: I won't waste an interview slot on qxzsilver.
    – Justin
    Feb 27, 2020 at 14:22
  • Your response should always be "How would you feel if I gave out your leads to other recruiters?"
    – Justin
    Feb 27, 2020 at 14:44

I suspect the recruiter wants to avoid presenting you to places where you've already been presented. That's definitely good for them, and probably good for you.

You should ask the recruiter why they want this information. In general, it's always good to ask the recruiter about their process and other details of the way they're handling your case. If, after that conversation, you don't trust them, don't work with them.

There's another way to handle this issue. Ask the recruiter to talk to you before they present you anywhere, so you can warn them if you're already talking to that place.

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