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Acquaintances and "friends of friends" occasionally ask me to forward their resume (CV) to my employer since they feel it will give them an advantage over sending it to the company directly. However I hesitate because I once had an experience where I did so and the person was hired but did not work out. I felt like my reputation was harmed due to this. Even though I had made it clear to the company that I had no personal knowledge of the candidate's work, they later told me that they hired him partially based on my involvement in forwarding the resume.

I think it's good to help people professionally when you can, but at the same time it's also important to look after your reputation. What are the pros and cons of performing the "forwarding" favor and what are the factors that should go into deciding whether to do it?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jim G., CincinnatiProgrammer, ChrisF, jcmeloni, shivsky Jan 17 '14 at 1:48

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Pros:

  • if your company has a "referral" program, forwarding resumes outside of the normal application system may be the correct way to qualify
  • the candidate may feel better about their chances since they'll "stand out"
  • the candidate (or other friends) may be more likely to similarly help you out in the future, since you're helping them this time

Cons:

  • (as you've experienced) if the candidate is hired "because you know him" and doesn't work out, your company may decide it reflects badly on you
  • similarly, if the candidate is underqualified, interviews very poorly, or makes a bad impression for another reason, your company may reject the candidate and decide it reflects badly on you
  • if your company decides not to hire the candidate, they may take out their frustration on you, as you could be "the face of the company" to them
  • the candidate may pester you for updates, even after they've begun the interviewing process and have met other employees who would have a better idea how their candidacy stands
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What are the pros and cons of performing the "forwarding" favor [when you don't have personal experience of their work]

Pros

  • It's mindless
  • It's faster
  • The "friends of friends" will always be pleased
  • The "friends" will often be pleased
  • You might always be first in the "referral bonus" pool

Cons

  • You might lose the trust of the recipients
  • Your reputation might suffer
  • Recipients might stop considering you as a valuable source
  • Your "friends" might not have even know that their "friends" were making such a request

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