Today, I received a mail from a recruiter about an open position at another company. 6 minutes later, and before I even read the other mail, I received another mail, from the company the recruiter mentioned, asking me to complete my profile on their website after "my" application.

Evidently, the recruiter submitted an application in my place, without my consent and even without my knowledge. I checked out the position on the company website, and it looks like a job which I wouldn't apply for myself:

  • the commute would take too long;
  • the job description mentions thing that I am not at all comfortable with, like providing support and visiting the client (I'm bad at social conduct), willingness to travel to other sites (I don't have a driver's license) and planning and analysis (as explained in earlier questions, something I struggle with).
  • the company sector (telemarketing/callcenter) is something I'm not too keen on.

I currently have 2 problems I'm faced with:

  1. What should I do with the position the recruiter applied for? Should I notify the company that the application wasn't consensual?
  2. What should I do about the recruiter? Should I cut ties with them or give them the benefit of the doubt?
  • 6
    prior to this incident what was your relationship with the recruiter? Apr 24, 2015 at 16:57
  • 5
    What do you mean by "cut ties" with the recruiter? Do you have an established relationship with them? Because that may change things.
    – NotMe
    Apr 24, 2015 at 16:57
  • 4
    @mhoran_psprep I don't really have a relation with them. They called me once or twice before about another potential opportunity. Neither time was fruitful. With cut ties, I mean "remove me from your databank and don't contact me again".
    – Nzall
    Apr 24, 2015 at 17:04
  • 17
    I strongly recommend cutting ties. If they didn't worry about your consent or how good of a fit you were that shows a strong lack of respect.
    – Myles
    Apr 24, 2015 at 18:52
  • Did the recruiter have a copy of your CV?
    – paj28
    Apr 24, 2015 at 19:15

5 Answers 5


Neither of these are your problem. You can ignore both the recruiter (who clearly doesn't care much about individuals) and the company (who seemingly just received your details in an automated system, and your application will never be progressed, so you're highly unlikely to come to the attention of any real person who will remember you).

But depending on your appetite for crusading you may choose to take a bit of time to right some wrongs.

  1. You may choose to tell the company that the recruiter submitted your details without your consent, which is unethical, and if they care about that then they should probably stop using that recruiter. Someone at the company might do something about that. If you do this politely there will be no negative consequences for yourself.

  2. You may choose to tell the recruiter they have behaved unethically. Personally, I doubt this will have much impact, but perhaps a steady drip-drip of such complaints may get through their armour one day in the future. And it might make you feel better to have stood up to inappropriate behaviour. As before, being polite is important - in this case to ensure your stance is unimpeachable.

  • it could become your problem... I've several times been invited for job interviews only to be asked why I had several recruiters send in my resume to the company. In all such cases I had no knowledge of all but one of the recruiters, didn't even know the others existed. Usually it's only one, but in one case they'd got my resume from 6 recruiters without my knowledge in between me accepting the invitation and the actual interview a few days later.
    – jwenting
    Oct 11, 2015 at 4:21
  • 20
    You may choose to tell the recruiter they have behaved unethically. - In my experience, that is the equivalent of telling an ocean that it's wet. Oct 12, 2015 at 16:00
  • 1
    It might be more effective, if the recruiter's not working solo, to tell the recruiter's supervisor or someone else higher up in the company that the recruiter submitted an application for you without your consent. Even if the recruiter himself has no problem with this, others in the company may not care for it and may take measures to reduce or prevent that kind of behaviour.
    – cjs
    Aug 3, 2019 at 8:25
  • 3
    If you are EU citizen you can demand to remove all your data under GDPR and claim a data breach as they forwarded your personal details without the consent.
    – Zefiryn
    Aug 3, 2019 at 9:20
  • this just happened to me. i sent an email to the company telling them what happened, an interview which he pushed me to accept to keep his behavior secret was already set up. will not be working with this guy anymore. May 21, 2020 at 18:01

Simply reply that you have no current relationship with this recruiter. Explaining why they suggested you anyway is their problem.


Stop any cooperation with the recruiter starting right now. If you don't sign the online application, the application process stalls. Delete your profile from the company's website and while you are on the company website, delete any information about you from the company website.

The worst that happens is that the recruiter screams like a banshee. That's OK with you as long as his cries fall on your deaf ears :) Eventually, the recruiter will get it and annoy someone else, unless the recruiter is terminally clueless.

  1. Contact the company and let them know your resume was submitted due to an error by the recruiter, and should not be considered; it's up to you how much detail to provide.

  2. This recruiter is wasting your time, do not continue working with them.

Some background for my reasoning:

A few years ago a recruiter who I had previously requested to stop contacting me submitted my resume to a company without my consent. (California, USA)

I told the company, who told me that because of this and other incidents they would no longer be working with that recruiter, and asked if I was interested in applying directly for the position. (I told them that because of the uncertain legal status I would not be doing so -- in a situation like that it's not clear if a fee is owed to the recruiter. In fact, I've been told that many companies have a policy to discard any resumes that are received from more than one channel, to avoid disputes over fees.)

The recruiter apologized and blamed it on a recordkeeping error, but the damage had already been done.

  • 1
    Re: #1, don't say it was "in error." That implies that it was a mistake on your part. Be straightforward - the application was submitted without your consent by a third party, you are not qualified for the position, and apologize for any time they spent in processing the application.
    – alroc
    Aug 3, 2019 at 11:55
  • @alroc edited to make it clear it was recruiter error; is that better?
    – arp
    Aug 3, 2019 at 13:41
  • Several people have downvoted this -- may I please know why, so I can do better?
    – arp
    Aug 4, 2019 at 14:29

Dealing with recruiters is very cumbersome! 99% of them only care about money they make from you. You mention the recruiter applied without even consulting with you. This is highly unprofessional. Each company that I have ever applied to through a recruiter has been only with my consent. This is very important. You should cut-off ties with this recruiter and notify the company that the application was started without your consent/notification so that the company is also aware of such activities by this recruiter.

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