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I had a fairly long interview with a recruiter yesterday who told me about a great opportunity. She sent me some materials to review, and said she would "present" me on Monday if I like what I saw.

Just two hours after that conversation, I received an email from the employer apologizing for not getting back to me about my application sooner. It seems as though I had already applied for this position, and I just didn't realize it when I was talking to the recruiter.

I am very interested in the position, but I am not sure how to handle this situation. What is the most tactful and respectful way to handle this situation?

  • Is your first application still pending or had you been turned down and you are now considering applying for it again? – Avon Jun 27 '15 at 19:47
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Ultimately your recruiter will not get paid since you already applied in person. It would be extremely unprofessional for you to have your recruiter put your name in (and as a result would likely cost you the opportunity).

The best thing to do would be to continue forward with the company (since you are interested), and let your recruiter know, as soon as possible, that you had already applied and had forgotten. I would approach this something like:

Recruiter, I appreciate talking to you about position X. After we finished talking I had a nagging feeling that it was a familiar position. As I was going through my list of active applications I realized I had already applied for the position.

I, personally, would end with a light-hearted comment about them being great at finding positions I am interested in and to contact me if they have any other positions, though if you do not want the recruiter to keep looking for you, you could just thank them for their time and apologize for any inconvenience caused.

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