Was contacted by an external recruiter and told of a role over the phone. My initial thoughts were hesitant and so thought about it for a week or so. Eventually decided to contact the recruiter and apply for the role as after some consideration I think it might be a logical career step forward.

A few days passed and nothing happened, so I contacted the recruiter and he said because of the week/ten day delay in me confirming my application, I/we might have been too late to the party as he'd learned they were starting 2nd stage interviews.

I trust the recruiter, but as the job itself is still today listed on the employer's website, would it benefit me if I contacted the employer directly to follow up on my application and reaffirm them I'm really keen on the role?

  • 1
    Did the recruiter confirm that they sent in your resume/application? Are you actively looking to change companies, or did the recruiter contact you out of the blue? Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 13:03

4 Answers 4


In the best case, you've nuked your bridge with the recruiter by doing an end run around his paycheck (if you're hired, your new employer will pay the recruiter an amount equal to several months of your pay) without affecting your chance of being hired. In the worst case, for double application, your potential employer will toss both copies of your resume into the trash and put you on their internal blacklist.


If you're considering doing this, then what you are really saying is that you do not trust the recruiter. If you did, you wouldn't have the idea that you can improve on his attempts to get you into the position.

Would you be willing to contact the recruiter and tell him that you're going to apply directly for the job? No? So, if not, you're really asking whether it would benefit you to deceive the recruiter, by allowing him to have the idea that he is representing you for this job, when in fact he isn't. Simple answer: no it would not benefit you, not at all. Stay on the up and up, even if nobody else around you does. You'll feel better about yourself in the end.

Keep in mind that if you try to take matters into your own hands, you are giving the recruiter a very strong reason not to trust you. No job is worth a reputation for untrustworthiness.

I would suggest that you consider this job to be no longer available, and allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised if you turn out to be wrong. It's much better than finding yourself unpleasantly surprised if you attempt to apply for the job directly and find that nobody wants to deal with you any more.


Remember the recruiter is employed by the company. They have a close relationship that has probably been going for quite a while.

The recruiter will find out along with the company. So what message will it tell them about you?

Think for a while - I will be a message that you are into stabbing people in the back while smiling at them. Would you want that sort of person on you payroll?


Would it benefit me if I contacted the employer directly to follow up on my application and reaffirm them I'm really keen on the role?

No, because you'd be seen as trying to bypass the candidate-recruiter-company relationship with all the problems that Dan outlined.

In your case, your only real option is to contact the recruiter again with something like the following:

Hey X, I noticed that Company Y still has position Z listed on their website. While you said that they already started the second round of interviews, I believe I might be a good fit for this position because of [reasons]. Would you be willing to forward my details/resume to the company to see if they are interested in my profile/application?

The language you use will depend on you relationship with the recruiter and how final he was the last time you spoke. From your question it's not clear to me if he did still submit your resume or not. I would assume that he'd pass it on to the company and only wanted to warn you that you might have been too late and they probably won't go through initial interview (unless their current candidate pool falls through). In most cases, you'd only have a chance of still being considered if you were truly a great fit for the position (on paper). The recruiter's reaction might have been hinting that you weren't a great fit and you're therefore unlikely to still be considered.

  • I don't understand this with the recruiter, isnt it what you want to do that is important, so you just say. "Forward my application, they are still hiring according to the website". Offcourse being polite. I Do not understand this recruting system and why is it considered stabbing somebody in the back, it is my ultimate responsibility to get a job(that i like) not the recruiter?
    – cognacc
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 15:08
  • @cognacc The issue is that when you work with recruiters, they implicitly own your profile when they introduce you. Employers can't contact candidates without going through the recruiter but the reverse is also true. You'd only bypass them with good reason, such as complete radio silence from a recruiter and even then you can run into all sorts of problems. Violating the recruiter-candidate relationship is Not A Good Sign when it comes to professional behaviour so in that way not doing it is also in your own best interest.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 17:51

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