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I was submitting resumes and noticed on one employers webpage that they have a disclaimer stating that all resumes that are submitted "become the property of said company". I'm not sure what exactly this entails, but I am sure it will vary from company to company, and was wondering if it is okay, possibly even normal, to request that my resume be kept private, and/or not redistributed or posted online. A simple note on the top or bottom with an asterisk requesting privacy was what I had in mind.

There obviously isn't any real personal information, except for my phone number, but the idea of releasing my resume into the wild feels a little disconcerting. I am well aware that it is commonplace to post resumes on LinkedIn, however, I would like a little control over what happens with my 'life story' after I give it to someone. Is there any way to reasonably handle this situation without making a negative first impression?

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    What exactly is it you don't like about your resume being shown to someone else? Most people would just consider that "thanks for helping me find a job".
    – Erik
    Sep 14 '16 at 8:53
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Is it strange to request your resume and cover letter be kept private?

Yes.

Any suggestions on how to reasonably handle this situation without making a negative first impression?

There are none.

A simple note on the top or bottom with an asterisk requesting privacy was what I had in mind.

Don't do it.

At the end of the day, everyone involved in hiring knows that resumes contain personally identifiable information and shouldn't be misused or shared haphazardly. Your average hiring manager won't post your resume on Facebook, have a laugh at your cover letter on LinkedIn or steal your submission for his own use. All of these do happen, but they happen so incredibly rarely that it would be strange for you to try to prevent it by inserting meaningless disclaimers or warnings.

If you add this kind of thing to an application, you're going to come across as paranoid and you'd have to be a really good candidate for me to look past that. You'd be telling me that you don't understand how these documents are treated in a hiring process and that you failed to realise that it wouldn't work anyway. A disclaimer wouldn't stop someone from inappropriately sharing your submissions if they felt like it.

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You are reading too much into it. "Resumes become property of ABC company" doesn't mean they are going to redistribute the resumes, post them online, or sell them to third parties. What they are trying to convey is that once you send them a resume, you can't ask for it back. Companies in the US have to keep resumes and applications on hand for a number of years. They do not want to go through the trouble of tracking each person, finding where all the applications went to, who saw it, and who access it, only to deal with the applicant "asking for it back."

If you send the resume to a company, you need to consider it as if they own the copy and will use it for their internal purposes.

*Recruiters and staffing companies will redistribute your resume. And you can not help what really shady & scamy companies will do.

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