How to avoid the cowboy recruiter

Posted on 8th December 2020 by Dan Jones


Happy with your resume being sent to your boss? No…? Read on

Is Your Information Being Shared Without Your Consent?

What Companies Is Your Resume Being Sent Too Unbeknown to You?


These questions are particularly poignant when it comes to choosing your recruiter and how you share your details and resume.

There are too many cowboy recruiters out there who will trawl the likes of Seek, Indeed, LinkedIn or any other job board out there, download your resume sending it to whoever they please without your consent.

How do you feel about that?


I know, I get it, you are looking for a new job, a new manager, a pay-rise. You upload your polished resume to your chosen job boards and wait for the calls to roll in. Hey presto, a recruiter calls you with an offer of interviewing with one of their clients. Yipee! A bite. But wait, this is the first you have heard from this recruiter. What black magic are they offering? How is it they have found you an interview without ever having spoken to you before? How do they know what you want or don’t want for that matter?

The offer of an interview may seem positive, but what has likely happened is said recruiter downloaded your resume, sent it to as many of his or her prospects whether they are known or not and attempted to capture the attention of any company who will take note of your gleaming CV.


Think of it like this, what if your personal details – your name, contact details, address, employer, referee contacts land into the wrong hands or onto the lap of a person or company you really didn’t want it going to. What impact would this have on you? I have heard horror stories of where candidate’s have had their CV’s sent to their own boss or colleagues in their own organisations. Can you imagine how the conversation would go…?


I certainly hope that most recruiters do not fall into this category and they instead act with transparency and integrity, contacting you and discussing your experience, circumstances, and requirements before actioning. However, the cold hard truth is some do not.


There is light at the end of this tunnel.

There is one, key thing you can do to protect your identity and sensitive information, one that isn’t normally that obvious, and that is to remove it!

Yes, remove the stuff which may land you in the shit and importantly, force recruiters to call you before sending to their clients.

For years, I’ve recommended to my candidates when starting their search for new opportunities to remove the bits that recruiters and prospective clients want to see – your most recent employer, and/or previous employers; Maybe even your surname. The benefit of removing such detail is that it forces recruiters to contact you first before they spray your resume to their chosen companies. Employers want to see a full resume. Adopting this approach means you take control of the situation. Should the recruiter want to share your CV, he or she now needs to contact you to find out where you are working or to obtain your consent to send the resume. Perfect. You can now control the situation and essentially question the consultant on where they plan to send it and more importantly, where not to send it.


Your information is precious. Protect yourself! Remove your current employer’s organisation name and replace it with <PRIVATE – CONTACT ME FOR MORE DETAILS>, or something similar.

My intentions are not to scare you, merely to advise of the tricks many consultants use in their sneaky, corner-cutter ways. I am always open for a chat if you require further advise. Feel free to reach out via the many methods and platforms available.

All the best, Daniel.