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Topic: Recruitment

response to unsolicited CV
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Response to unsolicited CV

Response to unsolicited CV

Our response to unsolicited CV letter contains a number of alternative options for dealing with unsolicited CVs sent in by individuals or recruitment agencies. Make sure you set out the correct position for rejection and don’t be tempted to lie. 

Recruitment agencies

Whilst they do have their uses, recruitment agencies can also occasionally be a pain. From time to time, they will send in unsolicited CVs (or profile summaries) of candidates on their books in the hope that you’ll show some interest - but don’t forget that candidates who are recruited via an agency come at a high price as the agency will want a percentage of the individual’s first year’s salary as their recruitment fee, and this is often in the region of 15% to 30%. What some recruitment agencies are also notorious for doing is scouring the job ad pages and then sending in their candidates’ CVs to apply for the vacancies. So, our Response to Unsolicited CV has two optional paragraphs to deal with the agencies. The first is applicable where the CV has been submitted in response to an actual advertised vacancy and it confirms that you don't accept unsolicited CVs from agencies and so their candidate's CV will not be considered further. The second says effectively the same thing but is applicable where the CV has come in on a speculative basis. Sending this letter should also help prevent the same agency trying it on again, as you'll have made your position perfectly clear. Do then destroy the CV to comply with data protection requirements.

Speculative applicants

The other possibility is that you receive a speculative CV from a job seeker. Our letter has two main options here. The first is that you have no suitable vacancies at present so it simply advises the applicant of this fact, thanks them for expressing an interest in your business and wishes them well in their search for employment. With this option, we've also inserted the possibility of your saying that you would like to keep their details on file for twelve months for if any future suitable vacancies arise, provided they first freely give their specific and informed consent to this. The second is that you do have a potentially suitable vacancy.  In that case, you may want the job seeker to confirm they actually wish to apply for the particular role or to complete your application form (rather than just having sent in their CV) or to provide you with further information. So our letter covers all of these possibilities.


Even with unsolicited CVs, you could still end up on the wrong end of a discrimination claim if your reasons for rejection of a potential candidate constitute unlawful discrimination because of their sex, race, age, disability, etc. So, if, for example, you say you don’t accept unsolicited CVs from recruitment agencies, make sure that’s actually true. Likewise, don’t say you have no suitable vacancy at present if that’s not correct. Making factually incorrect statements could come back to haunt you if you end up having to defend a tribunal claim for unlawful discrimination.

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