Have you ever wondered…
… Why so many industry related websites seem to offer bland re-hashing of the news?
… Why too many social media accounts seem to republish articles on current affairs, but don’t seem to have an underlying business?
… Isn’t social media supposed to be about networking? Why do so many accounts post generic job placings or ‘special offers’?
CV ‘Fishing expeditions’…
There is one thing that these types of ventures all have in common – a job vacancy posting and a place to upload your CV.
Lets ask a couple of questions:
Q) Is there anyone at these companies actually looking at your CV and trying to match it with an employer?
A) Most people with industry experience wouldn’t be surprised that the answer is a definite ‘No’.
Q) So what’s the big fuss then, surely these companies are well connected with employers and have your career interest in mind?
A) Er, also ‘No’. The majority of sites that are in the business of harvesting CV’s have one goal in mind – to gather as large a database as they possibly can. The content of such databases are irrelevant, however their value is directly proportional to the number of CV’s held.
You might be thinking, surely that doesn’t make a lot of sense, why would a company want your CV if they haven’t got a job in mind? Especially if they’re not going to bother to even read it, and they’re certainly not go to follow up with a courtesy Email or phone call to find out more about you?
CV Harvesting as a business in itself
The answer is simple. CV’s are big money in the right hands. The size of a CV database is directly proportional to the interest by advertisers. A large database can also be highly profitable as a result of opening up that information to others, through renting or selling access.
Another important question:
Q) So what’s the danger in that – good employers might get to see my CV?
A) That’s not how it works. Good employers can get their own CV’s, and besides most employers use quality recruitment agencies to find those hard-to-get candidates. Once your CV is in the hands of someone else, and their terms and conditions do not explicitly say that they won’t, you can bet that your CV will be sold on, not individually but in batches of thousands. Enter the CV harvesters.
So a third party, perhaps several third parties now have access to your CV. They will have paid for this privilege so you can bet that they won’t simply add it to their collection. Like all good harvesters they need to cultivate, harvest and then sell their product.
They need a payback, so they need to be creative. They don’t know you, you don’t know them, there’s no relationship or contract, so it’s easy to see how the situation can be exploited.
What can end up happening is that your CV, (often an outdated version), is presented for a job you never personally knew about.
Here is the problem:
The danger with such practices might not be immediately obvious, but just pause for a moment and think about the potential consequences.
– Most people fine-tune their CV according to the specific job they’re applying for, an essential part of any application to ensure you stick out from the crowd. Unless you’ve agreed up-front what format your CV will have for an application then this opportunity is lost.
– Some employers have a minimum set period (6 months – 2 years) which must elapse after an unsuccessful job application, and before another application can be submitted.
– Many employers honour a principle of ‘first introduction’; where the recruiter that first introduces you effectively prohibits any other recruiters from approaching the employer with your CV. This can mean that you’re locked in with a recruiter that you didn’t even know.
– Multiple recruiters can be simultaneously running similar practices; therefore your CV could be hitting the desk for a job application, unbeknown to yourself, from several different recruiters. The employer might assume that you had a hand in this process.
On a closing note it is essential that your read the small print on any recruiting or social media website to understand what you are actually agreeing to prior to uploading your CV. Read the terms and conditions carefully prior to submitting. Look out for phrases similar to the following and you’ll know that your CV is not going to be kept private, but will instead be sold on:
– “You grant company x its affiliated companies”.
– “Transferable right and license, to edit and adapt your work”.
– “Post your work”.
– “Make your work available to end users”.
Guard your CV in the same way as your career in general. This will help maximise the percentage chance of you getting the right job placements at the time when you need them.