I have utilized GlassDoor and ZipRecruiter in the past to look for and apply to new jobs. It was mostly a reasonable experience: I would apply for jobs I was interested in, and the companies would contact me via my email. I stopped looking several months ago and haven't visited these sites since.

Today, I was contacted by a company I did not apply for (which was obvious from the fact that they were halfway across the country), claiming that they received my resume and were moving forward with the interview process. I contacted the company they informed me that my resume was submitted on behalf of a referral company.

I know I didn't specifically sign up for any referral companies, and definitely did not apply settings for automatic resume submission.

Is what they are doing illegal?

  • What jurisdiction are you in? What country, and if a federal country such as the US, Canada, or India, what state or province? Laws on employment issues vary a good deal from one jurisdiction to another. Oct 2, 2019 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


Probably Not

I am not aware of, and a quick Google search does not find, any law specifically prohibiting such an unauthorized submission. It is not obvious that you have sustained any actual damage from this unauthorized submission, although it is no doubt a nuisance. If all that it imposed on you was a need to call the company that had gotten your resume and tell them that you are not available, there seems no significant economic loss, nor any other sort of damage.

If some potential employer had found you on a job search and had decided to end your candidacy because you were looking elsewhere, or if you had recently been hired, your employer saw you on a list of candidates, and fired you, you would have sustained damage, and mightr possoibly ahve a cause of action against the firm that had forwarded your information without permission.

If you are in Europe, what the job search firm did might have been outside of the disclosed purpose for processing your personal data, and might therefore have violated the GDPR. That would allow you to file a complaint with the relevant national authority, but that would not allow you to file a personal suit.

Unless your contract with the job search firm specifically prohibits them from forwarding your resume without authorization and specifies some measure or formula for damages in such a case (which I would not expect) you probably have no legal recourse. You can complain to the search firm. You can publicize the event, and possibly influence others in their choice of search firm. Be careful to stick to provable facts in such a case, to avoid any accusation of defamation.

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