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In the UK, I've dealt with multiple recruitment agencies. I have, when
requested, told them what jobs I currently had "in play" - CV submitted
and/or interview arrangements in process. This seems reasonable information
to give, and serves my purpose in that it lets them know how much in demand
I am. :-) Contact names, no: I give out contacts for references *at the
interview*, to the company I'd be working for. Not to the agency.
I would have been outraged had any agency submitted my CV for a job without
discussing it with me first: and, to the best of my knowledge, none have
done so. (It's usually on their "mission statement" that they won't do that.
If it's not spelt out there, it gets spelt out at our first conversation -
by either the agency or myself.)
If they're sending my CV off to a company, I have a right and a need to know
what company it's going to. I'm happy to discuss preliminary issues without
finding out the name of the company, like skills required, length of
contract, rates, etc: but when I apply for a job, I don't want to do it
blind. On at least one occasion, this saved me from an agency re-sending my
CV for a job that I'd already been interviewed for. (And the agency got
quite testy when I assured them that there was really no point reapplying
for that job on my behalf: been there, done that, don't want to look like an
idiot, thank you.)
What I think you do need to make clear, when using a recruiting agency, is
exactly what *you* expect from *them*: if they have a corporate culture that
says "Send out all available CVs to any job it looks as if they would
suitable for", you need to make it clear in advance that your CV is *not*
available without consultation. Besides, it's useful to be able to tailor
your CV for a particular job, and a good recruiting agency will know this
and let *you* know what the job requirements are, so that you can let them
have a good CV with a better chance of getting an interview.
If you don't tell them what you want, how can you expect them to know? It's
communication, communication, communication.
Technical Writer, Compaq, UK
Unless stated otherwise, these opinions are mine, and mine alone.