asking a coworker about the real reasons she’s quitting, do I have to reply to recruiters’ emails, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Do I have to reply to recruiters’ emails?

Is it considered rude or inconsiderate not to reply to recruiters’ emails? I’m in the legal profession and I probably get anywhere from 5 – 20 emails a week from recruiters looking to fill positions nationwide. I’m not currently looking to make a move, but I might in the future. Am I burning any bridges by pressing the “delete” key?

No. If you have a relationship with a recruiter already — someone who you’ve worked with in a past job search or who has helped you find candidates when you’re hiring or who you’ve referred to other candidates — then it’s going to be more noticeable, in the “why has my contact suddenly stopped responding to me?” way. But if the emails are from strangers, it’s very unlikely that they’re going to remember you at all, let alone as someone who didn’t answer their emails, if you want to approach them in the future. (Plus, if they did remember you, they’re still not likely to refuse to work with you on principle, if you’re a great fit for a search they’re running.)

Recruiters send out a ton of these emails. They’re used to being ignored (and they’re used to doing plenty of ignoring themselves, when job seekers emails them). It’s pretty normal in that field.

2. Small organization can’t seem to give me details of their health insurance

I’ve been negotiating an offer with a small nonprofit without an HR person. Getting details about their health insurance, beyond the name of the provider and plan, has felt like pulling teeth. They’ve asked me to provide my doctor’s tax ID so they can figure out for me if his fees are covered or reimbursable under their plan. That seems impractical (wouldn’t it be more efficient to send me the details of the plan and let me evaluate it myself?) and inappropriate (I don’t tell my current employer what doctor(s) I visit; why would I tell a would-be employer?). I can’t tell if they’re being opaque to hide poor benefits, if they don’t want to bother putting together a comprehensive explanation of the package to send to me, or if they’re just really inexperienced when it comes to hiring and making this up as they go along. Can I decline this request without shutting down negotiations entirely, or is this a big enough red flag that I might as well seriously consider turning down the job offer?

I don’t think I’d consider turning down the offer over this alone; organizations too small for HR often mishandle this stuff just because they don’t have much experience with it. However, you should definitely take it as a flag to think about whether that type of thing will bother you. If they’re a little weird on other HR stuff, how big of an issue will that be for you? Some people would be mildly annoyed and some people will be completely turned off; it’s really just about knowing where you’ll fall in that spectrum.

But regardless, you can absolutely refuse this request. I’d say something like, “Rather than getting into individual doctors, I’d prefer to simply get more comprehensive information about the insurance plan. Maybe if you provide me with the insurance materials I’d receive as a new employee, I can figure it out from there.”

3. Asking a resigning coworker about the real reasons she’s quitting

A coworker of mine has put in her two weeks’ notice recently, and I am interested in her position. Is it appropriate to ask her, while she’s still working, how much she makes and the exact reasons she’s quitting? She has said she found another opportunity that will allow her to be more flexible, but I noticed she has been very frustrated recently. We have two different supervisors, so I don’t want to try to get a new position if I’m not fully supported, have crazy expectations, etc. Long story short, to ask or not to ask?

It’s absolutely reasonable to talk with her about what her experience in the job has been like and why she’s moving on. I’d be explicit with her that you’re asking because you’re thinking about applying for the role yourself; you’re more likely to get candid information that way.

I wouldn’t ask her directly about what she’s making though; enough people consider salary to be personal information that it’s likely to be considered rude. You could say something like, “Are you comfortable giving me a sense of what the salary range for the role is?” but even there, some people will balk a bit, so you’d want to be sensitive to that.

4. Employee using personal cell phone for work

If I have an employee who is freely using her cell phone for business, if things ever go wrong can she hold us responsible for the bill?

No. If it’s in her name, she’s responsible for it. But keep in mind that if she’s using her personal cell number with business contacts, they may continue to use that number after she leaves your company.

5. What if you don’t remember if you’ve applied with a company before?

I have a question that reveals just how much of an idiot I am, but here goes. When I graduated from college (many, many years ago) I applied for a LOT of jobs, but was not qualified for most of them and was (rightly) rejected. In the intervening years, I’ve built a great resume and am again searching for a job. Here’s my question: I keep coming up against applications that ask if I’ve ever applied at the organization before. There’s no option for “possibly but I can’t remember because it was so long ago.” Is there a benefit/disadvantage to answering to the best of my recollection and hoping I am correct?

If you’re not sure, I’d say no. In fact, if it’s been many, many years, I might say no regardless, unless you were actually interviewed back then. Companies ask this question because if you did apply in the past, they want to check to see if they have any notes on you (notes from interviews, generally). Assuming that you weren’t interviewed or behaved memorably badly in some way, they’re not going to find any notes on you. You’re under no obligation to do any sort of forensic research in your brain to figure out if you sent them an application a couple decades ago; it won’t matter either way to them.

Also, this isn’t idiotic; it’s pretty normal.

{ 56 comments… read them below }

  1. Is.This.Legal*


    To add on to your question, how long do companies keep applications/resumes on file, especially companies that use Application Tracking System? To the HR staff, do you pull up an applicant’s history when a new resume is submitted?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      They’re required by law to keep them one year. Some keep them longer.

      If you apply for a job, many companies will routinely look at your application history, but some don’t.

      1. Jennifer*

        Legally? Are there different rules depending on where you are? Because our city told us (public library) we weren’t allowed to save any applications at all, which I find to be a huge pain because I hire new aides pretty much every year and really wish I could save the good applications of the kids I didn’t have a slot for to the next year!

        1. Artemesia*

          in your situation I would be emailing the rejected applicants whom you might consider something like “we are not allowed to retain applications but we do have openings from time to time and would welcome your resubmitting an application in the future. Openings are posted (XYZ details).

        2. AnonHR*

          My guess would be that (hopefully) they have them on file somewhere to meet the legal retention requirement, but they have a policy that all applicants must re-apply for every position, so they don’t allow you to use the old ones for filling the position.

        3. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Yep, legally you’re required to keep them for one year. Just store them — you’re not required to consult them for new positions or anything like that. The storage requirement is so that if a lawsuit is brought against you for something like discrimination in hiring, the applications (and any notes you’ve made on them) will be available as evidence.

          If your library isn’t keeping them at all, that’s violating the law. Are you sure they aren’t being stored somewhere centrally, but your library just doesn’t have access to them?

          1. Jennifer*

            ….maybe? I will find out. We’ve been *cough* hiding the ones I want to revisit in a drawer, but I wonder if the other ones are somewhere. I thought my director said we had to get rid of them, but maybe I misunderstood her. Anyways, it’s good know we should be keeping them because I hire, on average, every year! There’s not exactly a “central” location – they’re either somewhere in my director’s office or over at city hall. Small town!

    2. Joey*

      Anytime someone reapplies I look at all previous apps ever. What’s interesting is that a lot of times the duties/accomplishments get more impressive the more time goes by.

      1. Artemesia*

        I have seen this resume creep in colleagues as well whose resumes or vitas were reviewed occasionally as part of on going assessment. Often titles seem to inflate over time and roles on projects become more central — it is comical when you have the written examples before you.

        1. Stephanie*

          To be fair, I used to write resumes where all my descriptions sounded like job posting descriptions. I learned to reframe it in terms of highlights, so I might be one of those candidates whose later resume version sounds more flowery.

          1. Joey*

            That’s not what I’m talking about. For example, going from receptionist duties to being the office manager or doing telemarketing turns into account executive. Or a 3 month stint magically turns into a year that looks like it covers a previous work gap.

  2. Chocolate Teapot*

    Also, in the intervening period, the organisation may have changed, so you would notionally be applying to a different company.

  3. JM*


    I’m going to throw out a completely different thought on why they’re being so secretive, but I have a feeling they either a. Don’t offer health benefits yet or b. have a very bad benefit plan. I work for a small company now that does not offer benefits and I have done some of the hiring. I’m always candid about our benefits package or lack thereof but I know some others have not been, leading them to go through the whole interview process and then reject the offer when they find out. Long story short, I would definitely make sure you know what their benefits are especially if they’re a necessity.

    1. Chinook*

      If they gave you the name of the provider and of their benefits package, is it possible to check the provider’s website for this information? (In Canada that would be enough info to find out on your own, but I know the US system just got overhauled).

      1. Jennifer M.*

        Unfortunately the name of the provider and general benefits package isn’t likely enough for more than a general idea. Right now, insurance providers negotiate individual packages with each company. Therefore the details of the plans – deductibles, co-pays, whether or not you have to pay for well care visits, etc – while probably pretty standard across a plan type, aren’t actually publicly available as there may be negotiated differences from client company to client company. Also on a lot of the insurance websites, the details of their network of doctors or facilities might not be searchable if you don’t have a member log in.

        1. OP #2*

          That’s what I’ve run into—plan information in the insurer’s website requires a member login. The company has only provided the document that a third-party benefits broker prepared for them, outlining their costs as the employer, but it doesn’t go into detail about a member’s expenses as they use the plan.

          What that sheet has shown me is the number of employees the employer is covering, and it’s a small percentage of this small company, which might suggest that most employees have opted to use their spouse’s coverage. The hiring manager, who’s the org’s top exec, doesn’t use the insurance, which is probably partly why it’s been so difficult to get info from her. Just something else I’m keeping in mind as I ask, again, for more information.

          1. MaryMary*

            Ask your contact for a copy of the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) for their insurance plan. With the Affordable Care Act, all insurance companies and group health plans are required to provide an SBC to anyone covered by the plan. It’s a brief, fairly simple summary of the plan, including information on deductibles, out of pockets, and copays. It’s also something the company should (*should*) be able to get to you pretty easily. Legally they should already have a copy, and if they don’t, they can request one from the carrier or their broker.

          2. EM*

            Ask if you can call the broker. I used to work at a broker’s office doing just this — supplying small businesses & individuals with insurance — and most of our clients knew jack about the plan because we did everything for them.

            If they use a broker’s service, I can almost guarantee someone in that office will be able to explain everything to you.

            1. LucyVP*

              This is what I was going to suggest.

              Our broker is always very willing to provide a potential employee with all the info they need, and often they will even research if specific medications or treatments are covered.

              1. OP #2*

                Thanks, MaryMary, EM, and LucyVP for the tips! I was able to coax the broker’s contact info out and got a rapid response, including a complete SBC, which unfortunately confirmed my concerns about the quality of the plan. Though I’ve always talked about benefits with in-house HR reps at larger companies, doing it this way was easier in a lot of ways—the broker wasn’t interested in selling me anything or selling me on anything, so I got frank, objective information.

                And thanks of course to Alison—though I didn’t get the answer I was hoping for, I’m so glad I did ask for and get the information I needed, without sharing more than felt comfortable.

                Also, JM—good for you for being candid about your company’s benefits situation! Throughout this process, I’ve been hearing “full health and dental,” and I never doubted it. It turned out that the person touting the plan doesn’t really know and/or understand much about it. While I don’t think the intention was to misrepresent the health benefits, the misunderstanding has put all parties involved in a pretty frustrating position.

    2. Anonymous*

      I worked for a very small employer (VERY SMALL!) and the other employee had her own coverage. When I started they just set me up with single person coverage, when we hired a new person after me we had to totally change our set up so that we could cover 2 people as a group policy rather than covering 1 person as a reimbursed individual. So it could be they didn’t need to and now they do, and they need to sort out how that works.
      So they might not, but they are working on changing that.

  4. mdc*

    #1 I used to think recruiters were genuinely interested in me and got excited when they emailed me about jobs or called. After numerous cases where a job was built up and they thought I was a good candidate and would talk to the company and “would get back to me” but never did, I finally clicked – you are just a number to them. They need to have so many resumes on their books that they can show to prospective employers. I think a lot of the emails/calls are just to check you are still “live” as a candidate or to meet some requirement their agency has about them having to make contact with clients.
    Obviously there are some good recruiters out there, but a lot have targets to meet and contacting you is just part of that.

    1. Anonymous*

      Darn. I’m job searching and was contacted by a recruiter who asked me to send them an updated resume and times I was available to do a phone interview. When they saw my resume, they wanted to “expedite” to a face-to-face interview for Monday. I told them I was free the time they requested, and they said they’d send me a confirmation e-mail but haven’t. Should I not expect to hear back from them? =/ Feeling stupid now for getting excited.

  5. Graciosa*

    #4 – Alison made a very important point about the risks of an employee using a personal phone for business. A potential phone bill is the least of your issues if that number is being provided as a contact number for your customers. If the individual leaves, it is incredibly easy to take the customers to her new employer – your competitor. Also, if something happens to the employee (hit by a bus, wins the lottery and buys a diamond-studded phone with a new unlisted number) you can end up losing customers who call and get no response.

    The loss of that business will almost invariably outweigh the cost of a company-provided (and company-owned) cell phone. If you’re not providing one, do so, and insist that it be used for all company business.

    If you have provided a company phone and the employee just likes hers better and ignores your direction, this is a disciplinary issue – and take it seriously (up to and including firing after appropriate warnings etc.). An employee who refuses to follow clear direction in this matter is either incredibly stupid, unwilling to follow reasonable directions from her employer, or planning to run away with your customers.

    1. FiveNine*

      But businesses are going in the exact opposite direction of what you recommend, at least in the United States, and now requiring employees to switch over to their own phones. I think what has even encouraged it has something to do with the federal government’s rules now on reimbursement and taxes etc. (I don’t know what the rules are, I just know everyone’s switching over now and reimbursing employees in flat payments in each paycheck for a set cell phone plan cost and possibly device reimbursement).

      1. FiveNine*

        (Now that I think of it, one of my gripes initially was that the federal government takes taxes out of each flat reimbursement in the paycheck, so if it’s an $80 monthly plan you’re being reimbursed for, your employee pays you back $80 in two paychecks but instead of $40 per paycheck it’s $34 or something. So there’s the federal incentive for the new rules. Probably competing cell phone companies and carriers lobbied for the change, as a market choice thing for individuals. I don’t know what the incentive is for each employer but less burdensome accounting and taxes must be in the mix.)

          1. doreen*

            Just pointing out that the above is only the case if it’s an actual “reimbursement” – if it’s a set allowance no matter how much your plan costs it’s treated as pay.

      2. VintageLydia*

        That’s what my husband’s company does. It actually works well for us since they give you a flat rate regardless of what phone or plan you have, and they pay him enough to cover *both* our phones with cash left over.

    2. Anonymous*

      Or require that instead of giving out their cell numbers, staff would forward their work phone to their cell phone so the customer is only calling one number?

  6. Betsy*

    I find #3 really interesting as someone who has just resigned and is therefore on the other side of the issue. I am getting a lot of questions about why, and there are two reasons.

    One is the truth I tell people, which is that the new position is a fantastic opportunity for growth in a position that I could almost have written myself as ideal for moving me towards my career goals.

    The other is the truth that I don’t tell people, which is that I dreaded coming into work on some days because of a few coworkers (nearly half of our team) who after 2 years or so on the project were still negatives in net productivity, who wouldn’t or couldn’t learn, and who I regularly had to babysit or bail out of their little disasters. I warned my project manager 6 months ago that we were going to lose good people if something wasn’t done, and I warned my line supervisor 2 months ago that we would lose people, and I would be one.

    At this point, when asked why I’m leaving, I just say, “The position was too good an opportunity,” which is true. Even if they fixed all of the issues, I wouldn’t stay. But I never would have started looking if it hadn’t been for frustrations with the team. However, I don’t want to burn bridges or attack anyone: I genuinely like both my project manager and my line supervisor, and I don’t want to make our last interactions a case of, “You had the chance to keep me when I put the writing on the wall. Counteroffers now aren’t going to do it.” There doesn’t seem to be a point in telling them what they could have done to keep me two months ago, since it won’t work now.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, even if you ask her for her real reasons for quitting, there’s a strong chance she’ll repeat her scripted reason, and you won’t get anything out of her. Although I will note, if someone wanted to get the story out of me, it would be best to do it via something like taking me for lunch, saying, “We’ll miss you; by the way, I’m thinking of applying for your old job; any thoughts on management or team dynamic that might help me?” Being away from the office and teammates, and laying out your reasons for asking up front, probably gives you the best chance of honesty.

    I’d be interested to hear how other people have handled this situation. Have you opted for honestly about issues in the group or company, or remained diplomatic, talking about the new opportunity instead of the old problems?

    1. JM*

      Honestly, I haven’t ever been in this situation because all of my moves have been a better opportunity. I think there’s a diplomatic way to say there’s issues like lack of communication rather than poor management and others could infer as they wish.

    2. Sunflower*

      In my current job, I was able to talk to the person I was replacing about the position before I took it- we worked for the same company but in different departments. I should also note I had already felt weary about the company so I wasn’t expecting this position to be a huge change. I asked a lot of quetsions and think I got a watered down version of the truth. For example, I asked what the best way to impress my one of my bosses would be and she said to save money when possible. In reality, the boss will freak out until you get a cost down to what he wants even if it’s completely unrealistic.

      Even if you ask the real reasons, I doubt you’ll get the full story. I found out once I was in this position that she was having a some issues with people in other departments and always ended up on the losing side due to people playing favorites. Apparently no one was surprised when she left.

      The person really has nothing to gain by telling you she was unhappy and a lot to lose(references, contacts). I’ve thought a lot about what I would tell someone coming into my job after I leave. I would love to tell them to run away as far as possible but I need the good references from this job and it’s not worth screwing that up when you’re literally steps away from leaving the place behind forever.

    3. themmases*

      I would be a lot more likely to be honest outside the office at a lunch or something, or after I left. My job is a common bridge to other things for the people who hold it, so I’ve always planned to offer to keep in touch with future people in my position (my coworker met with one of our predecessors who left for med school once she started considering that path as well). If someone who already had the position reached out to me, I’d feel a lot more comfortable giving them advice because they’d be starting to see the situation for themselves– I wouldn’t feel that I was poisoning anything.

      I can think of diplomatic stuff to say about my job, though. The primary one being, “This is a great position to be in for a couple of years!” (I’ve been here four.)

    4. Gjest*

      I had a similar set of answers for leaving my last job. I think lots of people I worked more closely with knew the real reasons (mainly I was frustrated with the incompetent upper management, total lack of career development/progression, totally crappy benefits, etc.). But I just told people about the great opportunity I was leaving for.

      And even though I’ve been gone for almost a year, I still don’t think I’d outright tell someone the real reasons for me leaving. I still work in the field, and don’t want to take any chances of burning bridges at all.

    5. Ruffingit*

      Have you opted for honestly about issues in the group or company, or remained diplomatic, talking about the new opportunity instead of the old problems?

      It really depends on who’s asking and why. If it was someone looking to take my old job, I would be candid with them. I don’t believe in letting someone walk into a fire without at least trying to get them to purchase a flame retardant suit. Being honest about the challenges is only fair in my view. Doesn’t mean you have to throw people under the bus, but I see nothing wrong with saying “There are team members who don’t work as hard and cannot seem to learn. You need to be prepared to do a lot of babysitting” or “Your manager will promise things she does not deliver like training, assistance for projects and so on. Be prepared to do a lot of self-training and give yourself more time to deliver work because you will not get promised assistance.”

      To me, again, this is just being honest and helping someone before they trap themselves in the pit I just dug myself out of. If they know going in what some of the challenges will be, they can better make a decision about whether they want to even take it on or, if they do take it on, what can help them (as in, planning more time for projects because you won’t get help with them).

    6. Anonymous*

      From a different POV, I’m often hesitant to disclose my reasons as I recognize they are personal to me. Just because I think Sally in accounting is obnoxious doesn’t mean the next person won’t love her. So I try to stay away from those type of personal reasons and stick to the facts: I didn’t like the hours or the workload was too light/heavy.

  7. Lizabeth*

    #1 I just had a recruiter contact me for the very first time via my LinkedIn account (had it since 2004, minimal information and I’m not particularly active on it) and was wondering whether to reply! Probably not…but it came after a meeting with my boss about the health of the parent company. Talk about timing…

    1. Artemesia*

      If you are a religious person you might consider it a message from God. I ignored concerns about the health of the parent company decades ago and was shocked when the merger that cost me and dozens of my colleagues our jobs was suddenly announced — the day after a meeting about new marketing efforts. They simply lopped off several ‘redundant’ departments with no attempt to integrate any of the people in those departments into the new entity.

    2. Sunflower*

      Honestly I will talk to recruiters when they have a job on the table Some just want to talk about your career interests and I tell them to contact me if a position comes up. I figure it can’t hurt for them to have my resume. Worst case scenario, they have my resume and send me annoying emails I can ignore. Best case, a great job pops up and they recommend me for it.

  8. Sunflower*

    #1- Out of curiosity, what types of company’s use recruiters? Is there a certain industry or company size that use them most often? Do some company’s use them for certain departments and not others? I’m so curious since I’ve only gone on a few interviews from recruiters and none were what I was looking for.

    1. Lora*

      The oh-so-useful answer is, “it depends”.

      -Small companies frequently use recruiters because they are too small to have HR staff.
      -Bigger companies use recruiters when they are looking for a specific skill/education set that requires someone with special expertise to find and hire.
      -Companies which are growing very very fast often use recruiters because if, for example, a new product just hit the market and sales are MUCH higher than anticipated, they simply don’t have enough HR people in house to find candidates and process them.
      -Companies which have 2-3 year projects they need to hire for sometimes use them, because it’s harder to hire a contractor for that term and it’s a real pain to look for someone who has the skills you need yet is willing to work a few years and be prepared to move on.

    2. Stephanie*

      I can’t speak to other fields, but headhunters are common in the legal field, even for not-attorney positions. I worked in IP as a non-attorney (as a researcher, sort of) and get pings from recruiters occasion.

    3. OP #1*

      I can’t speak as to other companies, but I’m an attorney at a mid-sized (read: couple hundred attorneys) law firm. Many law firms our size and larger use recruiters.

      1. Cat*

        Yeah, I’ve found that most of the recruiter calls I get are for large law firms, but a not insignificant portion are for mid-size law firms and a few are for in-house type positions. Even the public interest-side firms sometimes seem to use recruiters.

      1. HR lady*

        I think it’s common in the US to use recruiters for IT/software jobs, especially for “hot” skills that are in demand, rare, or new.

        I’ve also seen companies use recruiters for the upper level positions (C-suite positions) because those can be hard for a regular HR department to recruit for.

    4. Admin*

      Former recruiter here. My past clients used recruiters for a variety of reasons…

      1. We were paid based on success, meaning that a company could interview our candidates, but didn’t have to pay a fee unless they chose to hire that person, so our business would be different than agencies that were paid a retainer.
      2. Small companies that didn’t have the capacity to hire (on the flip side, some small companies would avoid us because they couldn’t afford fees)
      3. Large companies with lots of roles on, or who we engaged with frequently as a supplement to their own HR department (see point 1)
      4. Companies looking to gain access to passive candidates that were not actively looking
      5. Companies looking for a particular skill that was hard to find
      6. Companies looking to fill a role that gets lots of applications (they would filter applications through us rather than receiving 500+ resumes themselves)

      So really, the short answer is, I’ve worked with clients from many different industries, for many different reasons. While recruiters are definitely more popular in some areas than others, everyone and anyone can use them and most will at some point

      1. Joey*

        I’ll add a few. Companies that:

        1.have high employment costs (ie injuries, turnover, unemployment, etc) want to reduce their exposure.
        2.want the freedom to replace people without worrying about the potential repercussions.
        3. Know theyre not good at hiring.
        4. Were burned by a previous employee and want to try before you buy.
        5. Want someone now and can’t wait to recruit.

    5. EM*

      My husband is a CPA in corporate accounting and he gets recruiters contacting him often. He landed his current position thanks to a (good) recruiter and several of his colleagues seem to also have worked with them for current jobs & job searching.

  9. Nikki J.*

    Dang. I’ve got to admit I’m jealous of these people actually getting contacted by recruiters that much. Despite looking for work, I’ve only been contacted once…ever. I’d like to assume I’m just in the wrong field and it’s not me that is that undesirable.

    1. Admin*

      Try making your profile more “keyword” friendly. If you include industry terms/softwares/other relevant material that is commonly used in job descriptions in your profile descriptions, you’ll come up more when recruiters run searches on sites like LinkedIn.

  10. Sarah*

    #5 – TWO of my former employers I had applied for jobs with before! The first one, company A – I applied in 2006, and was never called for an interview. Fast forward a year, I applied again in 2007, was interviewed and hired.
    The second one, company B – I had applied and only had a phone interview in 2006, and was not hired. Fast forward to 2010, I applied for a different position with the company and was hired!

    – In both instances I did NOT say that I had interviewed there before. I grew so much as a person and had more experience, so I feel that mentioning I had previously applied/interviewed was irrelevant.

  11. gretenov - buildings in Manila*

    #1. I am being contacted by recruiters a lot of times and I ended up ignoring most of them since I currently have employment. At first I thought being contacted first increases your chance of being hired because it was them who looked for you, but the three recruiters from whom I accepted initial interviews were never heard from again.

    #5. I just answer to the best of what I can remember. Then, explain in details if I made it to the interview e.g., “I think I actually submitted application here but not really sure. If I did, it was like seven years ago.”

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