Ask the Advisor: Do we need to keep unsolicited resumes?




We’re currently being inundated with unsolicited resumes. Do we need to keep all of them?


You can keep or discard unsolicited resumes, but your practice should be consistent. Keeping some while discarding others could open you up to discrimination claims if your hiring decisions were ever challenged.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of unsolicited resumes you’re receiving, you can try to discourage job seekers from sending them by posting on job advertisements and on your careers page that you don’t accept unsolicited resumes. When you do receive them, don’t review them—simply delete the file or email or shred the document.

If you opt to keep unsolicited resumes, we recommend you maintain them for the time you would keep solicited resumes, or at least one year (two if you’re a federal contractor).

Kim Alexander, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is a results-driven HR Professional with experience from diverse industries, including but not limited to, transportation, environmental services, staffing, pharmaceutical, market research, banking, retail, software development and education non-profit. In her spare time, Kim enjoys the beautiful view from her home and being with her husband and their German shepherd, Fin.

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