Recruiters are busy. On any given day, we are working to fill multiple positions, collaborating with a handful of hiring managers, and keeping track of countless applicants. Our goal is always to work quickly to fill each of those positions with the most qualified candidates; however, the process does not always move fast. Personally, I appreciate an enthusiastic candidate. I want to hire someone who really wants the job, but there is a fine line between appropriate persistence and pointless pestering. Recruiters will always call back when there is an update or when there is something to report.
Professional common sense goes a long way with recruiters. I typically have great conversations with potential employees. Most candidates that I work with are friendly, courteous, and polite, but last week was a particularly grueling week marked by candidates displaying blatant unprofessionalism, poor judgment, and bad attitudes. After some thought, I decided to take my frustrations as a recruiter and turn them into some helpful guidance for anyone preparing to apply for a job.
Here is a list of the top five ways to irritate a recruiter:
- Be Difficult to Reach – The contact information on your resume should be accurate and current. The email address that you provide should be for an account that you check regularly. Also, confirm that your voicemail is set up and that the mailbox is not full. You have taken the time to apply for the job, so please take the steps necessary to be sure that the recruiter will be able to contact you.
- Call and Email Excessively – Calling several times a day for a status update is not acceptable; you want to show interest, not desperation. If you have provided your recruiter with the correct contact details, then they will call you when there is news. Use good judgment on what level of follow-up is appropriate or, better yet, ask the recruiter when you should follow-up for a status update.
- Invade Personal Space – Though your recruiter may provide you with their cell phone number, it is not appropriate to send text messages or to send a friend request on Facebook. Failure to respect personal boundaries could cause a recruiter to question your personal judgment. It is imperative to keep all interactions professional.
- Have a Bad Attitude – Despite job search angst, please remember common courtesy. When I have a great conversation with a candidate, it is one of the first things I mention to the hiring manager. The same rings true for a candidate who says something rude or brazen, or is stubborn or uncooperative.
- Don’t Follow Directions – Repeat questions about the next steps in the process that have been previously explained in emails and phone conversations are my biggest pet-peeves. A recruiter is careful to provide pertinent information; therefore, we assume the candidates have read the documents thoroughly and listened attentively. After excessive follow-up, I begin to question a candidate’s ability to thoroughly process the information provided.
Most weeks, the majority of candidate interactions are fantastic. I love my job as a recruiter and the fast-paced, multi-tasking it requires. However, it takes just one ill-mannered, bad-tempered candidate to throw-off an entire week. Think of this as a friendly reminder from a busy recruiter: aim to be a candidate who is pleasant, professional, and easy to work with and not the type who inspires a blog article such as this.