Which situations are the worst? Make sure you never, ever let the door slam in your own face when you look for a job offer. Recruiters know each other. They share stories. You want a recruiter to tell great stories about you! Here are some showstoppers I see happen far too regularly.
1. Miss an appointment with a recruiter. You don’t want the job and prefer to walk the dog. You missed the call and never returned it.
Be cognizant of others’ time. The recruiter uses time as money. Recognize the imposition you cause and how your reputation is affected.
2. Pretend you are a new graduate, when you have 20 years of experience.
If you return to college after extensive work experience, let’s hope the recruiter sees the value in your 15 or 20 years of experience, including the new degree. Do not try to compete with new graduates. Their value is very different from yours. Mold your resume to improve the chances of being hired by showing any management, leadership, or other skills whether on the job or during college. Use your background for advantage.
3. Tell the recruiter you are willing to move, get the offer and withdraw, calling the night before to say you accepted a better job offer.
I feel sure you must realize the damage to your relationship with the recruiter. Independent recruiters “network” with each other. They document files and share candidates periodically. That’s the way they make a decent living. If you refuse a job after accepting, your reputation suffers. There are, of course, exceptions, but not often! You may have jumped too quickly on the offer without thinking longer term, which might cause job hopping in the future.
4. Tell the recruiter you can do anything and everything.
The recruiter is not looking for someone who can take over the company or be the Jack or Jill of all departments. You need to know your strengths. Unless the team needs a new graduate, s/he is looking for an expert or someone with a specific number of years of experience.
While you are unemployed (or employed), obtaining new certifications may impress recruiters. If you used the skill without certification, show number of years’ experience using it, how you used it and the length of time. Becoming certified shows initiative and drive.
5. Explain to the recruiter that although you have never programmed in C++, it wouldn’t take you long to learn.
The hiring team wants an expert, not someone who never used C++. Yes, of course, you would learn quickly, if you had experience in other, related languages, but that’s not what the recruiter must find. If someone on the team vouches for you, it may work, but the recruiter can rarely talk the manager into hiring someone without the required experience.
6. When asked your best accomplishment, you say, “I’ve accomplished so much. What specifically do you want to know?”
The recruiter wants to hear your verbal communications skill and thoughts about your achievements. Select a very specific situation where you made an impact on your team to share.
7. Put your contact information in a header.
Many scanners will not capture information in the header or footer. Your resume will be trashed if the scanner cannot read the information, even if your contact information is correct. Be sure to check, re-check, read your information backwards to assure you omit no necessary words or make other errors.
8. Call to complain you haven’t heard from the recruiter.
Respectfully stating you are calling to assure the hiring team that their company remains at the top of your target list may help. Recruiters are busy and do not have time to chit-chat. If you can engage in some way to help him or her, you may find yourself another step closer to an offer.
Before you do something rash, maybe because your are tired or irritated, think about your actions. This is a better time to clean a drawer or hit some golf balls.
Treat people the way you want to be treated. It can’t hurt. And it may help you achieve a wonderful job offer!