You’ve probably come across people who really have it together...great attention to detail, strong analytical skills, excellent problem solver, great follow through, etc. (Group A). And then we all have that friend who doesn’t return phone calls or text messages, emails you in shorthand, and is just plain lazy (Group B). Recruiters notice these traits in candidates just like you do with your friends and we love candidates from Group A. When we come across a Group B person we want to run for the hills screaming. Which group do you fall into? Here are some tips to help you navigate through the hiring process and avoid being put on the “Do Not Call” list.
#5 A lack of communication skills and poor follow through on commitments
Many companies use online assessments, digital interviews, and writing tests to screen applicants. It’s expected that you’ll complete these tasks in a timely manner. Even if there’s no specific “due date,” you should plan to touch base with your recruiter within 24 hours. If you know you won’t be able to take an assessment for a few of days, let them know. Poor communication during the pre-hire phase shows unreliability and disinterest in the role. This is a quick way to get eliminated.
#4 Mass applying to jobs without looking at the details
Know what job you’re applying to and remember that recruiters are busy. On average, a Recruiter can manage a workload of up to 100 openings if they have similar requirements. Time is of the essence. The mantra “Work Smarter, Not Harder” always applies to a good Recruiter. If you’re mass applying to random jobs, that’s not a smart approach to take. For example, if you apply to a Vice President of Sales position and you just graduated from college a month ago, that’s going to irritate any recruiter. Pay attention to details.
#3 Falling out of touch and then miraculously resurfacing
This happens ALL the time! If you are actively seeking work, your communication skills should be top notch and you should notify your recruiter of other appointments, interviews, vacations, or other pockets of time when you’re not available. A good recruiter will ask you this up front; however, if they don’t, please take the time to inform them of your schedule. It will make you seem involved and interested! And if you’ve changed your mind about the opportunity, that’s okay! Just tell your Recruiter. They’ll be more likely to work with you again if you communicate your change of heart instead of just falling off the face of the universe and then resurfacing a week later with an excuse.
#2 Accepting an offer, only to reject it days later
Before you accept a job offer, make sure you’re serious about it. Changing your mind after you’ve already accepted is a fast way to get on the “Do Not Call” list. This happens a lot with passive candidates who are “testing the waters” to see if there is anything better out there. When you change your mind about an offer you immediately lose credibility with your recruiter. You’ll also lose credibility with your current employer too. Statistics confirm that over 80% of people who accept a counteroffer from their current employer are no longer employed at that company in 12 months (National Employment Association). Recruiters work really hard to sell you to the Hiring Manager, get your interview lined up and negotiate your job offer. When you accept an offer, your Recruiter does a happy dance and when you turn around and reject it, they’re in the corner rocking back and forth.
#1 Not putting contact information on your resume
This happens a lot more than you’d think. How can someone contact you if there isn’t a phone number or email address on your resume? It’s even worse when the number listed on your resume is wrong or is no longer in service (insert Homer Simpson’s “DOH” here). This shows a lack of attention to detail and sloppiness. Please don’t do this.
When you begin the job search process, take a hard look in the mirror and know what areas are challenging for you—then make a conscious effort to work on them. The most important thing to remember is that a recruiter or hiring manger should enjoy working with you. If you make the hiring process time consuming, challenging, and frustrating—they’re going to think that’s what working with you will be like. Be the person who is flexible, reliable, and quick to respond. Then, even if you don’t get that particular job the recruiter will remember you for the next opportunity and say, “I know the perfect person for the job.”
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