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How to Avoid Common Mistakes Made While Being Recruited

by admin  -  January 19, 2015

Every recruiter has a handful of stories about potential candidates that have gone hilariously wrong. I’ve had friends actually disbelieve a stories told about my day because the behavior displayed was so opposite of how you would imagine a responsible job seeker. Here are ten ways to avoid becoming one of those stories.

Answer your phone in a professional manner

1.  When your resume is posted on job boards or you have been actively applying to jobs, answer every phone call in a professional manner. I once had a man that I called for a high paying managerial role answer the phone by yelling “WHAT?!” Obviously, this startled me, so I asked if I had called the right person and he responded by yelling, “YES WHAT DO YOU WANT?!” He was confused when I told him I saw his resume posted to a job board and I was calling about a telecommunications opportunity. Once he realized what was happening, his attitude switched to a very cheery disposition and told me that he thought I was a telemarketer while laughing his way through the explanation. Needless to say, I was not willing to further discuss putting him in front of a potential client.

Learn about a position before asking for the pay

2.  Do not ask a recruiter what the pay for a position is before they have even told you what the job is. This tells the recruiter that you are willing to job hop based solely on salary. No recruiter wants to place you with a client and then have you leave a month later because you were offered an extra dollar an hour by another company.

Respond to questions during a phone interview the same as you would an in person interview

3.  When a recruiter is conducting a phone screen with you do not answer their questions by informing them that the information they seek is on your resume. Trust me, they have read your resume- this is why you are getting a phone call in the first place. The recruiter is a gatekeeper for their client and he/she knows what type of personality is going to fare well with their client. Of course they are asking questions to learn more about your hard skills, but listening to the manner in which you answer these questions is just as important. Every answer you give is going to be used by the recruiter to build a case as to why their client should hire you. There is a method to the madness of these phone screens, trust me.

When being interviewed, remain focused

4.  Stay on topic when answering a recruiter’s questions. The first interview will almost always be based on hard skills. When asked a question, answer with one solid example of your experience/knowledge and let the recruiter move on to his/her next question. If an initial phone screen lasts more than 30 minutes it’s beginning to last too long.

Listen to the information the recruiter gives you
5.  Don’t interrupt the recruiter when they explaining a position to you. Maybe it is a generic job description and you’ve seen/heard this same description a hundred times, but that is no reason to cut someone off who is working to get you a new opportunity. Save your questions for the end and they will answer those questions the best they can. If the initial call is at a bad time, just ask them to send you a copy of the job description so you can call back if you are interested in learning more.

Curtail your resume to the position you are applying for

6.  If a recruiter requests that you update your resume to be tailored to a client and you agree to do so, complete the task in a timely answer. It is completely acceptable to take two or three days to update and send your resume back. However, it is not acceptable to take longer than a week. It will make your recruiter leery of how serious you are about the opportunity and will likely take you out of the running. You may have originally been your recruiter’s top choice, but after a week they have at least three other candidates and the client may not need to see more. You have missed the boat and will have to wait for future opportunities.

Your email address matters

7.  Make sure you have a professionally fitting email address that is easy to read, spell, and recognize. You want an address that is simple enough for someone else to input into a system without errors and is recognizable when an email is coming through to your recruiter’s inbox. It’s okay if you created an email address years ago and it is less than perfect to put on a resume but you still want to keep it.  Go ahead and create a new address and use it only for job applications.

Be honest about your criminal history.

8.  Do not lie about your criminal history. Companies aren’t joking when they say they will run a background check. Any marks from your past will come out and it is best to know about them ahead of time. Many employers are forgiving with unfavorable results, but no one likes to be surprised. If a recruiter knows about your criminal history to begin with they can double check with their client to see if it is something they will accept. If not, both parties move on and there is no harm done or money wasted. The recruiter will also appreciate your honesty and likely call you again for a different client.

Be on time for interviews

9.  Do not show up late for an interview. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? You would be hard-pressed to find a recruiter who has not had a candidate either show up late or not at all to an interview. Not only will you not be hired with the company that was supposed to interview you, you will also go on your recruiter’s personal blacklist as you have tarnished their trust.

When a recruiter has new information, you will be the first to know

10.  Everyone gets excited at the thought of a new career opportunity, but as a rule of thumb there’s no need to follow up with your recruiter more than once a week. Your recruiter should be keeping you updated once a week on the status of a job regardless, however if they aren’t, calling them once a week is fine but more than that is not going to do any good. If an interview request from a client has come through you can bet that your recruiter will be calling to set a time up with you within five minutes. Remember, your recruiter doesn’t get paid until you get a job. They are just as excited about getting a new role for you as you are! Client feedback, interview requests or job offers do not just fall through the cracks.

Take away point: help your recruiter help you! It is easy (and understandable) to get frustrated during a job hunt, but please treat each new opportunity just as that: new! Every call about a new job is fresh and deserves to be treated with an open mind.