Earlier this year I wrote a post called How to Impress a Recruiter which was wildly popular. It was a story about how someone used Twitter, blogs, and research to help a person stand out from other candidates. As a recruiter, it is not easy to knock my socks off. I really appreciate someone who goes the extra mile when looking for a job. All recruiters do. It is a highly competitive market and recruiters are looking for “something special” that will give an edge over other candidates.
I have been asked routinely to do a follow up to that blog. What should candidates not do? What are some routine mistakes that I see candidates make which is effecting their chances of getting that job? There are so many things that candidates can do to improve their chances of getting a job.
I thought it would be best if I listed them out. The truth is these things should be reviewed and re-reviewed because as a candidate you probably have done these things at some point in your career.
1. Candidates Talk too Much– There is nothing more exhausting to me than when a candidate talks and talks and really doesn’t give the recruiter a second to interject. When recruiters talk to candidates, they don’t have a ton of time to chit- chat about what you did 10 years ago. They want to know the highlights of your career. To hear about a project that you worked on for 15 minutes makes a recruiter want to hang up the phone. Find out what the recruiter is interested in and talk to that point.
2. Candidates Are Overeager or Not Eager Enough- When a candidate has all of the qualifications in the world and blows up your phone and e-mail, it isn’t a good thing. It also isn’t a good thing when you don’t show a little interest by a follow up call or e-mail either. I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Send a follow up e-mail and ask when it would be appropriate to follow up with them next. If you haven’t heard from the recruiter, call them. What is the worst thing that could happen?
3. Having Grammatical Errors in Your Resume or Cover Letter Have someone proof read your resume. A resume is your first impression, so you better make sure it is good. Hire someone to help you with your resume. It will be well worth the investment.
4. Not Knowing ANYTHING About the Company– Yes. This happens. Candidates apply to random positions and they don’t know anything about the company. There is nothing more frustrating to a recruiter when candidates don’t remember the positions they applied for. It is smart to apply to roles that meet your specific needs, not just any add that is out there.
5. Talking Bad About a Previous Employer– Bad mouthing a former employer is not smart. You can say anything including it was jut not the right “fit”, but to say something negative really doesn’t help your case much. Something positive comes out of every situation. Find the good.
6. Not Knowing Your Market Value– A lot is written about how you shouldn’t shoot yourself in the foot by asking for too much money. This is true. What is also true is when you under- sell yourself. Know what the market bears and ask for what you are worth. The salary question will always come up so do some research.
7. “Linking” to “Link In”– Okay, I have said it 10,000 times, but I can’t write a post like this and not include it. Please know who you are connecting with and give me a reason to connect. If you haven’t heard my rant before, you can read it here. It is well worth the read. I am already Sick and Tired of LinkedIn, but that is huge way not to impress a recruiter.
So there they are. Hopefully they provide some help and guidance. I wish you the best of luck in your career search.