10 Things Job Search Candidates do that Frustrate Recruiters

July 15, 2021

job search candidates

Working with recruiters and placement agencies can be a great thing.  But only if you do it right.  Today we’ll look at 10 things you can do to ruin your recruiter relationship and kill your chances of landing your next job.


Before we jump into those 10 things, it is important to understand the recruiter and staffing agency landscape.


The value a recruiter or staffing company brings to your job search is…

  • They see jobs that are never posted online to the public.
  • They advocate for you in making the placement.
  • If you have industry or other relevant experience, often the competition is less as fewer candidates are submitted.


As you can see, if you have a recruiter who sees your value, and they work with clients hiring your type of role, you have a great opportunity.


But here’s the thing.  That recruiter relationship is critical.  Be helpful, responsive, knowledgeable, and bring your “A-game” and you give yourself a great shot at landing the job.


Don’t do that…and your chances could suffer.


Here’s what you shouldn’t do.


1. Ghosting


If you aren’t interested, are no longer on the market, or something came up, tell your recruiter.  Things happen.  They get it.  But responding is professional.  Don’t ruin your reputation in your industry.  Recruiters are people.  They talk.  They share their war stories.


2. Bad Communication


Ignoring calls, not responding to  texts, cancelling interviews the same day.  Something’s up.  They know that.  Just be above board with them.  Communicate.  You don’t need to hide from your recruiter or dodge their messages.  You need to work as a team.


3. Double Submitting


Often agencies are competing against each other to provide candidates.  At times two or more agencies may submit the same candidate.  You’d think that working with multiple staffing companies would increase your chances.  And while that is a possibility, not letting your agency know that another recruiter is submitting you for the same position can just cause problems for both recruiters you’re working with.  So be careful with this one.


4. Impatience


Recognize that recruiters have a lot on their plate.  If you’re still in the running for a role, they WILL let you know of any important developments.  They DO want to keep you in the loop so you don’t lose interest.  But constantly bugging your recruiter for feedback when they’ve told you they haven’t heard back yet, or calling after normal working hours repeatedly, or calling on weekends…on their personal phone…not good. Once they have news, they WILL reach out to you.


5. Not Paying Attention to the Details


There is a lot of information to keep track of…both for you and your recruiter.  Things like hourly rate, overtime expectations, start and end times, scheduling details, etc.  Not paying attention, or not asking to clarify something to make sure you understand, can lead to future problems when an offer is presented and your recruiter is thinking the deal is done.


6. Backing Out of an Offer at the Last Minute.


Wow.  This is a biggie.  Your recruiter has been working on your behalf, selling you to their client.  Putting their own reputation on the line.  And then you back out.  It is one thing to back out when something changes or you get new information that affects the viability for you in this role.  But when you’re nodding your head, “okay” all the way through the process, accept the offer, and then back out.  That’s really bad.  So, if things are not sounding right, deal with it before you get to that point.  And one thing you can do to avoid this is to, earlier in the process, REALLY consider what it will be like to step into this new role.  Many times, people with an existing job like the CONCEPT of the new job, but when it gets down to actually TAKING the job, they get cold feet and stay where they are.


7. No Showing Interviews


Run into a problem before an interview?  Have a last-minute conflict that you can’t avoid (maybe with your current job), reach out to your recruiter.  Much better to let them reschedule your interview or put it on hold due to some new development, rather than leave them in the dark and “no show” the interview.  Your recruiter is often ready and willing to help come up with a solution. If an emergency arises, please contact them!


8. Blaming the Recruiter


Many times, a candidate gets through the hiring process to the point of an offer being made.  Then they get frustrated at the recruiter for the pay range being offered.  Don’t blame the recruiter.  Pay ranges are typically dictated by the client company.  Yes, your recruiter should let you know if you’re in the pay range prior to an offer coming in, but getting frustrated with the recruiter because you didn’t get the number you wanted isn’t fair and won’t help you build a strong recruiter relationship for the next opportunity.


9. Outdated Resume


Not keeping resume up-to-date when active in the job market.  This is on you.  When a recruiter reaches out to you, they often have a job opening in hand they are trying to fill.  If you have your resume updated and ready to go, they can react quickly.  And this often means you get submitted and make the short list.  Not having a resume updated means it may take you a few days to a few weeks to get it done.  Often it becomes a rush job which means it isn’t reflecting your abilities, experience, and accomplishments to their fullest.  And then you miss out.  That can be frustrating for a recruiter who KNOWS you’d be AWESOME for the role.  But because your resume isn’t ready for primetime, you both miss out. Need help rewriting/updating your resume?


10. Lacking Transparency


Being clear on your requirements up front is important.  No point in having your recruiter submit you for a part time role when you’ll only accept full time.  Or requiring a 100% remote role when they thought a flexible work schedule with 3 days a week, work-from-home, would have been acceptable.  If there are deal-killers, get them out there early so you aren’t wasting each other’s time.


There you have it.  10 things you should avoid doing that will hurt your job placement chances working with recruiters.  Avoid these pitfalls and you’ll improve your recruiter experience and increases your chances of landing your next great job.  In most cases just being professional will put you on the right path to success.


Are you considering a change?  Available for new projects or contract work?  Check out jobs on NextGen’s jobs page or reach out to their recruiters to learn more.

NextGen, now part of the Kelly Science, Engineering, Technology, and Telecom Division, is committed to consequential and imaginative solutions and delivery to meet the needs of Service Providers, Energy, Private Networks, Education, and Alternative Industries.


Author Bio: Mike McRitchie is a 20+ year Wireless Telecommunications Industry veteran who manages teams building out cell sites for Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Dish.  He’s a Top 100 Career Blogger and Telecom Resume Writer.  Join his Telecom Jobs List – to get his daily insight emails on everything job search, telecom and managing your career…plus some cool bonus reports.

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