Anyone that has been in recruiting long enough knows that feeling: The awful pit in your stomach when you just know a candidate is about to sabotage you, themselves, and your company or client. The art of securing a new position doesn’t begin at the interview process as some might think. The process begins from the moment you apply /submit your resume all the way through starting the position. Here are 3 all too common red flags that will surely get you on a recruiter’s radar, and not in a good way.
- Organization: “I can’t remember if I applied to this company already”. Translation: I already applied or was submitted by another recruiter, never heard anything back and want you to send my resume over again . Certainly there are exceptions, especially in the consulting world if you’ve worked on many projects and have your resume in the mix for several contracts at once. However, in most cases you should be able to remember where your resume is being sent and roughly when this took place. If you can’t, it signals poor organization skills and immediately puts recruiters on the fence about your candidacy (and honesty). Also, many companies will automatically rule out candidates once they have received a resume from more than one source, so it doesn’t help your chances to bombard them. Keep an Excel sheet with jobs you’ve applied for, make notes about where you stand with each, and keep your recruiter in the loop. It might not help you for that one specific opportunity, but most recruiters will want to find you another position if you are upfront, and will put you on the “do not use” list if you are not.
- Communication: This might seem simple, but all too often we see candidates just go dark on us for several days or even weeks while in the midst of the submittal or interview process. When a recruiter can’t reach you, the red flags start flying. Obviously situations arise when you can’t plan for having to be out of pocket for an extended period. However, if you have a vacation planned, can’t be reached on a certain day or during a certain time frame, let your recruiter know if at all possible. When a company wants to schedule an interview with you or even present an offer, and your recruiter can’t reach you-that signals trouble ahead. Keep the lines of communication open so your recruiter can effectively communicate your situation and interest level.
- Reliability: Along these same lines, candidates who are late, postpone or reschedule interviews, or alter their start date, send one big red flag to your prospective employer. If you say you can do something, you should be able to follow through, emergency situations aside. Hiring Managers have very busy schedules. If they blocked off time in their calendars to speak or meet with you, and you bailed at the last minute, that definitely does not send the right message. Managers see this as you being unreliable. When you waste someone’s time, they will question how dedicated you are to the position. Stand by your commitments and you put yourself in position above those that don’t.
The job market is as competitive as ever these days, and it’s the candidates who are organized, accessible and reliable that set themselves apart. A good recruiter will value these traits and put you on their short list of candidates they think of when an opportunity arises. A good recruiter also realizes it’s their job to help you find the right opportunity for YOU. So help them help you, be honest, be trustworthy, and you’ll be happy in your new position.
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