7 Wrong Steps to Take with Recruiters


What Do Recruiters Look for When Searching for the Best Job Candidates?

So you want to further your career, but you’re not sure how. There are nuances to working with a recruiter, and if you get them wrong, you may never have the opportunity to work with one. With this in mind, let’s look at the seven things that will guarantee you’ll never advance your career. Avoid these, and recruiters will love you!

1. Lying in your resume.

What do recruiters look for? An honest resume. We’re all subjective and think we’re better than we actually are, but that doesn’t mean you can beef up your resume. Not only is this dishonest, but job recruiters and potential employers can smell made-up skills and experiences a mile away.

Instead, include skills and past experiences you believe will make a potential employer think you’re right for the job. Employers aren’t looking for the PERFECT candidate – they know they can’t possibly find someone to perfectly fill the void. What they’re after is people that have similar skills and experience with their vision of an IDEAL candidate. Include volunteer work, hobbies, awards and computer skills. So, daily perusing of Facebook doesn’t equal excellent computer skills, no matter how quickly you can harvest crops in Farmville.

Being honest in your resume will not only make you look more trustworthy, but you’ll also have an easier time proving your skills in interviews. As Mark Twain put it: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

2. Being obnoxious.

Recruiters don't want to talk to obnoxious candidates.

Keeping in touch once a week is being persistent, but once an hour is being obnoxious. So it’s a good idea to remember that job recruiters talk to a lot of people every day. It takes time to look at resumes, make a decision, and set up interviews.

However, don’t be afraid to ask your job recruiter when to contact him or her for updates. Some will give you the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” routine, but contacting them once in a while is okay. If anything, it shows you’re really interested in new opportunities, and it makes the recruiter work for you. What recruiters look for is persistence.

3. Not collaborating.

To see if you fit a certain job a recruiter has in mind for you, sometimes they’ll ask you questions to find out more about you. This is your chance to land a great job, but if you blow it, you’ll make the recruiter doubt you. What should you do? It’s simple. Talk to them. Answer their questions. Have a genuine conversation. After all, it’s in your own best interest to be honest with a recruiter. They are your advocate and if they don’t believe you are being genuine, they won’t go to bat for you.

What do recruiters look for? Someone who can collaborate. Let them unearth all your strengths to see if you are indeed that ideal candidate for future positions, or even that current position they’re not quite ready to share with you just yet.

4. Not listening to their advice.

Not listening to a recruiters advice.

The job recruiter will often give you tips for a successful interview, such as dressing in a particular way, or avoiding certain topics. They do it because they have experience and know things you don’t, so ignoring their advice and doing what you want might just make your job recruiter hate you. And contrary to what you may be thinking, wearing eight-inch heels or a tuxedo won’t get you far at all.

Another form of doing your own thing is bypassing the recruiter, and going straight to the employer. If job recruiters happen to share information with you about a certain company, let the job recruiter prepare the ground and give you more information before you show up at the company’s door. What recruiters look for is someone who follows directions and can take advice in regards to standard protocols. They know what their client is looking for and they can help you show how well you fit the bill.

5. Turning down good offers.

A job recruiter can definitely help you find a good job, but if you’re at the beginning of your career, you’re in no position to turn down a good offer. If you lack the skills and experience necessary for a higher paid position, you won’t get the offer for it, no matter how swanky your suits are. Chances are high that you’ll be offered average-paying jobs. This is not because you made the job recruiter hate you when you mailed the resume in a bright blue envelope, but because employers have no reason to pay you above average.

There’s no such thing as the perfect job that has a great salary. You may be tempted to turn down an offer, thinking a better one is just around the corner, but this is a mistake. Take an offer you consider to be good, and build your way up the corporate ladder over time. What recruiters look for is someone who knows and understands that building your skills and experience takes time. They will find a job that matches where you are in your career and will allow for growth.

6.Not showing up for interviews.

Recruiters waiting on interviewee

What do recruiters look for? Punctuality. Not showing up to an interview hurts your recruiter’s reputation. While this may have only happened once or twice in the last 30 years, it bears reminding. Show up! One mistake like this and you’ll never get a second chance. That’s right. This is another great way to make your recruiter hate you and wish you only “wonderful” thoughts. And you’ll be on your own when it comes to looking for a job.

7. Being cocky during interviews.

In line with the previous point, you’re still hurting your recruiter’s image if you show up to an interview and act as if you’ve discovered the hole in the donut. Remember that when you go to any interview, you’re the one who has to win the interviewer over, not the other way around. So be as diplomatic as you can, even if you disagree – it’s not the disagreeing that employers dislike, but the way it’s done. What recruiters look for is the same thing employers look for. Someone who is likable, agreeable, and respectful.

There you have it. Seven wonderful ways to make your job recruiter hate you. Avoid these mistakes and your recruiter will love you. Then you’ll have the job of your dreams in no time flat.

The Author

Straight from the desk of

Kimmel & Associates

Kimmel & Associates

Marketing & Communcations

Kimmel is an executive search firm located in Asheville, North Carolina. Our professional recruiters are committed to exceeding client expectations. They work with the same dedication, honesty, and attitude of service that has been the Kimmel standard for over 34 years.

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