A recruiter's job is tough. It's up to them to match the perfect candidate to the perfect company every single time. As the job seeker, being aware of proper procedure and courtesies when dealing with a recruiter can go a long way. Stand out by aiming to be that one candidate who is pleasant, professional, and easy to work with.
If you make a recruiter's day a little brighter and their job a little easier, they'll be keen to help you out. The following habits, however, will make your recruiter sigh heavily, roll their eyes, and scream "Argh!" after hanging up with you. Avoid them at all costs:
1. Calling from a cell phone with poor reception. The last thing a recruiter needs is to waste their precious time on the phones saying, "Can you hear me now...how about now?"
This leads to that long-winded spiel about how important it is to make sure that you conduct your phone interview with proper reception when it comes to interviewing with the actual hiring manager. A better use of this time would be to discuss your awesome skills.
2. Failing to update your resume. This is another common, terrible time waster for both you and the recruiter. If you upload your resume onto a job board and a recruiter calls to talk to you about a position months later, remember to send her an updated resume—before she sends an outdated resume to her client.
Of course, most recruiters will do their due diligence and confirm to make sure they have your most updated resume—but proactively sending them an update will make their job a little easier.
3. Trying to maneuver around them and go straight to the client. Recruiters aren't stepping stones. They are constantly working hard to maintain their relationship with clients (aka your potential employer). By trying to go around them or contacting the client directly, you're making them look bad. For instance, if a recruiter tells you you're not a good fit for the opportunity, asking the client directly for alternative opportunities is a major faux pas.
"The worst is when a candidate thinks the recruiter is no longer a part of the hiring process once they've interviewed and never calls a recruiter back, wanting only to deal with the client directly," says Rochelle Kaplan, executive recruiter at CyberCoders.
4. Exaggerating your skills set. Lying to recruiters about your expertise will hurt both the recruiter's and your credibility in the long run.
"If there is a gap in your resume or you were fired from a job, explain why," says Kathryn Ullrich, executive search consultant at Kathryn Ullrich Associates, Inc.
There isn't a whole lot of time or resources for recruiters to triple check your skills, so most of the time they'll take your word (and resume) for it. Be honest or else they'll end up unintentionally overselling you to their client. Huge mistake.
5. Expecting the recruiter will find you a job. For Ullrich, the biggest way to annoy an executive recruiter is to have unreasonable expectations about them finding you a job. "The retained executive recruiter is working for the client to find the perfect candidate with the requisite experience, skills, and culture fit," Ullrich says. "Executive recruiters are not working for the candidate."
That being said—they are looking for a great fit, and if that's you, then "we will do what we can to get to a job offer," she says. Just don't call them every day looking for updates or new positions.
Ritika Trikha is a writer for CareerBliss, an online career community dedicated to helping people find happiness in the workplace. Check out CareerBliss for millions of job listings, company reviews, salary information, and a free career happiness assessment.