How To Get on Employers’ “Do Not Hire – EVER” Lists

Want to know what to do to get on an employer’s bad side? There are countless things to screw up your chances of getting a job – more than that, you can even be blacklisted by an employer. As in, “do not hire, ever.” Employers may even recommend that other companies in the industry refrain from hiring you. If an employer blacklists you, you’re no longer on their list of consideration for any position.

Some things that can get you blacklisted are out of your control, but a lot aren’t. Here are three ways to get blacklisted by an employer:

1. Be Unprofessional

This is a big one; there are many ways to be unprofessional, from your online presence to your in-person presence. If you use inappropriate language on your public social media feeds or show up for an interview in sweatpants or badmouth your previous boss to your potential new employer, beware – you could get blacklisted.

The solution: Simply, be professional. Dress nicely in a suit for an interview; clean up your online image or seriously reconsider your privacy settings; stay on work-appropriate topics both online and in-person; and most of all, treat your potential employers and everyone you meet at a company professionally, respectfully, and with maturity.

2. Be Careless (attention to details, submitting, etc)

Being careless shows employers that you lack attention to detail or have an inability to follow instructions – two blacklist-worthy qualities in a candidate. Candidates who have spelling and grammar mistakes on their resumes or other application materials; don’t follow proper application instructions; miss deadlines, or are late to interviews are certainly careless, and an employer will notice.

The solution: Take your time! Proofread your application materials, and better yet, have someone else read them to check for mistakes. Check and double-check the instructions for application, or your deadline for applying for a job, or the time of your interview. Employers expect attention to detail; a careful candidate makes a careful employee.

3. Be Dishonest                

Dishonesty is means for blacklisting in every aspect of life, including your job search. Dishonesty can range from simple exaggerations to out-and-out lies. This is most commonly seen on application materials like resumes; candidates sometimes stretch the truth when it comes to their past experiences or education. Rest assured that eventually, your employer will find out – either before or after you’re hired. Dishonesty is a surefire way to get fired.

The solution: This one is simple – be honest. Don’t exaggerate. Don’t stretch the truth. Tell a potential employer only where you’ve worked, what you’ve done, and where you’ve studied; nothing more.

What to do if you’ve been blacklisted:

1. Reach out to the company and request an in-person conversation

2. Ask for constructive feedback about what went wrong and what could be done to correct the mistake

3. Be willing to accept the advice of the person who’s blacklisted you

4. Follow through

If all else fails, at least you’ve done your job and attempted to move past the problem. Remember: be polite and professional, and don’t burn your bridges.

What are some other ways to get blacklisted by an employer? Share with us below.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Glassdoor!

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets. Follow Heather on Twitter!

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  • Anonymous

    I work in HR and there have been a few (only a few, thankfully) who are on my unofficial “DO NOT HIRE–EVER” list.  A job candidate would have to do something pretty serious to get there.  Such as:

    1. Screaming at me for 10 minutes and threatening to have me fired because he or she was not selected for a position.

    2. Following me into a place I’m going for lunch to ask me about job openings.

    And yes, these have actually happened 🙁

  • Seaniemo

    Personally I think it is a unfair practice especially when it comes to someone who may not be the worse of the bunch. And even in reaching out to find out why does not promise an honest response. Who are you to say a person is never going to change? You had to learn how to crawl before you could walk and how many times have you fallen down since mastering that skill?