7 Reasons You are NOT Impressing a Recruiter

Not impressedIn today’s highly competitive job market,  recruiters are always looking for that “something special” that gives one candidate an edge over all others. Personally, I really appreciate someone who goes the extra mile when looking for a job. All recruiters do. And yet, it’s not easy to knock my socks off.

In fact, they seem to go out of their way to remove themselves from consideration.

How do they accomplish the exact opposite of what they’d hoped to achieve? What are the most mistakes I see candidates make?

Here are seven reasons you may not be impressing a recruiter like me:

1.  Talk too Much

There is nothing more exhausting to me than when a candidate talks and talks and really doesn’t give the recruiter a second to interject. When recruiters talk to candidates, they don’t have a ton of time to chit- chat about what you did 10 years ago. They want to know the highlights of your career. To hear about a project that you worked on for 15 minutes makes a recruiter want to hang up the phone. Find out what the recruiter is interested in and talk to that point.

2.  Overeager (or Not Eager Enough)

When a candidate has all of the qualifications in the world and blows up your phone and e-mail, it isn’t a good thing. It also isn’t a good thing when you don’t show a little interest by a follow up call or e-mail either. I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Send a follow up e-mail and ask when it would be appropriate to follow up with them next. If you haven’t heard from the recruiter, call them. What is the worst thing that could happen?

3.  Errors in Your Resume or Cover Letter 

Have someone proof read your resume. A resume is your first impression, so you better make sure it is good. Hire someone to help you with your resume. It will be well worth the investment.

4.  Not Knowing ANYTHING About the Company

Yes. This happens. Candidates apply to random positions and they don’t know anything about the company. There is nothing more frustrating to a recruiter when candidates don’t remember the positions they applied for. It is smart to apply to roles that meet your specific needs, not just any add that is out there.

5.  Talking Bad About a Previous Employer

Bad mouthing a former employer is not smart. You can say anything including it was jut not the right “fit”, but to say something negative really doesn’t help your case much. Something positive comes out of every situation. Find the good.

6.  Not Knowing Your Market Value

A lot is written about how you shouldn’t shoot yourself in the foot by asking for too much money. This is true. What is also true is when you under-sell yourself. Know what the market bears and ask for what you are worth. The salary question will always come up so do some research.

7.  “Linking” Just to “Link In”

Okay, I have said it 10,ooo times, but I can’t write a post like this and not include it. Please know who you are connecting with and give me a reason to connect. If you haven’t heard my rant before, you can read it here. It is well worth the read. I am already sick and tired of LinkedIn, but that is huge way not to impress a recruiter.

The truth is that every candidate should review and re-review this list – because as a candidate you probably have done these things at some point in your career. And you don’t want to do make those same mistakes next time we talk about getting you a job!

I wish you the best of luck in your career search.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Bulls Eye Recruiting!


Bullseye Recruiting


Will ThomsonAbout the AuthorWill Thomson lives in Austin, Texas, and works for Rosetta Stone as the Global Sales and Marketing Recruiter. He has been in recruitment and sales for 20 years. He received his undergraduate from The University of Mississippi, and his Master’s Degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin. He has recruited some of the most sought-after talent around the globe, and is a regular blogger for the recruitment industry. He is the founder of Bulls Eye Recruiting and has also written for Blogging4Jobs, ERE, Recruiting Blogs,Work 4 Labs and Social-Hire. Follow him on Twitter!



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