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Top 6 don’ts when dealing with recruiters

Veronica C. | March 19, 2014

The relationship you establish with your recruiter is important and here are a few don'ts (and their alternatives) when it comes to communicating with him or her.

The relationship you establish with your recruiter is important, and hopefully – for your sake – it doesn’t have to last too long. Sometimes you’ll hear back from a recruiter in no time at all, other times you may play the waiting game. No matter how long the process takes, there is always time to commit some faux pas when looking for a job or internship. Here are six don’ts (and their alternatives) when it comes to communicating with your recruiter.

1. Leave out crucial information in a voicemail
This mistake will likely cause you, as a candidate, to be lost in the shuffle. Corporate recruiters who work on-site are not only spending a vast amount of time contacting outside potentials, they are also highly involved with internal candidates and hiring managers. Maintaining these relationships as well as his or her responsibilities can be very trying for a recruiter, especially during a time when the company is hiring. Their job is to work with candidates, but they could be dealing with a lot of them!

When you leave a recruiter a voicemail, it is important that you speak slowly and say your entire name. U.S. News and World Report suggested that even if you have been in frequent touch and the recruiter recognizes your voice, it might be a good idea to leave your phone number as well.

2. Barrage the recruiter with daily emails
It’s very important in the business world to follow up after interviews. You have to show your interest, and you’re anxious to hear back, so you might think that sending an email every day will shed a healthy light on your interest.

This is a don’t. Not only are recruiters extremely busy, but they could very well be turned off by this stalker-like behavior. An alternative way to go about it, according to the news source, would be taking the assertive and professional approach. This involves following up a week later, and if they still haven’t reached a decision, call them again in a few days. This is the kind of interaction that a recruiter will likely appreciate, and he or she may even thank you for it. In light of how busy the job can get for a recruiter, you’ve helped out!

3. Be rude with your follow-up
Why not take a bullish or passive-aggressive approach and tell the recruiter that you would have expected a response by now? Use words like “unacceptable” and “outrageous.”

Those who have spent a long time looking for jobs know that it’s likely you will have a passing urge to say something like this. The whole process can be very stressful at times. However, if you turn off your recruiter by being rude or a little snappy, think of the consequences. The recruiter is the only person you know in the company – your first point of entry.

Even if you’ve decided not to pursue the job, it’s always best to remain professional and polite. As mentioned before, recruiters have a lot more responsibilities than it appears, and this could account for some delays.

4. Begin cover letter with “Dear Sir”
This sounds very respectable, doesn’t it? How else can you display your level of sophistication than by drawing attention to it in the first line?

Consider that it may get things started on the wrong note, especially if the person reading your letter is a woman. The news article suggested the alternatives “To Whom it May Concern,” “To Human Resources Representative” or “Dear Sir or Madam.” It’s understood that the body of the letter is the most important part, but the cringe level of the opener can really set a different tone.

5. Drop a surprise LinkedIn request
While connecting on LinkedIn may be something you can bring up in the interview, it isn’t a smart thing to do during the hiring process, according to Forbes.

Before the interview, you may think up a logical reason to connect, and then ask if it’s OK when you converse. Though there is always an opportunity to start a long-term professional relationship, you don’t want the recruiter to wonder what your motives are without taking precautions that will render you transparent.

6. Go straight to the hiring manager
If you have questions that you think only the hiring manager can answer – say, about benefits or personal time policies – it’s better to vet these things through the recruiter. The recruiter is meant to be your ally and is really there to make sure you have the information you need. If you start going above and beyond, and reach out to the hiring manager, he or she may think you’re high maintenance and chat with your recruiter about it.

Say you have spoken to the hiring manager and heard something different about salary or follow-up time than what the recruiter has told you. The recruiter is the best person to confide in about the discrepancy, and he or she will appreciate your confidence.

Category: Career News, Careers, College Life, Internships, Interships, Jobs

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