3 Ways Job Seekers Sabotage their Chances at Landing a Job

Navigating the hiring process can be a long journey with many potential pitfalls. From the second you hit submit until your first day there are many things that can happen that can adversely impact you as a job seeker. These post will specifically focus on three things I see frequently that can make otherwise good candidates look like they won’t be a good fit for the role. These are also things that are easy to fix which are good. Also, this post will specifically revolve around the candidates actions as they relate to the recruiter. The blow three things can totally derail your chances at landing your dream job, so avoid them at all costs!


  1. Non Stop Calling


We get it, you really want the job and you are dying to know what is going on. We have all been there and all know the feeling where you have either applied or perhaps already interviewed and you are waiting for the next step but you haven’t heard anything. One of the biggest mistakes people commonly making is following up too much. While some level of follow up shows interest in the role you have to find a balance because if you are calling twice a day everyday it can become very off-putting.  Not only can it be kind of annoying but it can also make you wonder about the viability of the candidate. Is this the type of person who will fit in with our company culture? Why is it that they are so free to invest so much time in following up with me, don’t they have a job? I told them I would reach out to them when I had more information, do they just not take direction well? All these thoughts occur if you are dealing with someone contacting you too much. On the other hand, you don’t want to seem disinterested. So yes, admittedly this can be hard to strike the correct balance. So here are my tips for striking that balance. Let’s say you have spoken with a recruiter and you want to seem interested and be aware of what’s going on but don’t want to be super annoying. The first thing you need to do is ask them if they wouldn’t mind you following up, through which medium you should contact them and when would be a reasonable time. By asking these questions you can gauge their feelings on what’s reasonable in terms of contacting them. In addition their enthusiasm here could certainly be an indication of how they thought the interview went. The next thing you need to do is send a thank you email. Send it later that day or the next day or don’t bother. This is not only a nice touch but it’s a reminder of your candidacy and a gentle tap on the shoulder if they have more information about next steps for you. For more information on that check out my blog post on writing thank you letters. Adhere to what they say is reasonable in terms of reaching out to them and you should be fine.


  1. The Passive Aggressive Message


The average person might be surprised how often recruiters receive little passive aggressive jabs from job seekers. For example there I have gotten emails saying something “Hi Ben. I interviewed with you last week and I haven’t heard back. Should I go ahead and contact someone else?” Messages like that are a terrible idea. That might have been an innocent enough request, perhaps they just want to help. However it does not come off that way. It comes off as a person saying you are either a barrier to me proceeding further or you are unnecessary. It can also be perceived as a threat, “you aren’t doing your job, I am going to get you in trouble”. Either way it’s a bad idea. Either the recruiter hasn’t shared your profile with their hiring manager yet for various reasons and now the recruiter see’s you in a much different light or they have already sent it over and the hiring manager hasn’t made a decision yet. If the hiring manager hasn’t made a decision yet, depending on the relationship between the recruiter and the hiring manager, the hiring manager might ask for the recruiters opinion on how you as a candidate rank versus the others the recruiter has spoken to. How do you think you will fare if you recently sent a recruiter a message like this?


  1. The “Do the legwork for me” LinkedIn message


This one is a personal pet peeve of mine and it happens all time. I have just under 8,000 first degree connections on LinkedIn and at least twice a week I get a message from someone requesting I look at their profile and tell them if any of my jobs are a fit for them. I also get emails like that as well. Most of the time they are worded like “Hi Ben, I am a recent graduate with a BSME and a MSME from ABC University, please look at my profile and tell me if I am a fit for any of your roles”. While that’s what it says, this is what I read “Hey Ben, I am sending this message out to everyone who is a recruiter on LinkedIn. I haven’t looked at your company and its openings but could you do the leg work for me and see if I am a fir for any of your jobs.” This is a classic shotgun approach and to me it lacks sincerity and the preparation I am typically looking for in a candidate. Don’t be one of these people, in all likelihood it is a waste of an email and could even potentially keep you from getting future jobs with said company.


Thanks for reading to the end. Avoid these early mistakes and you will be in much better position to get the job you want. There are many way you can put yourself at a disadvantage but these are 3 ways job seekers sabotage their chance at landing a job that are fairly easy to correct. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below.  Thanks!

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