Recruiter Pet Peeves

Job seekers: If you would like a recruiter to help you find a job, then help make it easy for us to do our job. Please take your job search seriously and pay attention to the details. The extra time it takes to be prepared will pay off in many ways. Like us finding you a job! I’d like to share a few of my pet peeves as a recruiter to try and improve the process for both job seekers and recruiters. There are so many steps to the recruiting process that paying attention to some of these details should help get you through the hiring process faster and more efficiently. Some of these I’ve learned the hard way (candidates being turned down by clients – ouch), others just happen on any typical day:

  1. People who apply for jobs they aren’t qualified for or really interested in. If you want a call back from a recruiter apply for a job you are qualified for and when we call you, call us back. Your background should match the job requirements OR if you are trying to expand your horizons to a job that might not fit your background, at least tell us why we should consider you. We like to think outside the box for our clients too, but when someone who works at Macys applies for a Regional Software Sales position, I have to wonder what they were thinking. Give us a reason to call you and we will and make sure to call us back too.
  2. Resumes with minimal details or accomplishments. The bullet points on your resume should not read like a job description, describing only your responsibilities. You should describe your accomplishments like you are proud of what you do. Begin each statement with an action word such as: Generated, implemented, crafted, directed, managed, or championed. Use your resume to demonstrate where you excelled at your job to set yourself apart from all the other candidates.
  3. Typos or misspelled words. With spell check it’s so easy to identify misspelled words. Take a few extra minutes and make sure there are no typos or misspelled words in both your resume and LinkedIn profile.
  4. Resumes and LinkedIn profiles that don’t match. With so many people embracing social media, most of our clients take a peek at your LinkedIn profile as soon as they receive your resume from us, so be sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and has the same information as your resume. If you say you graduated from college, it should be on your resume and your LinkedIn profile. If you say you worked at xyz company on your LinkedIn profile, make sure you have it on your resume. Those details matter to clients, so they matter to us too.
  5. Going dark on us. There is nothing worse for a recruiter then submitting a candidate to a client, getting a call back that the client wants to schedule an interview and then not being able to reach you. You have to have skin in the game too and when we call you, call us back. If we ask you to make some changes to your resume, we’re doing it to help you, so do it. If we ask you to complete a document for us, we are doing this because we think it will help you get the job, so do it for us. We’re actually doing all this to help you.
  6. Candidates who don’t prepare for an interview. Do your research on the company and be prepared to discuss how your experience will be a benefit to the company. Have some good questions to ask the person you are interviewing with (blog questions). Preparing for your interview instead of just winging it, will help you think better on your feet and allow you to showcase your strengths. To complete the interview process job seekers should always write a thank you email that includes a reference to your conversation. This is a great opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition.

  Final Thought Job seekers should know this but just in case: The best recruiters are your advocate and will work their butt off to help you get a job, so treat them like a valued partner and you will likely receive the same in return. Job seekers: Here’s your chance. I’m going to do another post on your pet peeves, so email me and let me know what some of them are.  


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.