6 Things A Job Candidate Should Never Do


I’ve been in the recruiting business for a while now, and have seen almost everything in the realm of good and bad candidate behavior, but some common themes do emerge.  Here is some bad behavior that I’ve run into in the recent past.

Think about your job search experience; are you guilty of any of these?  If so, put some thought into how you can clean up your act, and you’ll be much more successful in your search.

1. Copy your cover letter from a previous application into a new application without changing the name of company, position, etc. Nothing shows lack of attention to detail more than not proofreading a cover letter to make sure it pertains to the job being applied to.  If it says you’re very interested in the IT Manager position for Company X, and I’m looking at you for the Product Manager for Company Y, we’re not connecting.

2. When contacted by the recruiter, be unsure about the position you applied for, and then ask for the job description. If you’ve applied for the position, the assumption is you know what you’re applying for, if not, you must not have been paying attention.

3. Don’t do any research on the position, the company, the competition, the role, or the people you’re interviewing with.  Bring no questions of your own to the interview.  In short, don’t prepare, it’s a waste of time. Nothing will sink an interview quicker than perceived lack of interest and preparation.  It will trump a perfect functional fit every time.  If the team doesn’t think you want to be there, they will be happy to oblige.  With the tools available today, 30 minutes of research can make you an expert.

4. Don’t prepare any thoughts about why you might like to work for the company, why you’re interested in the position, why you might be a good fit and do a good job. (See #3).

5. Talk poorly about previous companies, managers, etc. during your interview. After all, that’s why you left, isn’t it?  Managers think that if you speak poorly of your last manager, you’ll speak poorly of them, among other things.

 6. Treat Recruiters, Recruiting Coordinators, Receptionists, etc. like they are beneath you and unworthy of your courtesy and time. You may think the Hiring Manager is the only person you need to please, but these are the people that get things done, and can make or break your candidacy, assuming you haven’t taken care of that already.

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