It’s a job hunter’s market in IT. With unemployment rates for those in the tech industry hovering around 2.4 percent, job seekers have the luxury of getting to be picky, says LaCinda Clem, executive director of Technology Staffing Services for Robert Half.
“Job seekers have the upper hand in the employment market today, and many are fielding multiple offers,” says Clem. “It can be difficult to decide between opportunities, and even after accepting one, they may receive a better offer later on.”
For some job seekers, this advantage can go to their heads and trigger overconfident actions and bad behaviors – with recruiters often on the receiving end. From arrogance to laziness to ghosting, bad habits can hurt job seekers in the long run and burn bridges with recruiters and hiring managers.
[ Are you making a bad impression? Read our related story: Job hunt etiquette: New best practices for 2019. ]
Of course, there are two sides to this story: Job seekers have their own complaints about recruiters. But we’re starting here, with the recruiters and talent pros, who we asked to share their biggest pet peeves around working with tech candidates. Take a look, and make sure your own actions aren’t landing you on someone’s blacklist. (If you struggle to trust recruiters, don’t miss number 10.)
1. Ghosting after accepting an offer
LaCinda Clem, executive director of Technology Staffing Services for Robert Half: “Something that is often difficult for recruiters is when a job seeker accepts and later rescinds an employment offer. And it’s even more troublesome when the candidate doesn’t let them know – or ‘ghosts’ them or the employer. As recruiters, we try to help professionals make the career move that’s best for them, and it’s okay to get cold feet after accepting a job offer. But IT professionals should take care to be courteous and avoid burning any bridges. If you renege on a job offer, make sure to let the recruiter or hiring manager know as soon as possible and communicate politely and openly. This will help you keep those professional ties.”
2. Overstating your skills
Matt Rickett, senior coworking consultant at Talent Locker: “The worst pet peeve for me is when people overstate their skill sets. If you haven’t done it, don’t claim you have. I often see people get caught during interviews with experienced and knowledgeable people. Interviewers quickly see that the candidate does not have the required skills and could not perform the tasks they claim to have done in the past. That makes them wonder about the validity of all other claims the candidate has made.”
[ Does your resume pass the test? Read also: Job hunt: 10 common resume questions, answered. ]
3. Not doing the homework
Will Stanbrook, team lead technology services at LaSalle Network: “It’s still on candidates to prep for an interview, research a company, put together a resume, etc. We will certainly help you and do practice interviews, but candidates still need to put in work on their own time. Being unprepared for an interview is unprofessional and companies likely won’t want to hire someone who clearly hasn’t prepared. Most recruiters will do mock interviews with candidates before the real interview to help them, and if a candidate hasn’t prepared for that, it shows us that they may not be taking it seriously or don’t really want the job.”
4. Writing off entire industries
James Saunders, head of workplace recruitment at Talent Locker: “When job seekers write off entire industries due to the bad experience of one is a pet peeve of mine. This happens for both clients and people working with recruiters as an industry. Some candidates will bring negativity from a bad experience into an interview process, and this will ruin their chances with a much better company. This is even more frustrating when you’re working with incredible clients who are industry leaders for a reason.”
5. Calling multiple times per day…
Stanbrook: “Respect the timeline. We know it’s hard to wait for feedback to hear if you got the job or not, but calling repeatedly throughout the day doesn’t help the process go any faster. Most recruiters will give you a timeline of when they’ll follow up with you, so wait to reach out until that time has passed.”