Picture this scenario, a recruiter, who you had previously spoken with in the past, gives you a call to check on on where you stand about new career opportunities. The call is an opportunity for both the recruiter and candidate to reconnect in the first instance and, in the second, to tentatively probe for a possible in depth discussion around career options.

Here’s how the call goes…

Recruiter… “Hello mate, I wanted to give you a call to find out what your current work situation is and would you currently be interested in new opportunities?”

Candidate… “Hello mate, sure… I’m always looking.”

Now, you may think the recruiter is hearing exactly what they want to hear… a candidate who is communicating an obvious interest in new opportunities. But the truth is hearing this turns a recruiter off, why? If a candidate is so open to new opportunities how can I guarantee a potential employer that they won’t up stumps and leave after a couple of months?

Remember, recruiters can be great allies in your job search. Just make sure you’re managing the relationship the right way.

Here’s 3 things you should never say to a recruiter…

I’m looking for more money

Whilst we all work for money and a salary increase is nice moving for purely money can be a turn off for most recruiters. We often find that when this is the case that when the candidate hands in their notice they get counter offered and end up staying. This wastes everyone’s times and also doesn’t look good on the candidate. Again another reason is that if you are moving for money every time what’s to stop you moving again in 3 months when you get a bigger offer…

Bad mouthing previous/current employers or colleagues

Address the boss, job, and company in a way that is neutral, and never make it personal. Venting your justified or otherwise frustrations with a current employer or boss makes you look unprofessional and lack the ability to resolve your workplace differences.

Lying about short term positions

I often see a candidate’s resume with quite a few jobs that were only for short periods and so I asked them what the reason was for this. They came back with excuses such as the company went under or my manager was driving change management… there’s always some form of excuse. What a recruiter would rather hear is the candidate being honest and saying it just didn’t work out. And that makes sense because not every career move is going to be all apples, often there are situations where the role or the company just aren’t what you expected.

I had a candidate recently who had a certain position down on his resume as a contract position however I know through my network that he was in a full time position. Remember, you’re industry is smaller than you think and recruiter’s have wide networks!

Sure, it’s important to say the right things, but before you figure out what those things are, it’s much easier to think of the list of things you SHOULDN’T say when engaging with a recruiter.

And for any recruiters reading this blog remember it is a two street… return all calls from candidates, be respectful and be professional!