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Industry Insights

Top 10 Things That Drive Recruiters Crazy

Take a second, if you will, to imagine the following scenario: you’ve spent all day scouring LinkedIn for the perfect candidate; after hours of searching, you have nothing to show for it. Then, by some whimsical miracle of fate, the ideal candidate applies to your job posting. They have everything: credentials, certifications, education…the whole shebang. Your fingers drum across the dial excitedly; you hear the phone start to ring, and with your heart beating inside of your chest, you’re prepared for them to pick up the phone, but then comes the voicemail. Not a problem, you’ll leave them a message and they’ll call you back, right? Wrong! To your horror, you find their voicemail box is completely full and not accepting messages; okay, annoying, but you have their e-mail, so you can e-mail them instead! You do, and days go by with no answer. After numerous attempts, with tears falling down your cheeks, you make the hard decision to move onto someone else.

While this is an over-dramatization, every recruiter that I know has experienced this more often then we care to admit. This, among other things, are just a couple of things that drive your recruiter crazy. If you speak with a recruiter, they’ll recall plenty of stories about having encountered these things. Take a read and, if you could keep these in mind when you’re working with a recruiter in the future, we’d greatly appreciate it. (Seriously, you’ll be like the best candidate ever if you avoid these!)


1.) “We’re sorry but this person’s voicemail box is full and not accepting messages.”

Let’s start off with this particular one; I used it as my opening to this article but it’s a very common problem. If you’re an active job seeker, please be sure to have your voicemail cleaned out; if we’re not able to get a hold of you by leaving you a voicemail, we may decide to move onto another candidate. It doesn’t take too long to clean out your voicemail boxes, so be sure this is done before you start job hunting.


2.) Canceling Interviews Day Of

The universe works in such mysterious ways; it seems, more often than not, that candidates decide to cancel interviews two hours before they are due to go in because something comes up. When we ask if they’re able to reschedule, they suddenly vanish! The universe is a funny thing, isn’t it? But, in all seriousness, please avoid this; if you’re not really interested in the position, or if something legitimate pops up, please let us know.  We’re adults, I swear! We’ll understand! If you cancel and do not give us alternate times to reschedule or go silent, we’re going to figure you were not interested in the first place.


3.) Not Showing up for Interviews/First Day

 Put yourselves in the place of your recruiter for a second: imagine that you’ve given everything to your candidate, made sure they were prepared, just to have your client call you to tell you that your candidate has not shown up.  When you call the candidate to figure out what’s going on, you get no response. Or, better yet, you’ve put a candidate through the interview process, negotiated the salary they wanted, and you think everything is situated…just to not have them show up for their first day. Frustrating, isn’t it? This is an excellent way to ensure that recruiters will never want to work with you again. Keep in mind we do talk to each other; don’t burn bridges unnecessarily.


4.) Lack of Communication

Joel Osteen said it best: “You can change your world by changing your words…remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Oh boy, this rings true, especially in recruiting.  Imagine having a candidate go through the process, securing the salary they want…only to have them turn it down. When we ask why, it’s something simple: the commute is too far.  Please be open and honest with any concerns or issues you have with your recruiter; if we’re made aware of the situation, we can usually resolve the issue or use it as a ploy in order to get you in faster for an interview. We can only help you if we know what’s going on.


5.) Dishonesty

This one is a biggie; for the most part, candidates are honest but there is a small handful of dishonest candidates that ruin the fun for everyone else. The instance where this plays the biggest factor is when we ask candidates if they’ve already applied or had an interview at the client we’re working with. Keep in mind: clients do not allow us to submit candidates that have interviewed or applied directly within a six-month (sometimes longer) period. In this case, we’re not able to do much nor will we be able to help you. Save yourself a headache and us as well: if you’ve applied or interviewed, let us know. Also, be truthful in your resume; the truth will always come out, so lying now can have grave consequences in the future. Don’t be dishonest, trust us.


6.) Applying Directly When We’ve Asked You Not To

On the whole, this doesn’t happen too often! Most of our candidates respect us enough not to do this, but every once in a while, you have a sour grape that ruins the whole batch. There is a reason we ask you not to do this: as recruiters, we’re able to get your resume directly before a hiring manager. If you go and apply directly, you take the risk of your resume being lost in the system and directly into a void where there may be no return. Let us do our jobs and work you through the process.


7.) Showing up Late/Not Being Prepared

Nothing leaves a worse taste in a client’s mouth than candidates who show up late and not prepared for their interview. A good recruiter will make sure you have everything you need prior to your interview, this includes: providing you with research about the company, reminders to bring copies of your updated resume, a sheet to help you collect your thoughts, successful interview tips, etc. Coming woefully unprepared is a great way to ensure you don’t get that offer. In regard to being late: things happen sometimes. If you run into traffic, get stuck behind someone, etc. let your recruiter know ASAP so we can inform the client you’re running late. As we stated earlier, communication is key, so be sure to keep this in mind!


8.) Not Having a Tailored Resume

Know one thing we recruiters love? Seeing someone who has a tailored resume! A resume that has all the necessary information and is easily accessible, is a blessing. Having a resume that is appealing to the eye and only contains pertinent information is an added plus. Make sure your resume only contains what is pertinent to the job you’re applying to; while we’re happy you were working while in college, know what I want to see instead? Clinical Rotations! Relevant Internships! Experience working in the field! Seeing these will get you contacted quicker, that’s for sure!


9.) Not Being Flexible

There is something to be said about someone who knows what they want and won’t accept less…to an extent. If you’re so rigid in your demands, you might accidentally pass up on something that could open more doors for you in the future. The most important thing is to weigh ALL factors when deciding to take an offer; the salary or the shift may be less or different than what you’re wanting but the company has a stellar work environment or fantastic benefits. Make a decision based on what is most important to you but be willing to be flexible on the other things. If you can, let your recruiter know what’s important early in the process. This will help us match you with a position that fits what you’re looking for.


10.) If You’re Wanting to Relocate, Not Doing Your Research!

Moving to a new city can mean lots of things: a fresh start, new restaurants to try, escaping your pestering in-laws; no matter your reasons for wanting to move, doing your research prior to moving is critical. Too many times than not, we’ve had candidates apply for a job without taking the time to research the area, only for them to withdraw later after realizing the town is extremely small and doesn’t contain a Taco Bell (you laugh, but I’m serious!). Make sure you take the time to research all aspects of the area and make sure you 100% dedicated to moving. We don’t want to waste time putting you in for something that won’t make you happy!


Final thoughts

Though there are probably more we’ve missed, these are some of the top things that annoy recruiters. If you can avoid any of the above, you’ll be the best candidate ever and we’ll buy you candy (well, probably not, but it’s the thought that counts…right?).

When it boils down to it, we recruiters are here to help you get your dream job by being someone who will help you through the entire process. You succeed, we succeed; it’s a symbiotic relationship where one benefits the other.

So next time you receive a phone call or voicemail from a recruiter, keep these things in mind and hopefully, the outcome will be exactly what you want: a job where you feel appreciated and happy to come in day after day.



With that being said, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Lighthouse Lab Services. Let us help you make that next career jump. We promise to make the journey a little less bumpy while throwing out the occasional bad joke or two (or, three, depending on how we feel that day).


Video interviews are becoming more common during this unique time of COVID-19 and social distancing. So we wrote a great article for you: How to Crush a Remote Interview: Top Tips for the Candidates

For other tips on resume writing and formatting, check out our website feature on how to create a killer resume. It’s specific to clinical laboratory professionals, but many of the tips can apply to any industry.

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