Nobody really likes ghosts: even at Halloween. Unfortunately for recruiters, sometimes candidates decide to turn into ghosts at exactly the same time as their interviews are scheduled. We understand that there could be a number of reasons why a candidate might not speak to a recruiter any more. Maybe they got hugely nervous before the interview and then just felt too embarrassed to tell anyone. Maybe they got a better job offer. Maybe they decided to use a different recruiter to help them find their dream job. If, for whatever reason, you don’t feel up to an interview or don’t feel as though the position under discussion is for you, that’s completely OK. We know that knowing what to do when applying for a job can be difficult but there are definitely some things you shouldn’t be doing. What isn’t acceptable is not giving your recruiter any notice of your decision and disappearing when they try to contact you. This is a prime example of what not to do when you’re applying for jobs.

In this article, we explain why this complete lack of contact – known as ‘ghosting’- not only causes us and our clients huge inconvenience, but also damages your career prospects in the long-term.

Research is key before applying for anything

When you’re applying for jobs, don’t just browse a recruiter’s website and hit ‘apply’ on the first ten jobs that pop up. Make sure that any role you apply for is:

  • Something that you would enjoy doing every day for a long time.
  • A position that you’ve got the appropriate experience and qualifications for.
  • Based in a city which you are either currently living in or intend to move to in the very near future.
  • Contracting you to shift patterns or weekly time commitments that you can stick to.
  • Gives you the work/life balance that you’re looking for.

If the role doesn’t provide you with satisfactory answers to all of these questions, then you would be far better applying for a different job. While you’re browsing the website when looking for jobs, have a look at the processes used by the recruiter to find the right jobs for their candidates. If you don’t feel that these processes suit your style of working, then it is unlikely that you’ll be able to build up a strong relationship with that recruiter. You will probably achieve far better outcomes if you send your CV to a different recruitment agency.

We can’t find you your dream job if you don’t answer our calls

When candidates choose to apply to us and we see some really special CVs, our days are made. As a first point of contact, we’ll often phone candidates who stand out from the crowd to talk to them about what their skills, interests, and career aspirations are. This helps us to work out whether the job we were considering them for is perfect for them, or whether they would be a great fit for another role. When we try to reach out to candidates by phone, one obstacle often stops us in our tracks: candidates don’t answer our calls.

This is what not to do when applying for a job. When you don’t pick up the phone, we can’t help you to find the perfect opportunity for you. That prevents us from putting you forward to interview for a role that could change your life. Apart from causing us a degree of inconvenience, you also cause yourself even greater inconvenience by essentially ruling yourself out for the position in question and slowing down your journey forwards in life. 

Once you take the positive action of submitting your CV, why not follow it up and have a chat with your recruiter so they can help you find a job that you’ll excel in? If multiple recruiters have a similar experience whenever they try to ring you, then the phone will eventually stop ringing. Not only will this cost you opportunities in the short-term, it will also make recruiters reluctant to contact you if several months or years later, you decide to take a different approach and actively pursue several jobs again.

When you are applying for a job, it is always best practice to maintain good levels of communication with the recruiters who you’ve sent your CV to.

There’s no need to miss your interview without notice

There are many reasons for rescheduling an interview if you suddenly can’t make it at the last minute. The weather could have taken a turn for the worse. Your car could have broken down on the way to the interview. You could just be feeling unwell. In fact, there are so many valid reasons for missing a scheduled interview that we wrote a separate blog about them. 

If you give adequate notice, then employers will be really understanding about the situation, and will almost certainly reschedule the interview to a more convenient time for you. After all, employers are human too. Not notifying your prospective employer of a cancellation of an interview is really bad form and can have a damaging future impact on your career if it just so happens that a future employer is friendly with that previous prospective employer. Definitely a simple what not to do when applying for a job.

Nobody likes waiting

What nobody appreciates is being kept waiting without any notice. Waiting just wastes their time and shows a complete lack of respect for the fact that they may have other things to do that day. When applying for a job, be sure to stick to your word and be respectful.

…And word gets around quickly

Worse still is that word will spread that you ‘ghosted’ an interview, and it will become even harder for you to secure your dream job when you’re invited to an interview that you really do want to attend.

When applying for jobs, please get in touch with your recruiters well in advance of your interview if you need to reschedule or want to cancel. Then we can let our clients know in good time so that nobody is left waiting, and no one’s feelings get hurt. 

If you want to look for another job, we can then start helping you to find it as quickly as possible. We don’t work with candidates if they miss interviews that we’ve arranged without notice and many other recruiters take the same view. Burning bridges with recruiters and employers who are trying to help you because you forgot to send an email really isn’t worth it.

If you get the job, turn up on the first day

After someone has gone through the effort of an entire application process and then has got the job, recruiters like us are absolutely baffled by the fact that they don’t turn up to start work on their first day of their new contract. If we made a list of the worst possible days to skip work, your first day in the brand-new job that you’ve just successfully applied for would be somewhere near the top. 

‘Ghosting’ where you make no contact with your recruiter or your new employers, and they are left wondering what horrific traffic you must have got stuck in to still not have arrived by lunchtime, will almost certainly lead to an immediate dismissal. This will send you back to square minus one, as the next day, you’ll have no job, a ruined reputation, and you’ll have materially damaged your relationships with everyone who had invested time in helping you to get that job.

If you sign a contract, please stick to it and turn up for work. You never know, taking that job might be one of the best experiences of your life.

What not to do when applying for a job

When it comes to applying for jobs, there is a wide range of things that you should not be doing and we hope this blog has helped highlight these a bit more. ‘Ghosting’ doesn’t do your job search (or your recruiter’s blood pressure) any favours. Please only apply for jobs that you genuinely want to do.

When you’ve decided on what your dream career would be, we’d love to help you get that first foot on the ladder, or get to the very top of the ladder if you already have considerable experience in that industry.

Let’s chat about your career plans over a coffee. Get in touch with us today. Whether you need CV advice, interview tips, or some of our recruitment guidance, our support and resources are here for you.

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