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11 habits that will hinder your job search

Today’s gig economy has turned the tables on hiring managers. With more open jobs than there are skilled workers to fill them, candidates now have the upper hand in choosing how and where they want to work. And for 22 per cent of job seekers, working with a recruiter is the preferred method when searching for their next project or position.

Yet, even with the advantage of greater opportunity, there are still habits demonstrated by even the most talented of candidates that will hinder their job search — and their recruiter relationship. 

When working with a staffing agency during your job search, below is a list of habits to avoid if you want to get hired:

Refusing to revise your resume

Admittedly, resume changes can be tedious, but they’re necessary to tailor your experience and work history to each position. Recruiters want to show what a great fit you are to their client and a refusal to revise your resume will also show you’re reluctant to take instruction. A candidate who won’t work on their own profile may be seen as one who won’t work well with others or take direction within their role.

Following up again… and again and again

After you’ve applied, follow up with the recruiter responsible for posting the role within the hour, and make sure to include the job description within your email, phone call or LinkedIn message. If you’re a fit, your recruiter will inform you of the next steps. If not, he or she may know of another opportunity or will keep your resume on file for future ones. If that’s the case, follow up again after at least five to seven business days.


If you choose to not show up for interviews, ignore offers or just not show up to work once an offer has been accepted, you can guarantee your recruiter will sever ties. Ghosting in the workplace will not only damage your own reputation, it will also make your recruiter look bad to their client, and burning bridges via vanishing will ensure you’re flagged in that staffing agency’s database.

Accepting/Rejecting offers

Rejecting multiple offers without valid explanations or accepting one and backing out at the last minute are two certified ways to find yourself on the blacklist. Commitment issues will communicate that you can’t be trusted by your recruiter or their client.

Lying about credentials or sending multiple resumes with varying work histories

Lies are credibility killers, and they’re easily verified on LinkedIn. Over exaggerating your skills or experience level will also lead to your recruiter unintentionally overselling you to their client, and valuable time –and reputations– is wasted for all parties involved.

Not aligning your LinkedIn to your resume

With more than 20 million companies listed on the site and 14 million open jobs, it doesn’t come as a shock to find that 90 per cent of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn. If your LinkedIn experience section doesn’t align with your resume, it will result in a red flag to a recruiter, where they will be second guessing your experience claims. 


It’s a recruiter’s job to find the perfect fit for both their consultants and clients, but it isn’t their expressed duty to find you a job. It’s often frustrating to be patient during a job search, but when a recruiter finds an opening that matches your experience, skills and personality, they will contact you.

Trying to negotiate after accepting a rate/offer

Sure, money matters. But when a recruiter tells you the maximum rate and you agree, it’s bad form to try to re-negotiate when it comes time to sign on the dotted line. Be transparent in your compensation expectations from the beginning, so money doesn’t become an issue later on.  

Being too hard to contact

Playing telephone tag or not responding to emails wastes valuable time. Candidates should be prepared to answer their phone or get back to a recruiter within an hour of being contacted about an opportunity or a follow up. 

Applying to the same position multiple times

There could be many reasons you’re not hearing back about your application, and spamming a recruiter’s inbox can result in that recruiter questioning your judgement and professionalism. Instead of sending multiple applications, follow up within 24. hours with the recruiter who posted the role. 

Not being prepared

After you’ve met with a hiring manager, your recruiter will receive interview feedback. If you weren’t prepared or didn’t take the interview seriously, there is a very slim chance you’ll be presented to future clients. A recruiter’s relationship with their client is crucial, and he or she won’t risk losing a good one. 

The ability to develop and foster business relationships is critical to a job search at any level. Are working with a staffing agency to find your next great opportunity?


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