Job-Hunting: Are You Scaring Recruiters?

There are six things you should never do when working with recruiters.

ByABC News
September 9, 2008, 6:15 PM

Dec. 18, 2008 — -- A friend who's a recruiter for an employment agency told me that since Wall Street imploded this fall he has seen an uptick in calls from angry, weepy and desperate-sounding candidates.

"Some will yell that they have to get the job because their mortgage depends on it," he said. "A couple have even cried into the phone and begged me to help them."

I get that people are incredibly stressed (not to mention pissed) about having lost their jobs, and I understand how stiff the competition is to find a new one. I also get that many people now find themselves facing dire financial circumstances and are worried about how they'll pay for health care, feed their families, even keep their homes.

Unfortunately, your recruiter is not your best friend, your bartender or your therapist. Shouting or blubbering to them about the precariousness of your fiscal situation won't help your cause one bit. Instead, it will take you right out of the running for any job openings they have.

After all, if a recruiter thinks that you can't keep it together for a quick 10-minute phone call, how can they recommend you to the clients who are paying them to find top-notch, rock-solid candidates?

Yes, the economic climate and job market are miserable. But that doesn't give us license to throw our professionalism out the window.

And, yes, many recruiters come off like that understanding colleague who's there to help you through this tough job hunt. But that doesn't mean you should let your guard down and treat them like your career counselor or closest confidant.

So let's talk about the six things you should never do when working with recruiters.