Blog written by recruiter Koreena Geisler-Wagner.

The job-search process can be drawn-out and utterly draining, but it is important to always keep your end-goal in mind and continuing  trekking toward it. In her article “Five Things A Job-Seeker Absolutely Must Not Do,” Liz Ryan, in answer to an anecdotal letter from one of her followers, lists five behaviors/actions that will only hamper you in pursuit of your next job:

  1. Adding a person to your list of references without asking them first. I can’t tell you how many references I have called who either won’t return my call/email, or who simply won’t give the glowing remarks the candidate is probably expecting. Ask for either a written recommendation before leaving a position, or maintain the relationship with that reference so you can ask to give their name each time you apply.
  2. Contacting a stranger  out of the blue to ask  for help with your job-search. Expanding your network can be tricky, but one should  never reach out to a someone they’ve never met to ask for a favor as large as finding a job. Asking for general information about particular industries and fields is one thing, asking for specific advice is quite another. For more networking tips, read our post on networking do’s and don’ts.
  3. Stealing introductions. Do not piggyback off the hard-earned network of your friends by looking through their online collection of contacts and connecting with those you aren’t currently connected with. In addition to upsetting your actual friend, it’s not likely that a potential contact will respond warmly to a request along the lines of “My friend Sally is friends with you, and I thought we could connect as well.”
  4. End-running a recruiter who is representing you with a particular employer. When an employer is working with a recruiter or a recruiting firm, it is generally because they don’t want to interact with a larger pool of candidates directly. Going behind the recruiter’s back to contact their client is not only unprofessional, it will likely annoy the client, strain relations between the recruiter and the client, and cost you the job the recruiter was trying to secure for you.
  5. Trashing your former employer in an interview. This is always a red flag  with interviewers– it is generally an indication of someone who lacks agreeableness.

Today’s message for smarter job search tactics is brought to you by Contemporaries.

Photo: “Jobsearch” by Julie Walraven, available under the Creative Commons Attribution  2.0 Generic license.