11 Pet Peeves Recruiters Wish They Could Share with Job Candidates

April 17, 2015

Seeing resume after resume and performing interview after interview means recruiters get to know a lot of people and their job-seeking habits. And like anyone in their own particular industry bubble, some repeated job application mistakes can really start getting to you.

These 11 recruiter pet peeves range from the teensy things that just make our eyelids twitch to the “Seriously?!” errors that can be a deal-breaker.

1. Receiving the exact same resume for 9 roles you’re working to fill

Surely Michael Sullivan from Philadelphia can’t be “perfect” for a role in marketing, editorial, accounting, public relations, HR, and customer service—can he?

2. When Jane Doe refers to Jane Doe as Jane Doe

Jane Doe has seven years of experience in finance. She spent the last four years at a Respected Finance Company, where she worked with Client One and Client Two. She is proficient at Microsoft Office.

Seeing somebody address herself in the third person makes their application sound quite strange.

3. “References will be provided upon request”

Well, yeah; I hope so. No need to waste valuable resume space by adding this line.

4. Having to read through dozens of unrelated skills

Skills shared on job applications should be related to the job life. If a candidate is incredibly good at playing the land’s wizard in LARP —unless they're applying to a theatre troupe, this is irrelevant and only taking up valuable space on the resume.

5. Seeing a massive glamour shot as soon as you open a resume

What the job applicant looks like should not be the first thing you learn about them—in fact, it could be detrimental. Later on in the process, recruiters have LinkedIn to see more details. But for now, that Hollywood headshot is only taking up space and making us recruiters have a longer resume to read through.

6. When after a day of interviews, a thank you note … never arrives

This is just basic good manners. There should always be a thank you note.

7. Spotting your company’s name spelled incorrectly

All it takes is a quick Google search to ensure that this is right.

8. Spotting your name spelled incorrectly

Despite signing off all your emails with your correctly spelled name “J-O-H-N”, and your email address being John.Smith@company.com, some applicants are still calling you “Jon” in their fifth email.

9. Getting emails from aliases that must have been created in middle school

While great at provoking a good chuckle, NinersFan4Lyfe@xyz.com or grrlPower22@xyz.com are not email aliases any candidate should hold on to past college.

10. When we say “resume,” but the candidate sends a “novel”

Two pages is fine. One page is even better. But if we recruiters need a bookmark to save our place when reading a resume, it’s too long. Not even Bill Gates needs a resume that long.

11. Job seekers who are “dynamic!” and “motivated!”

These words have lost all meaning to us recruiters -- here is the proof. Tell us what you accomplished at your job instead.

What are your job application pet peeves? Share them with us by tweeting @HireOnLinkedIn.

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* Featured image from Parks and Recreation

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