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7 Things You Should Never Tell a Recruiter

Girl says Shhh pop art comics style. Vector retro woman putting her forefinger to her lips for quiet silence.A great recruiter will be a real people-person.

You’ll naturally warm to them and end up “bonding” with each other – after all, they are helping you with one of the most important decisions of your life.

However, there are some things that are best left unsaid – if you’re hoping that they’ll champion you, of course.

Here they are…

1. “I’m pretty desperate.”

It’s easy to lose confidence and get stuck in a rut when job-seeking.

But admitting that you’ll take any old job that comes along is like admitting that you’re not passionate, you’re not committed and are likely to flake at the last moment (perhaps at offer stage).

Recruiters want to put forward the best candidates for their roles; people who are skilled and genuinely excited about the position, company and industry – not those who are likely to jump ship when something better comes along.

Recruiter Pro Tip

If you admit that you’re desperate to (unethical) consultants, they could take advantage of that fact.

You may find yourself being pressurised to apply for and take a job you don’t want, like or that you’re completely overqualified for.

This doesn’t happen everywhere, but it is certainly something to look out for.

Sometimes it’s best to keep your cards close to your chest!

Click here for some tips on how not to look desperate during your job search.

2. “It’ll do, I suppose.”

Be enthusiastic!

A negative or blasé attitude isn’t going to impress anyone.

Your consultant will want to know that you’re genuinely excited about your new career direction and the roles they’re putting you forward for.

They need to know that you’re likely to stick around from the long haul – before they champion you.

3. “I hated my last boss/ colleagues.”

Never, ever, ever badmouth your previous boss, colleagues or company.

Yes; there are some irritating, judgemental and even horrible people out there in the world, but revealing your negative feelings could make recruiters question whether YOU were actually the troublemaker.

It’s just not worth the risk for them.

If you’re thinking of leaving your job, because you simply dislike your colleagues – this group of blogs – might just help.

4. “Did you not even bother to read my CV?”

Or anything along these (confrontational) lines.

The recruitment consultant is the middle-man between you and the companies you might want to work for; if you’re rude to them, there’s no way they’ll put you forward.

(And they’ll actually probably warn companies not to hire you!)

The truth is, the consultant (probably) has read your CV, but they want to hear it all from the horse’s mouth to make sure they haven’t missed anything and/or everything adds up, for example, have you fibbed?

You never know when you’ll come across and need them again.

5. “I’m hoping to go travelling at some point.”

Or anything else that reveals your disloyalty the position.

Pretty self-explanatory, but people still tell us this from time to time.

No; we will not put you forward for a permanent role if we don’t think you’re going to stick it out.

It’s just unethical.

6. “I just want more money.”

As I said earlier, recruiters want to know that you’re genuinely passionate about the role, the company and the industry.

Admitting that you’re simply interested in a pay rise doesn’t do anything for your image; in fact, it makes you look pretty petty and fickle – and unlikely to stick around for the long haul.

The point is that most (good) agencies genuinely care about what happens after placing someone – and if there’s even a shadow of a doubt that you’re serious, it’s too much of a risk to put you forward.

7. “I’d probably accept a counter-offer.”

Counter-offers are the BANE of the recruiter’s existence.

We work very hard to match great candidates with great clients and of course, when they turn the job offer down, it can be so demoralising – and extremely frustrating.

If you tell us something like this early on, then there is no way you’re going further in the process.

Recruiter Pro Tip

If you’re actually looking for a new job offer, merely to leverage a new job at your current place, all I can say is – please don’t.

Recruiters do work really hard in the background and dropping out last minute will negatively impact them, as well as the hiring company.

Put yourself in their position.

Alternatively, why not think about trying to negotiate a higher salary at your current workplace? Click here to find out how!


So basically, the point is; do try to be professional and ethical.

You never know when you’ll come across these recruiters and hiring companies in the future.

Recruiter Pro Tip

I know – you’ve probably heard horror stories about recruitment agencies in the past?

We’re not all the same and we’re not all evil.

Most of us genuinely care about our candidates and clients – all we want is for our placements to work out for the best, for everyone.

If you’d like some more advice on how to win over a recruitment consultant – click here.

Currently looking for a job and need some more tips? Subscribe to this blog HERE.

Or, have a browse of our current job opportunities.

Good luck.

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8 months ago

Please…If asking “have you even read my resume (cv)” is confrontational, who cares. The recruiters dont know you and dont read. Ever look them up? Their backgrounds are not what they are looking to fill.

Any recruiter that would get upset over this type of question is one I will never have another conversation with. Them recommending companies not hire me, kind of hard when I am not dealing with them. Another recruiter with the same stupid position will be along shortly.