Posts tagged ‘voice-mail’

Job-Seekers’ Top-10 Lists and New Year’s Resolutions

Every year around December, people in the media seem to feel compelled to wrap up each outgoing year with various Top-10 Lists – usually featuring news events, movies, songs, TV shows, books, etc. Each December since I started Recruiter Musings back in 2009 (our visitor count recently surpassed 1 Million hits and we’re still going strong!) I’ve been posting a couple of my own “Top-10 Lists” for Job-Seekers, as well as a list of suggested New Year’s Resolutions for Job-Seekers. In reviewing those prior lists, I found that they are mostly still very relevant and timely! Oh sure, a lot has changed in the world during the last few years. But in terms of my view of the most annoying and the most helpful things for job-seekers … well, my opinions and suggestions have aged well! I’m still very annoyed by people who don’t return phone calls, and I still think Twitter is a huge waste of time! And I’m still a firm believer in the power of Networking as the number one job-seeking methodology with the best chances for success. Likewise, my suggested New Year’s Resolutions from the last few years are still the same ones I’d advise today’s job-seekers to aspire to for the coming year.

Rather than trying to re-invent the wheel, I simply went back and re-edited the past year’s postings to make sure they were still accurate and up-to-date so that I could simply refer back to them. (By referring back to those newly edited original posts instead of re-posting them as new, the readers’ comments at the bottom of each of those articles have also been preserved.) SO … here are the links:


 Top 10 Most Annoying Things for Job-Seekers

 Top 10 Most Helpful Things for Job-Seekers

 New Year’s Resolutions for Job-Seekers


December 1, 2014 at 11:56 am Leave a comment

Top 10 Most Annoying Things for Job-Seekers

[Updated, December 2015 …]

It’s that time of the year when everywhere you look there are “Top 10” lists. Top news events of the year, top songs, top movies, top TV shows, top most interesting celebrities, etc. So, I thought it would be an appropriate time to roll out my own Top 10 list – The Top 10 Most Annoying Things for Job-Seekers!

Now if you’ve been following my blog and reading my many postings with advice for job-seekers, you might have picked up on the fact that I’m generally a positive, optimistic person. I try to give encouragement and helpful advice to everyone, and I’ve certainly preached about the importance of maintaining a positive attitude. [See “The Power of a Positive Attitude.”] However, we all need to vent from time to time. So for now, I’d like to take a moment and reflect on all those annoying things that almost all job-seekers have experienced in today’s challenging market that simply tick us off! So, here it is – in no particular order …


10. People who don’t return voicemail messages.
I can understand not returning emails … some people are overwhelmed with hundreds of emails each day, and simply cannot answer every one. But voicemail messages? I’m sorry, but I have NO patience for people who don’t return calls. As a recruiter, I always made it my rule to return every phone message I got within 24 hours. In my experience, I’d only get one phone message for every 100+ emails – an unfortunate sign of the times. It’s so easy to hit “send” and so hard to pick up the phone and actually try talking to someone! Anyone who makes the effort to call me deserves a response. To do otherwise is just rude. I expect the same professional courtesy from the people that I call and leave messages for, as well.

9. Job postings that don’t identify the company.
I would never apply to a job if I didn’t even know the company’s name. What if it’s a place I’ve already applied and/or interviewed? What if it’s a place that I’ve heard bad things about and would not want to work for? What if I’ve actually already worked there?! Many 3rd-party recruiters call potential candidates and refuse to reveal their clients’ identities. If it’s actually a rare “confidential” search dictated by the client, OK … but usually recruiters are just afraid the candidate will do an end-run around them and apply directly to the company (which, by the way, is a very stupid move for any candidate!) In my many years in the staffing industry working as a contingency recruiter, I always told potential candidates what company I was searching for – preferring an up-front and honest approach with full disclosure of the pros and cons of each opportunity. I found most people to be professional and trustworthy with regard to this issue, and I almost never got burned doing business that way.

8. Lengthy online applications that must be filled out before you can submit your résumé to a job posting.
I often get the feeling that those online applications are designed to be an easy way for some HR person to screen people out. And they take SO long to fill out!!! I expect to be asked to fill out a complete application after I’ve been identified by the company as potential fit. But do I really need to spend an hour filling out their form just so I can get in line with hundreds of other anonymous online applicants?

7. Twitter.
I’m sorry … I know there are probably Twitter fans out there. (I actually have two different Twitter accounts myself, which I occasionally use to broadcast job postings or advertise my blog articles.) I’m really a very tech-savvy person who loves all the latest toys, gizmos, gadgets and technology in general. I’ve configured and repaired computers and networks, designed websites and complex databases, I blog, and I make extensive use of LinkedIn, Facebook and other Social Media to great advantage for both personal and professional purposes. I just don’t see Twitter being a useful tool for job-seeking. In fact, it seems like a supreme waste of time to me! I have yet to find a hidden job opportunity using Twitter that I couldn’t have found just as easily using Google,, or any number of other standard search engines or job boards. And broadcasting quick short bursts of text updating the world on what you are doing minute by minute everywhere you go? Is that really necessary? I’m sure that Twitter deserves a place somewhere in the short attention span of our thumb-typing, text-message-obsessed world. However, I happen to believe that those 140-character messages filled with lazily abbreviated catch-phrases and fractured contractions have contributed to the rapid decline in the writing skills of an entire generation of its users (IMHO LOL!) The English language has never looked worse.

6. Mass “Networking Events.”
Those big events (usually held at hotels or bars) are attended mostly by other job-seekers. Networking with other job-seekers, while sometimes fun, is often a huge waste of time. It’s much more productive to spend your time networking with people specific to your industry niche who can connect you with actual decision-makers in your target companies. [See “Looking for Networking in All the Wrong Places.”]

5. Takers who don’t give back.
I’m talking about job-seekers who set up so-called networking meetings with you, and then ask for your help without any attempt at giving something back. Too many people don’t understand that networking needs to be a 2-way street to be effective. [See “The Art of Giving: the Key to Effective Networking.”]

4. Companies who post jobs, and then don’t even acknowledge receiving your résumé after you apply.
In the Recruiting world, we often refer to this as sending your résumé into the “Black Hole of HR.” Now if a company sends an automated “canned email” response saying they’ve received a person’s résumé, I realize that it generally means nothing … but at least the applicant knows they received it! Most online submissions go totally unanswered. That’s why savvy job searchers do not rely on simply applying to online job postings, but rather spend most of their time networking, finding ways to go around HR, and talking with actual decision-makers at their target companies.

3. No follow-up from a company after you’ve been interviewed.
It’s one thing to be ignored by a company after you’ve sent in your résumé. But if they actually called you and interviewed you by phone or in person – they should pay you the simple courtesy of a follow-up. I’ve heard so many terrible stories from candidates who had multiple interviews with high-level decision-makers at companies who indicated that they were the top candidate, and they were close to making an offer … and then …. NOTHING! No follow-ups, no emails, no calls, no returned messages – just silence. That’s simply an insult! If they decided to hire someone else – or no one at all – then say so! Saying nothing is beyond unprofessional. It’s just plain rude and obnoxious.

2. Companies who ask for your complete salary history and salary requirements before interviewing you.
Sooner or later this issue comes up in every interview process. I have my own opinions on how to deal with those salary questions, and I’ve written extensively on this topic. [See “Answering the Dreaded Salary Question.”] But does it have to come up BEFORE they interview you? Do they have to know your salary history and requirements BEFORE they even look at your résumé?

1. Companies who practice age discrimination.
What a world we live in, where younger less experienced people are preferred by so many companies over people who have the proven success and the seasoned experience, knowledge and accumulated wisdom that only comes with years of hard work. My first posting on this topic seemed to have hit a raw nerve – that blog logged several thousand hits and well over 100 comments in just the first few days, provoking quite a lively discussion. [See “Age Discrimination: Secret Conversations Revealed.”]

So there you have it. Having vented, I know I feel better now! I’m sure I’ve left out other common annoyances that could easily have made this list. (The countless emails I’ve received over the years with “work-at-home” opportunities or invitations to sell insurance come to mind!) I welcome any suggestions for additions to this list in the comments section below. And if you are looking for a more uplifting and positive sounding list, then I suggest you read “Top 10 Most Helpful Things for Job-Seekers.”

December 4, 2009 at 1:13 am 92 comments

Michael Spiro

About the Author:

Michael Spiro has been a 3rd-Party Recruiter and Account Executive for nearly 20 years. He is currently the Director of Recruiting / NE Ohio Region for Experis Finance, a dedicated business unit of ManpowerGroup. Other recent positions include President of Midas Recruiting, a boutique head-hunting firm, Director of Talent at Patina Solutions, and Executive Recruiting positions with two of the largest search firms in North America. Before his career in the staffing industry, Michael was a manager in a large non-profit social-services organization. And in a former life, Michael was active in the entertainment industry, with extensive road-warrior experience as a touring performer (singer-songwriter / guitarist / comedian) and as a recording artist, producer and booking agent.  [More...]

Index (by Topic):

Résumés & Cover Letters:
 The "T" Cover Letter - The
         Only Type Worth Sending

 The Brutal Truth on How
         Résumés Get Eliminated

 Explaining Short Job Stints
         and Employment Gaps

 The Résumé Test &
         Checklist: Does Yours

 Beating the Résumé-
         Elimination Game: Where
         Do Recruiters' Eyes Go?

 The Truth About Lying on

 "Why Did You Leave Your
         Last Job?"

 How to Network: A
         Step-by-Step Guide for
         Job Searching

 Looking for Networking in
         All the Wrong Places

 Targeted Networking: How
         to Effectively Reach Out

 The Art of Giving: the Key to
         Effective Networking

 Face-to-Face Interviews:
         Secrets, Tricks and Tips

 Phone Interviews: Secrets,
         Tricks and Tips

 Skype Interview Tips ...
         Welcome to the Future!

 Nuggets: A Secret
         Interviewing Technique

 Answering the Dreaded
         Salary Question

 20 Surefire Ways to Blow
         an Interview

 "So, Do You Have Any
         Questions?" Nailing the
         Interview Closer

 Cool InfoGraphic: "What
         You Wish You'd Known
         Before Your Job

Age Discrimination:
 Age Discrimination: Secret
         Conversations Revealed

 Age Discrimination:
         Exposing Inconvenient

 Are You "Overqualified?"
         Handling the Age Issue

 Baby Boomers to the
         Rescue! An Idea Whose
         Time Has Come ...

 Overcoming Job-Search
         Obstacles and
         Redefining Your Career
         After 50

 Advice for Recent Grads
         and Career-Changers

Switching Jobs:
 The Proper Way to
         Quit a Job

 Counteroffers: Just Say No!

General Job-Seeking Info:
 The Real Truth About
         Working with Recruiters

 Contract/Consulting Jobs
         Explained ... Available in
         3 Different Flavors

►  What Recruiters Say
         vs. What Job-Seekers

►  The Dirty Truth About
         Misleading Unemployment

►  Let the Jobs Find You:
         Making Yourself More

 "Help ... I Need a Job!" A
         9-Step Guide for Newly
         Minted Job-Seekers

 Avoiding the "Black Hole
         of HR"

 Is Your Elevator Pitch
         Taking You UP
         or DOWN?

 Time Management: Recipe          for a Well-Balanced Job          Search
 Getting Un-Stuck from your

 The Double-Whammy of
         Rejection and Isolation

 "Unemployed Need Not
         Apply" - Working Around
         This Scary Message

 Using Social Media to
         Enhance Job-Searching

 Warning: That Rant You
         Posted Just Went Viral!

 The Golden Rule for
         Business: Never Burn

 The Power of a Positive

 Why Job Hunting is a
         Consultative Sales

 Top 10 Most Helpful Things
         for Job Seekers

 Top 10 Most Annoying
         Things for Job Seekers

 New Year's Resolutions for
         Unemployed Job-

Job-Seeking Humor:
 Comic Relief: Volume 1
 Comic Relief: Volume 2
 Comic Relief: Volume 3
 Comic Relief: Volume 4
 Comic Relief: Volume 5
 Comic Relief: Volume 6
 "In Transition" and Other
         Awkward Euphemisms

 Candidates Gone Wild:
         Recruiter Horror Stories

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