don’t stalk the hiring manager

When you’re searching for a job, enthusiasm is a good thing. But some job applicants cross the line from enthusiastic and proactive to obnoxiously aggressive — and in doing so, kill their chances at a job offer.

You have crossed the line if you are doing any of the following:

* Checking in on the status of your application daily

* Phone stalking — calling, hanging up when you get voicemail, and then trying again half an hour later, and repeating this cycle over and over in the hopes of getting a live person on the other end of the phone

* Calling numerous employees in the same company

* Misrepresenting why you’re calling

I recently had a woman leave me a voicemail message implying that she wanted to discuss a particular aspect of the work my organization does. So I asked the person who handles that area to call her back. It turned out what she really wanted was to ask him about jobs with us — which she didn’t divulge until the end of the call. A day later, she did the same thing to two other people in my office. Her attempt to circumvent our clearly stated application process backfired — I sent an email to our entire staff with her name in it, warning people about what she was doing.  Her chances of getting a job with us now, after being misleading and wasting people’s time? Zero.

I suppose there are some industries — bill collection? — where this sort of aggressiveness might go over well. But in general, you don’t want to irritate the person who will be evaluating your candidacy.

{ 2 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous*

    This posting made me laugh out loud because lots of job-hunting advice books always stress to circumvent HR and to try and get in touch directly with the hiring manager! Now I don’t know what to believe :-)

  2. Becky*

    I agree with anonymous. But I think the key is to not lie. You can try to get to talk with the person directly without lying about why you are calling. I think. Maybe.

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