We want to play a game today; called truth or truth. Ever seen those adverts on local newspapers with a photo and caption ‘So and So no longer works here?’ We shall never know the real issues that earned them a moment of fame on a local daily, but we know that type of publicity is likely to negatively influence their future career aspirations. Whoever sees the advert (and many managers and recruiters do), makes a mental note somewhere ‘to not recommend this person’.
Similarly, as a job seeker, there are several actions and behaviors that are likely to push your profile into a ‘to not recommend list’ otherwise referred to as the “Blacklist”. The following are the ways in which you can fall into this trap, so read on to see why; 

1. Making countless applications – We’ve touched on this before. While this may seem like a harmless habit because you’re trying to give everything a chance, it may not sit well with most recruiters/hiring managers. Throwing in your application, for all and any jobs an organization puts out, even when you do not meet core criteria is not advisable. What you’re essentially doing is communicating that you have no regard for the needs of the organizations at this point in time. We understand it’s difficult to get a job; believe it or not, it breaks our hearts to disqualify candidates all the time. So try as much as you can to apply for jobs that are closely related to your background, to avoid getting blacklisted.

2. Being self-entitled, and arrogant – We are well aware that most people dislike recruiters or people in HR. Ha! To some extent, it is true that we inform who should be considered or not, in a position. However, it is also true that part of the accountability falls on the job seekers themselves. Being arrogant to a recruiter; which we have often experienced, automatically puts you in the red zone. Feeling entitled because you’ve maybe had many years of experience, and ignoring other factors such as your culture fit within the organization, and how your exposure fits into the current stage of the organization does not serve you.

3. Being dishonest – This could vary; lying about your past work experiences by exaggerating your successes, the role you held, your age and past successes is a valid reason to have a recruiter blacklist you. This is why we insist that you clearly understand the role before, and practice integrity before you put yourself in a precarious position, where your lies are debunked, and you ruin your reputation. Background checks and referral calls will eventually unearth any lies.

4. Badgering the recruiter/hiring manager – It’s fairly okay for you to check in with a recruiter after, say two weeks of silence, if they had promised to get back and they haven’t, or if the hiring manager had scheduled a phone call and he didn’t call. However, consistently checking in with the recruiter or hiring team every other day is a bit too much and unprofessional. It’s even worse when you’re calling at ungodly hours. Please understand that recruiters/hiring managers are human too, and sometimes the lack of communication could be as a result of an impromptu change in the company, which they are also figuring how to communicate. To be on the safe side, always ask when you should hear from them, so there is no room for assumption.

5. Dropping out of the selection process unjustifiably – Picture this; you’ve gone through a rigorous selection process; done phone interviews, in-person conversations, take-home tests, and so forth. The hiring manager has expressed a strong interest to want to give you an offer, and then you just drop out of the selection process and don’t provide a valid reason. It’s unprofessional and leading. We understand switching jobs can be scary, but we advocate that you communicate any fears or doubts as early as you can, to avoid such outcomes and maintain a good working relationship, who knows what the future holds?

Read our blog post on the ways you are sabotaging your job search to learn more about the traps you should avoid.