A recruiter is a working professional who acts on behalf of their clients (the employer) to find the best person for the vacant position.
However, these individuals are not explicitly working for you nor are they a friend, even if they are very easy to talk to. Therefore, you must be mindful of how you present yourself.
Sure, using a recruiting agency and working directly with a recruiter to find your next job opportunity can be a brilliant way of finding your next role.
Yet at the risk of not looking professional, here are the things you should not tell a recruiter.
1. Information About Other Current Opportunities
If prompted, you may want to inform a recruiter that you have got another interview elsewhere. This will show that you’re receptive to different opportunities and that you’re honest.
However, you don’t need to tell them the company that you are interviewing with, even if they are insistent about knowing all of the details.
They will need to respect your wishes for confidentiality and cannot force you to reveal all. In this situation, you can simply say something like “I would prefer to not share this information with you at this time.”
This is more a matter of choice than principle, however; a lot of recruiters will automatically assume that if you’re open to their job opportunity, you’re also open to others.
2. Bad Things About Your Previous Company
Speaking negatively about your previous company never looks good. Even if you had a horrible time and were treated poorly by management, keep this information to yourself when speaking to a recruiter.
Although the badmouthing might be entirely justified, it will never go down well with a recruiter. Instead, it will do nothing but make you look like a serial complainer which might give them the impression that you’ll repeat the behavior in the future.
It might also make a recruiter second guess whether or not you’d be a good enough team player for a particular company.
Our advice would be to avoid all negativity.
3. Anything About Your Financial Situation
Do not tell a recruiter anything about your financial situation. They’re there to source the best candidate for a role and sometimes these facts are not needed.
When speaking to a recruiter, never say things like “I’m desperate for money” or “I earn [x] amount” unless you are specifically asked what your current salary is.
You should also avoid telling a recruiter about the lowest salary that you are willing to accept. In all likelihood, this will be the figure that the employer comes back with, and it may be severely under what you’re worthy of.
The recruiter will do their best to secure a good pay deal on your behalf so only reveal the information they ask for.
4. That It’s A Short-Term Arrangement
A recruiter will not be willing to represent you if you’re seeking an “in-between” job role to keep you afloat while you search for something more permanent or if you are planning to leave the role shortly.
In fact, telling them this could make them look like they did a sub-par job of screening all available candidates which may damage their trust and reputation in the eyes of the client.
Even if you don’t have the intention of remaining with the company for long, you must not tell a recruiter that it’s a short-term thing. Not only does this show a distinct lack of commitment but it means you’re very likely never to be given an interview.
5. You’re Available 24/7
You should always work closely with a recruiter and provide them with details that are relevant to the application. After all, they’re just trying to help you out.
But until you’re further along the interview process (say between one and three interviews down) you should not tell a recruiter that you’re available 24/7 to provide advice or answer any queries or questions for the employer.
If you do, you’re at risk of working for the company for free before receiving an official offer of employment. You’re also putting yourself in a tricky situation if the client was to turn around and find another more suitable candidate at the last minute.
Whenever you meet with a recruiter, you should aim to be as professional and polite as you can while also expressing interest in the role. This will put you in a much better position to receive interview offers and, eventually, receive an offer of employment.