Why you shouldn't be a jerk to a recruiter.


Recruiters can be so pesky, I totally get it.

Having been one for almost a decade, I know firsthand that plenty of job seekers and professionals view our trade much like they do "lawyers" or "used car salesmen."

And some of us earn that reputation. We do.

But as tempting as it may be? If you are a job seeker with an active resume posted online (e.g. Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, etc.) you absolutely cannot be a jerk to a recruiter who calls you, with good intentions, to see if you might be a fit for the position that he/she has available.

This is not some bozo cold-calling you.

YOU have advertised yourself there. YOU have invited people to connect. Therefore, YOU cannot be a jerk (unless the recruiter is a jerk first, then all bets are off.)

So anyways...

Today I dialed up a decent looking (on paper) candidate who had just posted his resume online a couple of days ago. From my assessment of his resume, he's recently quit or been laid off from his job.

As in, he has no job.

I'm a recruiter within the exact market he works (robotics). I have at least 2-3 jobs available that would be very appropriate for his skill set. With really great companies.

Unfortunately, I didn't have opportunity to discuss any of these positions with him. I didn't have opportunity to discuss his situation, goals or any of that.

Why not?

Because he was a royal jerk.

"Why are you asking me this? It's all right there on my resume."

"What am I best at? My resume speaks for itself."

"What do I want to do? Are you even looking at my resume?"

At this point, I politely ended the call. And promptly blacklisted him from any future opportunities through our agency.

Had he been one step more rude? I may have even dialed up a couple of my very favorite clients (the hiring managers at the companies he may wish to work for) and suggested they keep an eye out for this guy.

And not in a good way.

So my key points here are as follows:


  1. If you're posting your resume online, you are inviting recruiters to contact you. 
  2. Some of them will be great, some will pester the hell out of you. Deal, or take the resume down.
  3. The good recruiters? We will be extremely dialed in to your industry and to the key players in your industry. Our relationships can help you. They can also hurt you.


I recognize that job search can be incredibly stressful, especially if it's not by choice. But there is truly no good reason to be mean to recruiters if you are the one who invited that call in the first place.