“Please email me your CV and I will get back to you!”

“Can you please apply through our website and someone from our team will get back to you!”

“Keep an eye on the job boards and please apply if you find something relevant!”

“We will keep your CV in our files and get back to you once we have something relevant for you!”

“I will share your CV with my whole team and get back to you if we have something relevant for you!”

“I am talking to some more candidates and hopefully I’ll get back to you soon!”

Have you heard any of these statements or anything similar from your recruiters?

97% of the times, this means a ‘NO’!

“No, I am not interested in your profile.” Or “Please don’t waste your time, I am sure none of us in the office will be able to help you.” Or “I’m sorry but I don’t think you’re the best one we have.” Reason could be anything from your technical skills to your communication skills or from your experience to simply your attitude… but just get that right, guys… it’s a NO.

What’s your visa status? How long have you worked in NZ? No matter, what’s your answer, if their response is “Oh…ok, we will get back to you soon”

I’m sorry…it’s a ‘NO’.

You email the recruiter, call them, leave a voice message or leave a message with their colleague but they just wouldn’t get back to you and even if they do, they give you one of the statements above. I am sure you know by now, what does that mean… right?

Yes, it’s a ‘NO’.

As job seekers, we all have heard these statements from our recruiters which prompt us to ask two important questions. Why do they say all this and should they even say it in the first place?

Recruiters are saying it probably because they believe they are providing good customer/candidate service or just because their loyalty is toward the client and they can’t be bothered giving you the detailed feedback and waste their productive time in an unproductive activity or they don’t want to offend you so they opt for staying in a safe zone by being PC (politically correct).

A safe zone is a place where they have rejected you and they are still your friends. Instead of saying a direct ‘NO’ which is also rude and many of the job seekers do not even have an appetite for, they prefer to give you a sugar-coated statement. It’s a win-win!

Should recruiters say it? Well, I don’t know. I used to say it when I was a recruiter. There were times when you had millions of important things to do and you come across a candidate who is floating his/her generic CV in a hope of getting shortlisted. You can clearly see, there has been a zero effort from this candidate regarding this application. I got away, by saying I’ll get back to you. As a recruiter, I tried my best to make sure I gave best of service to anyone who was associated with me but I couldn’t. I had to use these statements and I have heard many recruiters using them.

Now, this then brings us to the third question, do recruiters want to say it?

No, I think a majority of recruiters don’t want to reject/insult anyone. Rejection, which is often taken very personally by job seekers, is hurtful but then who says we live in the ideal world? Don’t forget, even recruiters are human beings, they have their own set of challenges. Just like you want a job, they are also keen on filling a job. Just the way you promise to work your guts off if you were given a chance to work on a role, they are also committed to give the best candidate available for the role to their client, who by the way, also pays them for their services and don’t forget, one single role will accommodate only one applicant. Rest of all (everyone) will have to face rejection.

So, to the job seekers, here are a couple of my suggestions.

  • Don’t worry too much about what recruiters are saying and doing. Trust me, there are enough discussions, brainstorming sessions, conferences and trainings going on for recruiters across the world in pursuit of providing the best candidate experience. So, let’s leave them with what they are doing.
  • Stop being so naïve thinking you are close to selection when you hear any of these statements. Be smart in engaging with your recruiter to either get the right information or get a clear-cut indication for a follow-up using your strengths and without being rude; making sure you too are politically correct.

What happens:

Recruiter: Please email me your CV and I’ll get back to you.

Job seeker: Thank you, recruiter. I’ll email my CV to you right away.

The conversation ends here.

Job seeker feels, 'it’s a happy ending. The recruiter has asked for my CV…. great I’m a rock-star. I’m one step closer to my dream job. This recruiter is so good'.

Recruiter feels, 'nah man, this person is not even close to what my client is looking for'.

What should happen:

(Depending on your strengths, you could or should use the following content in full or part. Remember, this is just an example conversation. It won’t work for all of you!)

Recruiter: Please email me your CV and I’ll get back to you.

Job Seeker: Sure recruiter, but I would really appreciate if you could give me a tentative timeline to when you will get back to me?

Recruiter: Can’t say that right now, but I’ll keep you posted.

Job Seeker: I understand you guys have so much on hands. That’s why I was asking for a tentative timeline. It could take two or three weeks or perhaps more than that, right? What do you reckon?

Recruiter: Yeah, it could take two weeks.

Job Seeker: No worries, recruiter. Is it ok if I call you back on 17th of July (assuming today is 3th of July) to check the status of my application?

Recruiter: Yeah, you can call.

Job Seeker: Great, is there someone else I can or should speak to in your office if I can’t reach you on the 17th of July? Is this a good number to reach you? Can I have your direct/mobile number? What time of the day do you prefer for the call; first or the second half of the day? Is there something specific you want me to highlight in my CV? Is it ok if I can send you a LinkedIn invite, just so you get a bit of heads-up on my profile?

You can ask millions of more questions here. I know what some of you are thinking! “Recruiters would never answer these questions”. Yup, I know. That’s why I said, this content is not for everyone. However, as a job seeker, you must learn to listen and respond to your recruiter.

Have a big smile on your face, excitement in your voice making sure you’re speaking with your recruiter with zero rudeness and try to read between the lines with every answer you get from your recruiter and don’t forget, recruiter started by giving you one of these statements because you’ve fallen short in what was expected of you.

As a job seeker, it’s your responsibility to figure out where you need to improve and which are the areas that need immediate attention. Blaming the recruiters for your short-falls is fun but is actually stupid, isn’t it?

If you still feel, you’re getting one step closer to selection when you hear any of these statements, I am sorry, I think it’s time to go back home. Yup, there I said it, without being politically correct.