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The Word No One Likes in a Job Search

By Tim Cotroneo

Over the past decade, there’s one word that no one likes, but seems to be gaining in popularity. Ghosting!!

Ghosting is prevalent in the dating world, in personal email and texting conversation, and it’s rampant in the job hunting arena. For recruiters whose career involves making matches between employers and candidates, ghosting is something that creates tension and sours relationships.

So what is the solution, or at least the alternative, to ignoring the people you encounter during the job hunting process?

The Simplest of Solutions

So often we are hesitant to share information that we think is the opposite of what someone wants to hear. Here’s the deal, if you are working with a recruiter, he or she would much rather that you are honest and forthcoming, rather than staying silent.

We live in a world in which nearly everyone is attached to their phone. At the grocery store, at the fitness club, and even dining at a restaurant, people don’t hesitate to pick up. So the idea that someone who is actively seeking a new job would suddenly lose their phone is hard to comprehend.

It makes little sense when a job hunting candidate won’t respond to someone trying to help them achieve their goal. If you need time to access your situation, or take care of personal priorities, there’s a 99 percent chance that the recruiter will understand. Here’s your win-win solution, tell them where you are at and that you aren’t interested, or you have a better offer. If timing is an issue, say you need a few days or weeks.

How Do You Want to Be Known in the Business World?

There’s a good chance that in a few years, or many years down the road, you’ll be searching again. A recruiter keeps detailed notes on their experience with a candidate. Think long-term! How do you want to be perceived in your chosen field of endeavor?

You have two options every day, be nice or not so nice. It’s a busy world out there. Yet we all can devote a minute or two to keeping our professional reputation stellar.

If you are in the enviable position of fielding multiple job offers – then please share this information. You don’t need to say who that other company is, just that you need some time or that you’re grateful for the second opportunity, it’s just not right for you .

Put Yourself in the Shoes of the Ghost

The bottom line is that ghosting is a good idea only on Halloween. For the balance of the year, it’s best to not trick the people you deal with during your job search. Treat them as you’d like to be treated. Thanks.

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