By Khalilah Starks

Everybody has pet peeves. Today, I’m going to talk about the things that job seekers often do that annoy recruiters. So, if you happen to do any of these things – stop immediately! Continuing with this behavior can only hurt your chances of landing a job.

Pet Peeve #1: Arriving to the interview too early

You’re probably wondering how this can be a problem. The early bird catches the worm, right? Well, not exactly. Arriving late is a quick way to get a “no thank you” letter. However, recruiters and hiring managers hate when you arrive too early because it can make them feel obligated to shift things around to accommodate your early arrival, even if you don’t request it. The company wants you to have the best experience possible during the recruitment process, which includes trying to keep your wait time to a minimum. Arriving early will only get them flustered and could have an adverse effect on your interview. Instead, arrive 5-15 minutes early. If you arrive at their office too early, go to a coffee shop or stay in your car to do some last minute preparation.

Pet Peeve #2: Following up too often

You’re excited about the job. I get it. But there’s a fine line between enthusiasm and stalking. I’ve had applicants call me for status updates so frequently after being interviewed that it felt like stalking – I call it Employment Stalking. Needless to say, these people never received an offer of employment from me. If you’re going to annoy me before you get the job, you’ll surely annoy me after you’re hired. After interviewing, you always should send a thank you letter. Don’t feel bad if they don’t respond. Often recruiters don’t respond to thank you letters because they get so many. However, many will give you few brownie points for doing so. After you send the thank you letter, feel free to follow up in a few weeks – unless they’ve told you that the process will take longer. If you still don’t hear back, give it another 3-4 weeks, and follow up again. At that point, if you still haven’t heard back, they’re probably not interested or something is on hold with the position. Most recruiters agree that it’s quite alright to follow up monthly to find out the status of a position.

Pet Peeve #3: Monopolizing a recruiter’s time at a career fair

This pet peeve is all about being courteous. As you plan your strategy to “wow and impress” company representatives at career fairs, you should know that they hate for you to take too much of their time. Not only does it prevent them from speaking to as many candidates as possible, but it’s extremely rude to other career fair participants who wish to speak with the company as well. When approaching a recruiter at a career fair, introduce yourself by giving your 30 second pitch. At this point, the recruiter will ask you a few questions. When you get the opportunity to ask questions, keep it to your top 2 or 3 questions. The key is quality over quantity. Ask questions that show that you’ve researched the company. That will impress them more than unleashing a firing squad of questions.

Pet Peeve #4: Sending friend requests to recruiters on Facebook

If you’re going to use social media, you’ve got to understand the rules. Facebook is personal space for many. People share things like family and vacation photos – personal things that you don’t share with just anybody. While Facebook can be great for networking, it shouldn’t be used as a tool to get to know a recruiter that you don’t already have a relationship with – unless the recruiter specifically says to connect with him or her on Facebook. That’s what LinkedIn is for.