Is poor etiquette killing your job chances? 

Etiquette It is with passion that we, recruiters, read through resumes that come across our desk. This is especially true when seeking candidates for a very specific job which is proving difficult to fill and where quality candidates are as rare as a diamond without flaws.

There are many ‘rough diamonds’ out there and available, but of course, each client believes they have the property and salary to attract the flawless…and the candidates always think that they are flawless and near perfection.

Sadly, there is hardly a flawless diamond around these days. I say this, not because of their professional background or experience, but purely basing my comments on a number of other factors; factors that are frequently overlooked by candidates and perhaps not considered important, however these are part of the overall package of the individual, the application process and a reflection of their character and professionalism.

Some recent bugbears include: –

  • Candidates who seem to have difficulty being able to differentiate between their first and last name when applying for a job. We understand this can vary between languages and cultures, but this is no excuse if you are applying for a position in English.
  • Displaying a general ignorance or informality not suitable for the business environment. Your CV/resume is a window to your professional achievements, but we really don’t want to read in detail about your passion for fly fishing, and that you were third in a beauty contest, when applying for an Executive Chef role.
  • An inability to correctly supply accurate contact details on applications – how hard can it be to provide a current phone, Skype or email address rather one that has been on your resume from 5 years ago, and changed 6 times since then.
  • An inability to read… Job adverts can be a little vague for many reasons, but there are generally some ‘must haves’ listed, so if you are Bartender from Bradford, it is unlikely you will suitable for that Japanese Chef position in Tokyo, so why waste your time (and ours!) by applying? (see our previous post on the subject below).
  • Employment details that are incorrect, inaccurate or downright lies… The benefit of the doubt is given for some artistic licence, but please… In the majority of cases, if you lie on your resume you will be found out, so if you are thinking of fudging your employment dates, don’t! A number of highly credentialed candidates have been instantly rejected for this simple error or mistruth – if you lie about this, what else is a lie?
  • If you include a photo on your application, as is still common in many parts of the world, please provide something professional and businesslike, not one that is 20 years old or your latest holiday selfie from the beach in Benidorm!
  • Grammar, please don’t get us started on grammar… a command of written and spoken English tends to be essential in most jobs these days. English is complicated, and allowance is given for some of the more complicated concepts, but it is important to get the basics right in a professional context. (see our further post on this subject –  Beware of the Grammar Police, detailed below)

Having said all of that, many would consider that these are minor issues, however it does tell you something about a candidate, and certainly influences that all important first impression.

We now come to our final annoyance; the elephant in the room – common courtesy and professional behaviour!  Here is a common example…

A candidate takes the time and effort to construct a compelling job application for their “dream” job. The reader reviews and considers the candidate worthy of initial consideration so attempts to make contact by phone, email, Skype or one of the myriad of other methods to communicate some additional information about the positon and to elicit some feedback to clarify their suitability.

It is here where the flawless diamonds are really separated from the coal. You would think that a candidate who has applied for a position and is then being contacted would have the courtesy to reply, whether it be yes, no or maybe? It is still fairly astounding how many people just ignore this attempted contact when their interest no longer exists or they feel the company/position/location or whatever, is not suitable.

One would think it simple common courtesy to reply, without requiring 25 follow up emails and SMS reminders, or are we expecting too much?

Life is busy, but if we can’t adhere to some simple concepts of courtesy and professional business etiquette in the hospitality industry, then we are lost…

Candidates should always be aware that recruiters keep notes so when the next opportunity arises they may not consider the individual based on their past interactions.

After all, It is the overall package that makes a candidate suitable and successful and become the recruiters first choice for recommendation.

For more about working with a specialist recruiter, see our earlier posts:-

8 ways not to engage with a recruiter…

Job adverts – has everyone forgotten how to read???

Beware of the grammar police – they may be reading your job application!

About the author

rsz_karl_faux_ccKarl Faux is a veteran Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm.
For more information about Karl and Elite Search visit and The Elite Hotelier

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: