3 Things You Should Probably Never Say to a Recruiter

Businessman leading discussion with colleagues

By Leah Arnold-Smeets

Recruiters have a unique position in the job placement world. In a nutshell, they have to build relationships with both employers and candidates, then they play matchmaker so that it's a win-win situation for everyone involved. Part of a recruiter's job is to get to know you (the candidate) and figure out what you have to offer and the best place to fit you. However, be careful not to make the mistake of assuming that these "get to know you" conversations mean that you and the recruiter are BFFs – because that's when the relationship will take a turn for the worse. Here's what you need to know.

There's a fine line between being yourself and being a little too open and honest with a recruiter. Remember, the recruiter is on your side, but you should always maintain a certain level of professionalism during your interactions. To prevent you from unknowingly crossing that fine line, here are three things you should never say during your communications with a recruiter.

1. Slang Words

As tempting as it may be to shoot off an "LOL" or an "OMG" to the recruiter, refrain from doing so in your email conversations, at least in the beginning. By using slang words or phrases, you run the risk of sounding unprofessional and foolish – which, last time I checked, aren't qualities employers look for in candidates.

2. Profanity

Ladies and gentlemen, this one should be a no-brainer. However, I do understand that there are always those few questionable candidates who have to go ruin it for the rest of us and drop a casual F-bomb here and there, like it's no big deal. Suffice it to say, it's never okay to use profanity when speaking to a recruiter. End of story.

3. Inappropriate Greetings/Salutations

When communicating in email, always use professional greetings and salutations to open and close your correspondences. In other words, refrain from using "Hey, [insert recruiter's name]!" as a greeting or "With love," as a sign-off. Instead, stick with the conventional "Dear Sir/Madam" and "Sincerely" for your emails.

The relationship between you and a recruiter is a two-way street and it should remain professional at all times. Consider your conversations with a recruiter as precursor to the actual interview with a prospective employer. If you should have any doubts as to what you should or shouldn't say, just replace the recruiter with the employer in your mind and you should have your answer.

Originally published