Stupid Job Search Mistakes: Treating Recruiters Like the Enemy |


Stupid Job Search Mistakes: Treating Recruiters Like the Enemy |

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

You may think you’re being tough when you do this but you’re just being foolish. You can do it more easily.

How Do I Follow Up on an Application When I Haven’t Heard Back for 2 Weeks?

Today is a stupid job search mistake. I need to clarify, because some of you will jump all over the title for no reason. But you think I’m going to be an advocate for this profession? I’m not. But it’s the mistake of treating recruiters like they’re the enemy.

Now, obviously, there are stupid agency recruiters. For many years, I was one of them. After all, when you start off in recruiting, you’re not particularly good. At least I wasn’t and any of the beginners I worked with weren’t particularly good at the beginning. And on the corporate side, they’ve got their own version of slick going on, where they’re trying to maneuver you into situations that aren’t necessarily to your benefit. And you know it. Let’s get clear. 

You know when one of these people is trying to maneuver you or not, are trying to maneuver you, and you don’t want to be in that box. The long and the short of it is it’s not that that they’re the enemy. It’s all parameter testing on their part. And do you have the strength to stand up to them in a way that’s non confrontational?

So would you take $50,000 less?

Oh, I wouldn’t do that and just laughing, because it’s a game that they’re playing. Because some people will. As I said in another video or two, I had a client who, when they made offers would offer less than what they had approved. But they knew some people like to negotiate. So, they always kept it in their hip pocket.

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For you, don’t treat them as the enemy of anything. Be forthcoming with them about what you’re willing and unwilling to do. It’ll save you time. If you’re willing to take a little bit less, hey, keep that in your hip pocket, too. But they’re not the enemy. They’ve got a job to do, just like yours. And you don’t have to like them. They’re not going to be your friend. That’s true of agency and corporate recruiters.

And after you’re on board, how often do you think you’re going to run into them? And you don’t have to be a jerk. You don’t have to act like a bully. You don’t have to act rudely.

FEELING DEPRESSED About Your Search? Struggling? Feeling Fatigued?


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves careerJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2300 episodes.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a discovery call at my website,

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7 Responses
  1. Jen H

    maybe they would like to NOT IGNORE PEOPLE WHEN companies have the upper hand. I can’t tell you how many recruiters I spoke to 3 to 3 1/2 years ago that i never heard from again. and now hey whine that people don’t get back to them….. treat people like crap when you have a choice and when they have a choice, they treat you the same way you treated them. not hard to figure out… just takes using your brain

    1. Jeff Altman

      No argument. I’m sure you’ve also spoken to some good ones, too. I must point out to you that there people who do your kind of work who are incompetent and never returned calls to make when I did search. It’s true in all professions. It’s easy a target recruiters because they’re so visible and, sometimes, because of different ethnicities than some people in the US. Competent people, decent people exist in all professions. Same with incompetents. There is no need to be rude ESPECIALLY

    2. Maurice Levie

      Jeff Altman Jeff, I actively read HR and recruiting blogs, and all of them follow a predictable curve, roughly 9 months to 18 months behind the curve in a growth market, and in a down market they all race to the bottom.
      A typical good recruiter will keep getting my attention even when he/she changes agencies. However, as you have stated numerous times, recruiters don’t work for you, and keeping that in mind is the only way to stay sane. 😇

  2. MisterTutor2010

    I was laid off June 2023 and have been looking for a job for the past three months.

    Most of the recruiters I’ve dealt with remind me of the NPCs in GTA 🙂

    1. MisterTutor2010

      @JobSearchTV mindlessly repetitive, easily confused, and in some cases mildly amusing.

      I sympathize them because hiring managers use them as cannon fodder and lighting rods for job seeker rage and resentment.

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