My last entry dealt with slow responses from companies which ultimately could cause them to lose their primary candidates. Today, I am going in the opposite direction and sharing ways a candidate can flush their chances away and I actually have a story where someone pretty much did just that.
Not long ago, I received an email with a very enthusiastic introduction as to why a candidate was perfect for a job that I posted (actually, she was not a close fit but that's for another day) and why I should make her the first person I called.
However, she told me not to call her for a few days because she got clumsy and flushed her cellphone down the toilet and was waiting for a new one to be delivered. She told me to email her or call her cousin who lived in the same house and would yell for her to come to the phone.
Some of you might say she showed a lot of positive energy but I feel she gave me too much information. A better approach would have been to simply state that her cellphone was not working at present and best methods are to email her or leave a message with her cousin who would then contact her. Most hiring managers and recruiters do not need to hear all the details as we have heard so many stories they all kind of blur together. Honestly, candidates with long stories attached usually do not result in positive outcomes for me. Again, I know there will be dissenters to this opinion but I have been in the staffing field for almost 30 years and base my thoughts on personal experiences.
Another example of providing too much information came from a candidate who stated that he could only be reached between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m. for live conversations because his job did not permit the use of cellphones and his wife insisted on total quiet after 7 p.m. so they could have private family time. This was a rule she had enforced for the past ten years since they were married. This rule seems a bit odd if she wants to help her husband get a better job but people will be people and that is fine. My concern is many hiring managers might see this as weird and also have concern if the job involved periodically being on call after hours. The better route would have simply been to request call backs in that 2 hour window and assure potential employers that he would respond to all messages within 24 hours.
Honesty is wonderful but sometimes too much information is harmful. Think carefully about what information you offer up before flushing your chances away!