Job Seekers Beware: Don’t Burn Bridges

Published:01/28/2016 | Posted by

As 2016 kicks off, all indications show that this year will continue to be robust for high demand skill sets. However, our experts have seen a growing trend relating to the way candidates are conducting themselves in the current job market.

If you’re on the hunt for your next job, it can be very easy to get caught up in the excitement of having multiple employers wanting to hire you. When you have choices, picking the best job opportunity can be daunting. However, while you may be flattered by your increasing value in the market, make sure you act like a professional throughout the process. Like the old adage says, “you will meet the same people going down the ladder you met going up”.

As an active member of the business community, be mindful of how you relate to potential employers and recruiters. You never know who they may be acquainted with, and a bad experience with you may get communicated to others and affect your current or future employment.

Here are a few wise moves you that will help you avoid burning bridges and receiving bad back-door references from an employer, recruiting firm and/or investors (such as a private equity or venture-backed firm):

Be authentic –

    • Tell employers and recruiters if you are entertaining multiple job opportunities. This will help them understand your needs and whether there is a sense of urgency on your end. It may even get you through the hiring process faster and help you potentially negotiate a better offer.


  • If there is a blemish on your work history, you’re more likely to progress in the hiring process by being completely upfront about what happened. Lying about it will make them question your trustworthiness and, more often than not, will immediately end your candidacy if they find out the truth through some other means.


  • Be open and set clear expectations right from the first interview about salary, bonuses (current and upcoming), and your true availability to start a new job. This will avoid any misunderstandings leading to a better experience for all.

Uphold your integrity – Do what you say you’re going to do. Don’t take a job if you are not fully committed to the company. While you may deem it acceptable to take a job while negotiating a better deal with another company, this will not sit well with the employer and/or recruiter and will severely damage your standing with them and their network. Once you accept a position, people are counting on you to show up.

Be responsive – Recruiters and employers interpret your response to e-mails and texts as a sign of your level of interest in a role. If you want the job or simply to move to the next phase, show your enthusiasm by remaining flexible and highly responsive. Most employers want to hire people who not only have the skills, but also really want the job.

At the end of the day, the most important professional advantage you have is your reputation. It can take years to develop a good one and one bad decision can permanently harm it. When past employers speak highly of you, new ones will want to hire you. The reverse is also very true. So, make sure to do the right thing as you consider job offers to increase the positive things being said about you and improve your odds of being hired by the companies you want to work for.

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