When Interviewing Becomes Worthless: Dumping Your Recruiter

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Jan 22

The first step in becoming a cubicle warrior is landing the job. Let’s be real – finding a job is tough. You spend hours perfecting your resume, writing the perfect cover letters, crafting eloquent emails to recruiters, and then – you wait.

Finally, after what seems like eternity, you get the interview.

Cue the stressing.

Sound about right? There’s no denying that interviewing is intimidating. You have one shot to impress a recruiter, who seemingly holds the fate of your future in their hands, and God knows you can’t scare them off.

What Happens When You Want to Get Rid of Them? 

If it hasn’t happened to you yet, trust me, it will. It has happened to me plenty of times, but the first time was the hardest.

My senior year I was being recruited as a marketing manager for a local company. The job description sounded amazing and the first interview went great. I didn’t see any red flags until the second interview, when the company president spent most of the time rambling on about the problems they were encountering in marketing and the company’s inability to meet deadlines. I was a little put off by his comments, but told him I would consider the position. I mean, how could I pass up the opportunity to be a marketing manager right out of college?

It got worse, though. I was soon being bombarded with emails from the company; emails riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, nonetheless. It didn’t take long for me to realize I did not want the job.

I had to dump them. It was hard; I was turning down a job when I was still so anxious to find one. I had to remind myself that even if I was desperate, I couldn’t accept a position I wouldn’t be happy in. In this case, the company’s lack of professionalism drove me away, but there are many other caution signs to look out for as well.

If you encounter any of these problems, it may be time to think about dumping your recruiter:

  • The company’s values don’t match yours
  • They’re playing the waiting game and not getting back to you when they say they will
  • You’re not willing to relocate as far as the job requires
  • You’re not in love with the company
  • Your recruiter is just not a great HR professional
  • You receive a better offer elsewhere. In which case, congratulations on becoming a cubicle warrior!

Whatever the reason, should you decide you want out of the recruiting process, it is time to end the relationship with your recruiter.

Here’s my advice on dumping your recruiter without any hard feelings:

Let Them Know As Soon As You Decide

It’s only fair. If it were you being dumped, wouldn’t you want to know ASAP so you could move on? Even if this isn’t the job for you, you don’t want to burn bridges with the company by halting all communications or leading them on.

Thank Them

Show your appreciation for everything they’ve done for you by thanking them for their time and for choosing you.

Be Honest With Them About Why You’re Choosing Another Route

Just don’t be too critical. If it’s a personal conflict, your best bet is to keep it to yourself and tell them that it’s not the right fit.

The point is, it’s perfectly OK to dump your recruiter if you don’t think you’ll be truly happy in the position. Just remember to do so tactfully, respectfully and professionally before moving on with your job search.


This is a guest post by Sarah Landrum, a recent Penn State graduate turned Cubicle Warrior and career blogger. You can connect with Sarah on her blog or tweet her @SarahLandrum.

Photo by David Blackwell.

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.