Grave Mistakes: Avoid These Frightening Job Search Behaviors

Posted by Ashley Jones
grave mistakes

While ghosts and ghouls might be haunting the streets, there’s one place you definitely don’t want to spook anyone – the cleared job market. Looking for a job can be a frightful experience, but remember, good manners never go out of style.

Recruiters don’t want to be haunted by bad job seeker behaviors. So, let’s cast a spell on some spooky habits to ensure you don’t give your recruiter a fright they won’t forget!

Don’t Ghost Your Recruiter


Ghosting, the practice of suddenly ending all communication without explanation, is a ghastly behavior that has unfortunately found its way into the job search world. Imagine the shock your recruiter experiences when you disappear into thin air. Don’t be a phantom candidate! Even if you decide you’re not interested in the opportunity, let them know where you stand by sending a polite follow-up email. Employers sometimes refer back to notes on candidates in their database. Don’t let your actions come back to haunt you!

Don’t Haunt Their Inbox

While it’s essential to stay engaged, haunting your recruiter’s inbox with numerous emails or calls can do more harm than good. Avoid bombarding them with inquiries every day. Instead, give them some time to respond. If you don’t hear back after a reasonable period, send a gentle follow-up email expressing your continued interest. If you’re not sure when to follow up, it’s helpful to set expectations upfront by asking when you can expect to hear from them. That way, if you haven’t heard from them by X day, you’ll feel comfortable reaching out at that point.

Politeness is Your Best Potion


Remember the magic words: “please” and “thank you.” Whether it’s an email, a phone call, or an in-person interaction, politeness goes a long way. So be sure to send thank you notes after meeting recruiters and hiring managers, whether you met at a Cleared Job Fair or a formal interview. A gracious attitude showcases your professionalism and leaves a positive impression. So send out those thank you notes within 24 hours.

Be Mindful of Your Online Presence

In the age of technology, your online presence is your digital ghost. Recruiters sometimes check social media profiles and professional networks like LinkedIn. Make sure your online presence is a friendly ghost – professional, respectful, and reflective of your skills and experience. Remove any haunting content that might scare potential employers away. And lock down any profiles you wouldn’t want public.

Dress to Impress, Not to Frighten


When attending interviews or professional events, it’s important to dress appropriately. While October might be the time for spooky costumes, job interviews are not the place to showcase your frightening fashion choices. Choose professional attire that reflects the company’s culture and demonstrates your seriousness about the position. When in doubt, ask your recruiter what’s appropriate. And even if you’re attending a virtual interview, please wear pants!

Don’t Haunt Multiple Graves

Applying for multiple jobs at the same company might seem like you’re increasing your chances, but it can backfire. Recruiters can see right through generic applications. Tailor each resume and cover letter to the specific job you’re applying for. Quality over quantity is the key – it’s better to apply thoughtfully to a few positions than to haunt the entire job board.

Gratitude is a Treat, Not a Trick

trick or treat

Finally, always express your gratitude. Landing a job is a significant achievement, and your recruiter plays a part in that journey. Send a thank-you note after you’ve been hired. Acknowledging their efforts not only shows your appreciation, but also leaves a lasting positive impression for potential future opportunities. If you had a referral or anyone else in your network that provided help during your cleared job search, remember to thank them as well. Close the loop and say thanks all around.

By casting away these haunting habits and embracing professionalism and gratitude, you’ll not only enhance your own job search but also contribute to a more respectful and courteous job market. Happy job hunting, and may your cleared job search be as sweet as a bag of candy.


  • Ashley Jones

    Ashley Jones is ClearedJobs.Net's blog Editor and a cleared job search expert, dedicated to helping security-cleared job seekers and employers navigate job search and recruitment challenges. With in-depth experience assisting cleared job seekers and transitioning military personnel at in-person and virtual Cleared Job Fairs and military base hiring events, Ashley has a deep understanding of the unique needs of the cleared community. She is also the Editor of ClearedJobs.Net's job search podcast, Security Cleared Jobs: Who's Hiring & How.

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This entry was posted on Monday, October 30, 2023 9:00 am

3 thoughts on “Grave Mistakes: Avoid These Frightening Job Search Behaviors”

  1. I’ve experienced the opposite where employers and recruiters ghosted me without responding to my applications. This has happened on ClearanceJobs but mostly on

    1. Nate, we understand candidates face ghosting sometimes as well. Unfortunately, all we can do in that case is control our own actions as job seekers to set us up for success. Targeting your resume to the job description, reaching out to your network for contacts at the company for a possible referral, or networking with someone at said company at a Cleared Job Fair are some ways to help ensure your application is seen and responded to. Good luck in your job hunt!

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