Tuesday, March 26, 2013
When it comes to job hunting, few moments are as stressful as the job interview. You have to face complete strangers who likely know more about you than you think. Even if you dealt with the recruiters before, it is a stressful moment. However, sometimes you are denied the opportunity to go to a job interview. This was not because you are unqualified, but because you were blacklisted.
The Bane of Job Seekers
The term blacklisted means you were marked as an undesirable hire by a given company. There are many reasons for which you can be blacklisted. You may have made an inappropriate joke, made a bad impression, or even submitted too many resumes to the same company. The worst part of blacklisting is that you might not even be aware that you have been blacklisted.
While there no common system for blacklisting exists between companies, many companies keep their own records of people did not wish to hire. It's quite easy to do with the variety of recruiting tools available to HR departments. Blacklists are not public and may block your application indefinitely. One of the most notable examples of that is a staffer who applied for work with a major American defense contractor. His application was denied because the Human Resources officer remembered him from an interview in 2007, where the staffer joked that he needs six days' notice on the mandatory drug test.
How to Avoid Blacklisting
While there exists no surefire way to avoid being blacklisted, you can take several precautions to minimize the risk and avoid being flagged. First of all, watch your behavior closely. Do not send out dozens of resumes to the same company. If you make it to the interview, avoid jokes while talking to human resources; be courteous, professional, and to the point. Do your research on the company beforehand and refrain from asking questions to which you can easily find the answer on your own.
Second, be honest about your qualifications. There is no faster way to become blacklisted than exaggerating or outright lying about your skills and knowledge. Your potential employer will verify your claims. Any falsehoods will work against you. Third, remember that you are not anonymous on the Internet. Anything you post on social networking sites, forums, blogs, and other websites can be found by a prospective employer. Hold yourself to the same standard as you do in real life.
It is also a good idea to hone your skills in areas not directly related to your education or professional experience. It is possible for a qualified, experienced software engineer to be blacklisted because he or she lacks presentation skills.
What to Do When You Become Blacklisted
If you do become blacklisted then it might be hard for you to lose that status. Usually, you will have to look for an alternative employer. However, depending on what caused the blacklisting, you might be able to find an alternative solution. Some companies may allow you to join for an unpaid try out to re-evaluate your performance and qualifications. Others might only blacklist you for a finite period of time.