Occasionally IT recruiters and hiring managers get calls or emails about jobs from a strange place: a job seeker’s spouse or parents. IT recruiting agencies and employers will get everything from initial inquiries, follow up calls or emails, actual job applications from an IT professional’s wife, mother, boyfriend, etc. While it may seem like this is a just a supportive gesture from a loved one, it can actually hamper one’s job search, if not a candidate’s reputation. Here’s why you need to make sure you are the point of contact for your own job search—as well as what your family members can do to help with your job search effectively.
Having your parents, spouse, etc reach out to employers and IT staffing firms on your behalf makes you look less professional and/or unmotivated. As with most other elements of the job search, there are basic expectations about who speaks for you. Professional norms dictate that either you or your technical recruiters submit your applications, follow-ups, inquiries, etc. Anything else will be confusing and make it look like you aren’t aware of this (and thus probably other) professional norms. Hiring managers might assume that if you have your parent or spouse call on your behalf, then you aren’t ready to participate in the workforce because you just don’t understand how to interact with employers.
Besides making you look unprofessional, a call or email from your parent or spouse will make you seem unmotivated. IT recruiting companies and hiring managers want you to make these calls and emails because you’re ultimately invested in landing new IT jobs. If somebody else is calling for you, it could look like you’re not interested enough to do it yourself. Especially in tech, where a passion for the work, the company, the team, or some combination of all of these is so imperative, you don’t want to present yourself as possibly disinterested in your own candidacy. Show you care about the jobs you’re applying to (or discussing with your recruiters) by making all calls and emails yourself. Don’t ask your spouse, parents, etc to do it for you.
Having your spouse or parents reach out to employers and IT recruiters on your behalf could ruin your reputation. The tech field can be a small place. Between the popularity of LinkedIn (which can help connect all hiring managers to each other) and the small number of qualified IT professionals who move around to similar jobs and companies, your reputation can be paramount. It’s very easy for a manager to do a back-door reference on you or for IT staffing companies to blackball you. Thus if you continually make a mistake, like having your parents call on your behalf about your job application, many people might hear about it. Even if you find a job now, you’ll likely be looking for one in the future. Don’t hurt your chances of finding IT jobs by becoming known as the unprofessional candidate who outsources their job search to the wife, husband, parents, etc.
What can a spouse, parent, or family member do to successfully help you with your job search? IT staffing agencies suggest that you tell well-meaning loved ones to help by doing a few things behind the scenes. A parent or spouse can find and send you jobs to apply to (while not completing the application themselves!), suggest companies you may want to apply to, or find IT recruiting firms you might want to work with. They can also help write your resumes and cover letters or practice for interviewers. Of course, as the candidate, you will have to be your own advocate. Employers and recruiters should speak with you and only you. But that doesn’t mean that your loved ones can’t help prepare you to interact with employers and recruiters. In fact, it’s often encouraged, especially when it comes to interview preparation!
AVID Technical Resources
AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.