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‘Error 404’: Recruitment process – Tips and Traps

The recruitment process is a two-way street, neither being the easier path to tread. In this two-part series, we’ve put together our lead recruiters’ experience with job seekers both online and offline.

Team member, Wadikee Buckmire, who has been around more than ten years with the Progressive Recruitment Specialist team has heard and witnessed firsthand some wins and bloopers with potential candidates, other recruiters and even employers.

The team currently works via a hybrid work-from-home model, and as such, our virtual connection has expanded and so too, our online interactions with job seekers and clients.

In this series, we’ll share the best practices and particular tips for the potential job seeker, regardless of their seniority, to better support their job hunt, communication, and job application from start to end.


Using social media to search and to be found

Social Media platforms, in the main, are a great and free tool to support your online job hunt and application process. As a job seeker, one should be aware of the pros and cons of these platforms which include oversharing of personal information, reference checks and responses (where applicable) to socio-political forums online.

Let’s do a quick checklist and introspection on how your social media profile lines up in the eyes of a recruiter or potential employer:

  • Are my tagged photos private or public?
  • Is my personal information private or public?
  • Is my username a representation of me professionally?
  • Would I hire me from looking at my profile picture? Can I be judged?

Make sure and avoid the traps that could potentially be a shortfall when looking for jobs. There has been an exponential rise—during and post the pandemic —where both job seekers and recruiters have used social media to apply and recruit candidates respectively. These platforms offer an insight not only into your potential employer and their company’s values, but provides a superficial glance of you as a possible employee.


Online job search etiquette

This tip-and-trap guide can be broken down into three parts.  When used correctly as a job seeker, you can avoid being blacklisted or categorised under ‘Spam’ by the company being applied to.


Telephone calls and social media direct messaging

Seeker: “Yeah, hello.”

Wadikee: “Hi there, my name is Wadikee from Progressive Recruitment…”

As a job seeker who has actively engaged in a current job search, one should be on high alert for incoming calls from recruiters and as such, telephone etiquette should be top of mind when taking calls post your résumé submission stage.


Emails and Email handles

A true representation of our efforts as a job seeker can be mirrored in the most overlooked piece of communication. Almost all job applications are requested online, whether via an online application portal or an email address. What remains a common thread is the requirement of an email address to ensure the employer can reach out to you.

With that in mind, if you’re a millennial or the generation before, cast your mind back to your very first email address.

Cringe-worthy right? or or

An incoming email can almost immediately signify the authenticity and credibility of the sender. Often as recruiters, the team at both JobsTT & PRSL have received quite a few second glance and eyebrow-raising emails originating from unique email addresses.

We highly recommend creating and using a standard email address that contains your first name and surname. If that is not available, opt to include your birth year or a maximum of four digits (birth year, favourite number, area code) that allows you to maintain the basis of your name in the email address. For example,


Spam applications and Résumé spamming

When applying for jobs, whether it be through frustration or desperation, our team truly understands how overwhelming it can be to apply weeks and months in succession with no positive feedback. One key tip to share with job seekers on the market is to resist the urge to engage in spam applications.

‘Spam applying’ refers to the frequent and mass applications to jobs where the candidate does not meet the minimum requirements for the job being advertised or is not experienced in the field.

For example, an entry level candidate with a secretarial diploma applying for the role of a Licensed Optometrist, where John Doe has very little to no experience or certification in this field. He has also applied for a bilingual telemarketing role – but is only able to speak English.

The old saying of ‘casting a wider net’ may work against the blind submission of résumés to various jobs (especially within one company at the same time), some we simply do not qualify for.

Self-diagnose your multiple job applications. Are they more quantity than quality? Are you spamming recruiters? Chances are your applications are being filed away as unqualified.

Be meticulous in your application and aim for a minimum 50 per cent of meeting the requirements of the job description. Pro tip: A solid CV= worth a read

CNBC network article ‘Matching half of a job’s requirements might be as good as matching all of them’ (2018) says:

“Typically, ‘knowledge-based, hard skills are a must-have’, says interview coach Carole Martin. If a job listing, for instance, requires a specific programming language or some sort of skill that’s essential to the role, it’s unlikely that you’ll be called in for an interview without this knowledge.”

Both skilled, unskilled, entry and senior level job seekers sometimes struggle to land their dream job in an ideal work environment. Be strategic in your approach, aim for the highest quality of your CV, while at the same time you have done your own research on the company to ensure they match with your values as well.


Need additional support in being matched or seeking advice on your next career move, regardless of your seniority? Reach out to us at to chat more.