Depending on your relationship status, you might be familiar with the idea of ‘ghosting’ in the dating world – which is when someone you’re interested in stops responding to your texts, calls, IMs, emails, etc.
The phenomenon has recently expanded to include professional relationships, specifically the tenuous connections between applicants and potential employers. Job seekers are apparently feeling emboldened by a low unemployment rate and are ignoring overtures from potential employers due to a lack, or loss, of interest.
If you’re a busy, in-demand professional, it’s understandable that you might lose track of correspondences. However, it’s important that you don’t ghost on people in your professional life, if only because it can hurt your career. It’s also just bad manners to ignore someone who wants a response from you.
Ghosting on a job offer
We all get contacted by recruiters about job openings from time to time. It is a good idea to tell them that you’re not interested and why. However, not doing so isn’t the end of the world.
The real problem is ghosting on someone after you’ve shown interest. If you respond to a request and especially if you have any kind of interview, you need to see it through. That doesn’t mean that you need to get to the point where you’re getting an offer for a job you don’t want. It does mean you should tell the recruiter or hiring manager when you have lost interest and you should so in a professional manner.
Interestingly, hiring personnel often say they’ve had people who show interest, ghost for several weeks and then reach out to renew the conversation. This gives the impression that you’re holding out for something better to come along. Understandably, recruiters say this behavior basically eliminates someone from their hiring process. Furthermore, the names of these ‘ghosts’ stay on the mind of people in the organization and the organization may avoid dealing with these individuals in another capacity, possibly as a point of contact at another company.
People would rather hear “No” than have a candidate avoid their messages and calls. If you do ghost on a hiring process, your professional standing will probably only get better when you clearly demonstrate honest communication.
Ghosting on a potential connection
Networking can be an odd social experience. There are times that a new networking connection works out well and there are times when it fizzles out. However, a network connection going cold doesn’t mean you have license ghost that person. When they try to get in touch with you again, you can tactfully decline and say you’re too busy. Likewise, if you have asked for or agreed to be introduced to someone, you should respond or your reputation will be damaged.
At Career Concepts, we help job seekers make decisions that are in the best interests of their career and personal life. If you’re currently looking for career assistance, contact us today to find out how we can help.