I get dozens of applications every day, and you would be amazed to see how many seemingly intelligent candidates do not follow instructions. If I had to put a number on it, I’d guesstimate 50% of applicants fail to send me what my clients request.
I used to give all candidates the benefit of the doubt…I would follow-up with them and ask for the information they neglected to send the first time. But I learned that those same candidates often still fail to follow instructions on the second (and third!) attempts, and worse – they frequently get belligerent about being asked for more information!
These are the same candidates who – if they make it to the interview stage – are difficult to manage. Consider this scenario:
You: “Are you free for a phone interview Friday at noon? If so, what’s the best number where you can be reached?”
Candidate: “Yes, that will work!”
Sigh. Now I’ll only throw the life preserver to candidates with very strong resumes, but I still file away the fact they didn’t send the right information off the bat.
All of this begs the question: if the candidate can’t follow instructions for a job application, how will that person perform on the job? Will they take direction? Will their work be sloppy? How will they treat your customers? It’s hard to say for sure, but the initial data points don’t bode well for their future as an employee.