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An Open Letter to all Job Recruiters

Dear the five or so job recruiters per day who try to contact me:

First of all, I would like to thank you for your interest. It is comforting to know that I always have options. However, several aspects of you methodology have been a source of irritation to me, so I thought I'd write this letter to make you aware of this.

  1. Please do not cold call me. I realize that calling the victim, er, prospective employee is the modus operandi of some of you, and that's perfectly fine. But, there a little problem here. You see, the resume I have up on has a contact preference set to "Email." And when that didn't work, I decided to put a line at the very top, right in the objective, that says "ATTN Recruiters: please contact me by email only, not telephone." But that didn't work either. I may have to remove my phone number altogether (which I don't want to do, because I would like someone I've communicated with to be able to refer to it to get my number).

    You see, it's really annoying to get 2 or 3 calls a day while at work, oftentimes when I'm at a meeting. Which brings me to my next annoyance....

  2. Ok, you've decided to cold call me. Why in God's Holy Name would you call me during work hours? Isn't that the worst time imaginable? "Hell-lo, Meester Bonks, my nay-yam is Hajib, er, Michael, I-ee om calleeng you on behoff of a large tech-no-loj-ee-cal firm. Do you have twoo meenutes to speek with me?" Um, yeah, sure Hajib, I'm sure my coworkers won't suspect anything if I shout my preferred job locations into a phone for the benefit of a guy in India with a bad connection. Which brings me to my third annoyance....

  3. Don't use non-native English speakers to recruit. You've outsourced your call center, your software division, your manufacturing, your accounting department, and so on. Fine, you gotta roll with the times. But if there's one thing you don't want to outsource to non-native speakers, under any circumstances, it's recruiting. Let's take a look at my thought process to figure out why. "Hell-lo, Meester Bonks, my ney-yam is Okmed, er, Matt...." Hmm, some Indian guy is calling me about a job. I'm not too familiar with the firm he's mentioning. I wonder if I should consider working for it? Well, let's see, what do I know about this company so far? Number one: They outsource jobs to Asia. Yeah, great first impression there, what American wouldn't want to work for a company that has a history of shipping jobs overseas?

    To be honest, I don't personally care about this so much; from a purely economic perspective it makes sense to outsource. And I am the sort that wouldn't exactly be crushed by unemployment. In fact, I'd probably volunteer if there were upcoming layoffs. But, a recruiter does have to talk about more varied things than a customer service rep. I don't mind talking to Hajib over a billing issue, but over a potential job is a little much.

  4. If you're not going to read my resume, please don't act like you did. All too often I get emails like this: "Greetings Carl, I have personally reviewed your resume and I believe you would be an excellent fit for this job opportunity. If you have an MSEE and 7+ years experience working with PLC, please respond with an updated resume in Word format." Um, dude? You just claimed in the very previous sentence that you reviewed my resume. I shouldn't have to tell you that I don't have an MSEE nor 7 years experience in anything.

    If you're going to send out mass emails based on keywords, fine, but don't be a pretentious fool by claiming you read my resume.

  5. Give me details about the job. My rule of thumb is that I don't respond to any recruiter who's failed to supply at least three things: a brief job description, a job location, and a description of the firm. This should be a common sense thing for a recruiter to provide. I get emails like this all the time: "We are looking for an experienced Python developer. Please call me if you are interested." Um, how the hell would I know if I'm interested or not? All I have to go on is Python developer. That's not a brief job decription. What kind of Python developer? What software domain? There's nothing about a job location or firm.

    Even a bit of information might pique my interest; for instance, I'd probably respond to this solicitation: "A medium-size aeronautical firm in Northern California that is looking for an experienced Python developer to write user-friendly interfaces for numerical simulations." Conversely, the tiny bit of information might be enough to rule out the offer, saving everyone's time. When recruiters don't volunteer this information, I assume they have something to hide and ignore it.

  6. Emailing me a tenth time isn't going to get me to alter my decision to have ignored you the previous nine times. If I don't respond, it's because I wasn't interested. Sometimes if a person is polite and emails me back for an answer, yes or no, I'll write them back to say no. But mostly these repeated messages are just spam.

  7. There's a reason that, although I live in Cincinnati, Cincinnati isn't listed among my preferred locations on my Monster resume. Hint: It's because I don't want to work in Cincinnati.

I think you for reading this, and I would encourage you to pass this on to any of your friends to that all may be enlightened.

Yours truly,

Carl Banks

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