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.
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 Monster.com 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
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....
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.