Tag: open_letter

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 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 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

An open letter to the Kansas Department of Transportation

Dear Sir or Madam:

I was recently very disappointed to see that your state does not make your official road map available at the rest stops, unlike every other state I’ve ever driven through. I make it a point to collect road maps from every state I drive through, and was unable to procure a road map from Kansas.

Now, I realize that, with Kansas being a state where the only industry is agriculture, and agriculture being a low profit margin business, your state is trying to avoid unnecessary overhead of supplying maps at the rest stops. This is understandable, especially considering the fact that almost no one ever wants to visit your state, and thus would have no use for a road map of Kansas. In fact, when the shortest path between places people actually want to visit happens unfortunately to fall through the state of Kansas, travellers almost never venture out of sight of the interstate, and no one needs an official road map just to navigate interstates.

So, on the surface, not making road maps available in the rest stops seems like a wise decision. However, I advise you to consider the following benefits of supplying roadmaps at your rest stops.

Kansas is a large state, in the sense that it covers a large quantity of square miles and in no other sense whatsoever. Should a traveller make an unfortunate wrong turn, he or she could get lost and end up miles away from familar roads, and thus be forced to spend unnecessary time in Kansas. Having roadmaps available in rest stop would give such unfortunates a chance to correct their position before any significant psychological damage occurs.

Furthermore, Kansas is one of the Fifty States, and thus the legal equal to every other state (at least on paper). So, unlikely as it might seem to you, there are actually people who want items associated with the state of Kansas (only to complete the collection, of course, and not on account of any merit of Kansas itself).

Finally, it’s likely that very few would ever bother to take a roadmap; after all, besides collectors and people prone to getting lost, who would really want one? And while people prone to getting lost are likely to take a map, they’re almost certain to return it at the final rest stop, unopened and in mint condition (since there is no reason to actually look at the map unless unfortunate wrong turn occurred). Other than that, you can rest assured no one would take any maps of Kansas. Even thieves wouldn’t take them, since thieves prefer to take things that have some value. Therefore, supplying maps to rest stops is pretty much just a one time cost, with a tiny upkeep.

In light of these considerations, I would suggest that there is, in fact, some slight demand for Kansas roadmaps, but not enough to bankrupt the state (which is admittedly a rather small number of maps). Therefore, it should be no problem to provide this common service to the people who would use it.

Thank you.

Carl Banks

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