Like most IT folks, I get a fair amount of contact from IT business recruiters.  On average, about 10% speak legible English (American-style, bastardized, beaten and bruised English), while the remainder speak various dialects of Indian, Pakistani, and various places across the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia.  Most are very polite.  Some are in a hurry and don’t have time to be overly courteous, no worries.  But I have a few tips to share with you, if I may…

5 Rambunctious Recruiter Recommendations

  1. Read the resume first

    When you say “I read your resume and you seem to be a good fit…” for a position that has absolutely nothing to do with anything even remotely mentioned on the resume, the first reaction is to delete your email without reading further.

    For example, you happily fire off that email “Dear Anita Drinkrightnow!  Good news!  After reading your resume, I have a position where you would be a great fit!  The job is Junior Java Developer in Bowlscrubber, TX.”  Anita’s resume clearly shows she is a “Senior DBA”, and at no point in her resume is the word “Java” or “JRE” ever mentioned.  Guess who’s email just got deleted.

    You have time to talk on a phone, you have time to skim the experience section for just the position titles and locations.  And let me tell you, the really good recruiters know how to weave that into the first minute of a discussion.  “Hey Dave.  I see you’re working Fudgepackers LLC in Nowhereville, MT.  I have a fantastic opportunity at Unpackers Inc. in Nobodycaresville, MT, which is only 20 miles away from you!

  2. Check the locations.

    When you ask someone to consider a job that requires being “on site” and it’s thousands of miles away, you’d better be prepared to discuss relocation costs.  If not, then your message is deleted.

    If you’re going to lie about claiming to have read our resume, at least try to fake that you read the location of the most recent position.  Then use Google Maps (or whatever you prefer) to pinpoint that place in contrast to wherever the advertised position is located.  If it’s a few hundred miles away, you should hear a “ding! ding!” sound in your head.  That’s the “Tell them about the exciting relocation package, Jim!” alert.  If there isn’t such a package, at least play up the pay rate.

  3. Check the position level.

    If the resume shows “Senior” or “Sr.” in the most-recent position title, be cautious about shoving a “Hey! Check this out!” email in front of me with a “Junior” or “Jr.” in the title.  And if you do this and ignore the two previous suggestions, I delete your email and block you as spam forever.

  4. Rates are Important

    Do not bother to ask someone to contact you if you can’t discuss the pay rate.  Period.  And if you’re not up-front with regards to who has to pay for benefits (employer or employee) you add 50 GTFO points to the score card and a deleted email.

    If you’re a “serious” recruiter, you should take an hour to search Google for regional pay rates and costs of living.  For example, you call John Phistedtodeath about a job at Hydraulic Tampon and Incendiaries Research.  John lives in Oppressedville, VA where labor rates are lower than US average.  The position is in New York City.  You enthusiastically tell John that the pay rate is $55 per hour, without benefits and no relocation costs.  John is making $75 per hour in Oppressedville, as an FTE, with benefits and a lease.  I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

  5. Do Not Dragnet

    If you send out job offers with key words “Systems Administrator” when the position is “Insurance agent” you not only suck, but you should be beaten with a pepper spray can, and whipped with a chain made of razor wire.  You are what make spam filters necessary.

I realize that much of this disconnect comes from the constraints of whatever shitty software application is used to track position openings and potential candidates.  But still.


3 thoughts on “Dear IT Recruiters…

  1. Great post man! It’s amazing how often I recieve positions for ‘JUNIOR PRINTER ADMIN WITH DRIVING MUST HAVE OWN VEHICLE NO REIMBURSEMENT’. Have they even looked at my resume?

    Why do I even bother filling out profiles on recruiting sites if this is the quality of opportunities that come my way.

    I especially like recieving calls asking for my skill set, and then want me to pay my own benefits, with a one year contract to hire position. Who the heck leaves a fulltime job for a full reset and no security. So the job is a huge step backwards…and they propose a pay decrease too?

    When I hear a proposal like this, I assume the recruiter was repeatedly dropped down stairs as a child.


  2. Great article – and I believe you’re spot on. Unfortunately the people who need to read this article won’t. Most of the mistakes you discuss are based on effort. Most “recruiters” simply don’t care to get better, and even worse don’t care if they waste your time.

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