Quondam Dreams

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Note To Recruiters, Re: Taking You Seriously

Hi, recruiters. I know it's been a while since I've written to you, but I've been busy not working.

Now, I know it's not your fault that the job market's slow, even for eminently employable people like me. I know it's slow because lately, I've been getting pitches for the same position from two or three recruiters. I've found that I have more success by having one person push for me than by allowing my potential employer be spammed with my resume. (And by "success," I mean, "ever hearing from someone about this position again". Lowered expectations, I have them.)

So what might make me go with one recruiter over another? Here are some sure-fire ways to make sure you're not the one who could potentially get a commission off me:

Use of "LOL" in email. Just don't. Ever. Especially in a business email. If we've been working together for a while, I'll let a well-placed :) slide, but "LOL"? Save it for IMs to your friend from college.

Hotmail email address. Ideally, you should have an email account from whatever company you're representing. If you're freelancing, then you really should take the time to register a domain name. But if for some reason you really do need to use a free account, then use Gmail. You can do much more with it than you can with other free services, and it doesn't put ads on your messages. (Jury's still out on Yahoo addresses. My current thinking is that they're fine for the job seeker, but I'd rather see a recruiter that's researched which service will give them the most bang for their non-existent bucks.)

Unintelligible voice mails. No-brainer, right? You'd be surprised.

Unidentifiable area code. I debated whether to include this one. I'm big on telecommuting, because it's better for the environment and because I can wear shorts if I feel like it. But the fact is, I'm going to give more weight to someone with a local or easy-to-pinpoint area code. A local number is an indication that you know the market; an out-of-area, but well-established, area code means that you're more likely to be working with an experienced recruiting agency. It could also mean that you're in the middle of Iowa and are savvy enough to get yourself cell phone with a Los Angeles area code, but at least you've put some thought into it.

Obliviousness to geography. Used to be, I only had to contend with recruiters who didn't understand that from my residence, a ten-mile commute east can easily take three times as long as a commute north. Now I'm contending with recruiters who are trying to sell me on "local candidate only" jobs that are 600 miles away. When I get multiple pitches like this, they're usually from different people at the same company. That company goes to the bottom of my priority list. A group of people who don't talk to each other, and make the same stupid mistake? Next.

I want to work with you, dear recruiter. But let's not waste each others' time, 'kay? 'Kay.