Judging from the deluge of emails and calls I and my friends get for
jobs I think it should be obvious I/we would not be interested in and
the fact it often takes multiple exchanges just to get enough info to
figure this out, I'm creating this page of tips to help recruiters be
more efficient. Note this is not intended to be rude or based on
personal bias. This is compiled from the rants I hear from fellow
developers (and even a few recruiters) in meetings and happy hours that
I happen to agree with.
In case you are curious my current personal record is 13 calls
in 1 hour on 9/8/11 16:30-17:30 a few days after I updated my profile
on 1 of the job sites.
Profit conscious and "green" companies, not to mention self motivated
employees, understand the benefits of having people work from home.
Those positions tend to fill quickly so if you have a job that is a
telecommuting position you should lead with that.
Just to be clear, telecommuting is working from home not a
satellite office or travelling to an office on a regular basis. Note I
have met a few people that prefer to work in an office but most are
willing to work for less if they can work from home.
If the job is on-site see the next few tips.
Most people cannot move
Over 90% of the jobs I get (and others say they get similar) contacted
about are for out of town jobs. Unless the person you are contacting
has expressed a wish to move or their resume shows them moving around,
odds are they are
not interested in moving or cannot move. The possible exception
might be if they have been off work for many months and are about to go
bankrupt but as a rule you are wasting your time contacting them even
if it is a "top of the range" paying job.
People either like to travel or (like me) they cannot. Again if any
travel is involved you want to get that in up front. Probably a good
idea to add it to your search criteria too. That is why the boards ask.
Put it in the subject
Like I said above, people are being buried in emails and calls from
recruiters not to mention other sources so get the high points in the
subject of the email or in the voice mail. First where is it? Town name
or if the town is big enough to have multiple zip codes use that. Next,
term as in 6mths for a 6 month contract or C2H for contract to hire or
direct. Lastly the job title. This should infer the dominate skills
required and skill level while keeping the overall length under 60
characters if possible in emails so that all the relevant info is
visible without opening the email. In short you want someone to feel
like this job is or is not a match from the subject. Even if it is not
a match this conveys an air of professionalism that will get your email
read first when it is a match.
Be sure to include in the email body the skills and years of
experience in those skills they are looking for.
Extra points for quoting a pay range.
Also if you leave a voice message be sure and follow up with
details in an email.
Match me up
Again a little time up front will save you
a lot of wasted time. Take me for instance. I've been getting
paid for programming since 83 and have been primarily writing Java code
since 97, yet many of the jobs, even the in town jobs, I get contacted
for are entry level, for skills I have not used in years or just do not
pay near what I am making. For example there is no point in contacting
me about a job doing primarily PHP programming, system administration,
QA, drafting ect. unless they are paying the equivalent of the high end
of the scale for a Java programmer. In short do more than email
everyone that has
a key word in their resume. Not only will this help keep you
from being added to email and phone filters but cut down on time wasted
on replying to people that will never make it past a first interview.
I should probably note here that if you do send out a mass
email you should filter by name to avoid sending someone multiple
copies of an email. These days people often have multiple email
addresses that funnel to one account. With people getting so many scams
and spams these days it has become almost habit to mark multiple copies
of the same email as spam.
This is not selling time shares
This might be the thing I hear complained about most.
really no point in trying to talk someone into a job they are
not interested in or is a step down from their current job, try to
manipulate them into putting you before their current job or any other
sort of hard sell techniques. As a rule good programmers are busy
people. Unless the person is really desperate for a job, probably not
the kind of person you want representing your agency, they will most
likely mark your number to go directly to voice mail as soon as they
Trying to pump people for manager and co-worker contact info
falls in this area as well.
Everyone seems to have their own slant on this one. Most seem to have
some sort of criteria for accepting link requests. Personally although
I have been advised against it by several people, I have no issue with
accepting friend / link requests on LinkedIn from anyone that is at
least 1 of the following:
Note I generally assume if you are sending me an invite to join
LinkedIn there is no point responding to tell you I am already on
Instead I route the email to trash which the email system makes the
destination for future emails from that address. See above about email
load. Update: I looked at some of these recently and discovered half of
them were fake / scam emails. Just another reason to delete them
- Is local to Austin
- Has submitted me on a job
- Is someone I know personally