Duuuuuude! Srsly?

   Yes, it's finally another post.  Been kinda busy lately.  I'm getting off my duff now because just I saw one particular recruiter, on LinkedIn, exemplifying one of the major things they always tell candidates not to do.  How seriously do you think a recruiter (or indeed anyone) would take you, if you showed up on LinkedIn, or some other place where you're supposed to Be Professional, such as using your real name... and signed up as The Dude, with what looks like a frame from The Big Lebowski as your profile picture?  Seriously?
Real screenshot of "The Dude"'s profile on LinkedIn

   Wow.  This really makes me want to do business with him... not!  I don't think I'd even go bowling with a buffoon like that, let alone let him talk me into a job, never mind hire him to hire other people.

   Well, okay, maybe if he does a really good job of it.  But no.  I'm going to change the name of the technology involved, but other than that, the entire text of what showed up in my email feed of the group was:

  • Group: COBOL
  • Subject: Senior COBOL Developer – 100% Telecommute
The Dude posted a jobSenior COBOL Developer – 100% Telecommute
   Yup, that's it, in all its glorious detail.  I clicked on it, and the LI post consisted entirely of a link to a posting on a recruiter's site.  I won't embarrass the REAL recruiter by saying what/where the post is, because he is decently professional; I've dealt with him before.  It's not his fault he has a lazy bozo for an associate.

   Luckily for him, LI automagically extracts a little bit of the text from the URL, so it wasn't entirely devoid of detail... but it may as well have been!  All the extract said was:
I’m assisting one of my associates fill his New York City client’s Senior COBOL Developer position. This is a full time, salaried, 100% telecommute Senior COBOL Developer position paying ...
   So all we see from clicking through to LI is that it's full-time and salaried.  We still have to follow it further to see decent details.  The guy couldn't even be arsed to copy some basics into the post.  As you loyal readers well know, one of my pet peeves is such information-hoarding, making candidates waste undue time finding out whether the job is even suitable to apply to... and in my experience, in such cases it's usually not.

   So, tip to all recruiters out there: not only should you be every bit as professional, informative, etc. as you demand we candidates be... but also make sure your associates are as well, before delegating to them.


Say What?

   Sorry for the looooong delay... I thought I was going to have a guest blogger fill in, and it didn't work out.  Oh well.  Anyway, on with the show.

   I'm going to take a bit of a side trip right now, from our perusal of typical direct initial contacts.  Why?  Because I came across an indirect one that was just so horribly bad, that this lazy hypocritical idiocy just cries out to be exposed!

   Suppose you are a recruiter, trawling through the new profiles on Monster or Dice or Careerbuilder or whatever.  I don't know what facilities they provide recruiters, but let's suppose there's some way to search for profiles tagged as having certain skills.  Suppose some candidate, whose profile clearly states that he is a Ruby on Rails developer, has a profile consisting entirely of something like:
dear friends i want a positions for Andriod developers , contact me at myname@myisp.com or call me at 123-456-7890 .for qualifications please contact me.
   Are you going to contact him?  Not bloody likely!  Leaving aside the punctuation, grammar, spelling, case, etc., he's hardly told you anything, only his contact info and that he's interested in an Android developer position (assuming someone hasn't just invented something called Andriod)... and that, while "raising his hand" for RoR slots instead.  (Don't worry if you don't know the difference, just realize they're different.  Very different.  Occasionally used together, but there's no particular connection.  More like peanut butter and cheese, than peanut butter and jelly.)  Doesn't follow directions, doesn't consider your needs, horrible English (while using what looks like a USA phone number), near complete lack of communication skills, a total train wreck.

   Now let's turn the proverbial tables.  Suppose you are reading LinkedIn, or some such business (as opposed to social) networking site... and you're reading one of the several Ruby on Rails groups (don't get me started on redundant groups), and find this gem:
dear friends i have a positions for Andriod developers with my direct client , contact me at bob@mycompany.com or call me at 123-456-7890 .for requirement please contact me.
   (Edited only to take pity on the lazy moronic jerk and not expose his contact info.)  And to top it off, it's in the normal Discussions, not under Jobs.  (At least, it was before I did my Good Deed For The Day and flagged it as a Job -- and as Inappropriate.  Too bad LinkedIn doesn't have user reputations for it to count against.)

   Raise your hand if you seriously expect anyone with any self-respect to apply to that job, from that posting.  Put yours down, Bob!

   And yet... this is the normal, accepted, even expected level of quality and effort from the recruiting industry!

   The poor shlubs begging for any help in finding a way to eke out a living are expected to make their resumes, cover letters, etc. as perfect as humanly possible.  They must convey all information the recruiter and client need -- but still be concise.  They must thereby demonstrate excellent communication skills, and command of whatever language it may be in.

   Yet recruiters regularly get away with not only ignorance of anything about the job itself (which can be forgiven as it's usually not in their actual field), but also brazen laziness, utter lack of communication skills, and blatant disregard for the time or needs of the candidates, or even anyone else trying to read the forums they're... well, let's call it what it is, the forums they're spamming!  (And by extension, blatant disregard for the time and needs of their clients as well!  Candidates get fed up and look elsewhere, making the slot take longer to fill.)

   Does this seem right to you?  Can you think of any semblance of an excuse?  Or are lazy buffoons like Bob doomed to fail, as badly as they already "#fail"?


Goose Sauce Part Deux: Location?!

   Let's continue working down our hypothetical emails.  Sorry it's taken me long to get back to this; blogging is a low priority for me at the moment, and I was trying to line up some guest bloggers too.


   Suppose the body of a candidate's cover-email, on an unsolicited resume, just said, "I have skills you might be interested in." -- and left it at that.  No resume, no position they're applying to, not even a category.  Maybe some introductory pleasantries before that, maybe a plea (or better yet instructions) to contact him after it, possibly a URL, but nothing useful, nothing that gives you any immediate clue what he can do, where, at what level, etc.  If you're lucky, maybe he (or the job board he's applying through) references what ad he's responding to, so you can look there... but still nothing really about him, certainly nothing to pique your interest.

   Or maybe he goes on and on about how awesome (brillant?) he is, but still leaves out major bits, like just what he does, or what he wants.

   Of course you'd just roundfile it!  Or if your ATS makes a profile for him automagically then you might mark it "don't bother with this bozo".  And if he contacted you again later, with more specifics, you'd see (since you're so organized) that it's the same person, and probably roundfile the new contact, possibly unread.  After all, he's already demonstrated that he's willing to waste your time.  If he really expects you to take the time to go see his web site, or his profile if you got it via a job board, or check whether there's even a web site at all at the domain of his email address, let alone assume it's his, without anything up-front to give any solid reason why you should bother... he's got another think coming.  Right?  Quite right!

   So . . .

   Now let's compare to what might be analogous in a recruiter's initial contact.  Perhaps it says only: "We have positions you might be interested in."  Or worse yet, imagine one from a recruiting agency, "We have clients you might be interested in working for."  Or maybe on and on with puffery like "Come join our awesome company, revolutionizing the business process leverage synergizing industry!" -- but nothing about what the recruiter wants to hire the candidate to do.

   Surely you would never do this, right?  Well then you, my dear non-rantworthy recruiter, must not be among the buffoons who send me about one every other week like this.  Even those who omit from the Subject line, but at least still put in the text, the fact that the job is out in Backobeyondistan, or at least far far away, or in some ancient programming language that will make your head asplode, or requires a TS/SCI+FSP*MIC=KEY clearance, get a pass from me on that -- after all, there's only so much usable space in the Subject.

   BUT . . .

   Would you do something very similar?  Perhaps in a slightly different medium, where a lazy recruiter can reach thousands of candidates at once?  Perhaps in some email list or web forum, that might make it clear what primary skill you're looking for, but still not telling us other vital details?  Not just things that might help us decide between offers, but things that would help us know whether to bother applying in the first place?

   Would you make us wade through large volumes of poorly formatted text (as in a typical JD, but that's another rant) to find the information?  Not even have it there, so we have to click a link to go to some job board to see the JD and hope to find it there?  Or make us copy the company's domain name, which you didn't even bother to make into a link, into our browsers, go there, find the Careers link, and trawl through the nigh-unsearchable and poorly formatted jobs there, only to find that you have bupkis of the slightest interest to us, like posting about what turns out to be ASP.NET jobs in Minnesnowta, to a C programming list for Florida?

   Many of you clearly would.  I encounter a few of these per day in assorted email lists, and on web-forums on LinkedIn and elsewhere.  If I have to ask you "Where is this job?" or "What level of what skills are you looking for?"... then you're already 95% certain of never getting me to apply to any job at/through your company.

   But of course, I'm preaching to the choir (and victims) here.  You've all seen it happen, either to you, or to (or from) your colleagues.  Tell us your/their stories.  What did you do about it?  How did/would you deal with that person/company in the future?  How would you raise awareness to prevent this oh-so-horrible tragedy from happening again?


Recommended Resource: The Daily WTF

   Just a quick note about a source of more "Tales from the Interview" -- exactly that tag, from The Daily WTF.  Check out that department at http://thedailywtf.com/Series/Tales_from_the_Interview.aspx.

   Meanwhile, we'll continue working our way along a typical (bad) recruiter's first contact email shortly.  I promise!


Stop SOPA and PIPA!

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