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?