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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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"?