staffmagnet was launched in October 2007 here in Washington, DC. It was the result of an overwhelming demand from founders in Washington, DC, Montgomery County Maryland and Northern Virginia who read my personal blog and decided that I had a refreshing approach to recruiting. Back then I was writing a lot about how terrible job boards were and how creative recruiting could accomplish a lot more. I have not used a job board since around early 2008 after I conclusively decided that job boards are where the terrible recruiters live and work. I am writing this post today because yesterday I decided to test the current state of the job boards by putting my personal resume on Dice, Monster and CareerBuilder. I know people who do tests like this using fake resumes. Some even go so far as to apply for a job using a fake resume to see what happens. I don’t think this is necessary or a good idea. The responses that I have started getting are overwhelmingly bad. It is much worse than it was the last time I ran a similar test to see what the candidate experience is like. After less than half a day I feel compelled to write about this and to ask job seekers everywhere one really big favor: It is true that some really bad recruiters haunt job boards, don’t judge a book by another’s cover. I personally hate job boards and here at my firm we do not use them.
It could not be worse. In half a day the recruiter resume that I posted has resulted in some pretty awful emails from recruiters, marketers and sales people. The honeypot email address that I used (only) for posting my recruiter resume to Dice, Monster and CareerBuilder has:
1. Been signed up for two newsletters unrelated to recruiting (with no opt-out option).
2. Solicited for a webinar related to insurance sales.
3. Been solicited for C++, Java and other completely random programmer jobs that do not even have keyword matches.
4. Been receiving invitations for Drupal developer jobs.
This is only the beginning I suppose, but really? Is it that hard? The obvious answer is NO.
So, if you have ever put your resume on a job board and found yourself being harassed or solicited by people who should not be allowed to use an email account or who have zero common sense then please note that that was your lookout for singing up for a job board account not mine. I am not going to apologize to you in behalf of recruiters, marketers, or sales reps who are complete failures.
If you are a developer then you would have a similar problem if you hired someone that did something really stupid you would fire them. You work really hard to avoid hiring bad peers and developers. I am the same way with recruiters – I work really hard to avoid hiring bad recruiters. I also work really hard to be the best at what I do.
Here are some examples of what came back for a RECRUITER’s RESUME with no mention of Java, C, C++, Django, Insurance, Data Scientist, Sales, Car Dealerships, etc. No phone calls to the Google Voice number I used (YET):
“I saw your resume on Monster.com and would like for you to consider a sales position with Bob Bell Ford. You may not be aware, but people with various backgrounds and career experiences can adapt their skill sets to enjoy a successful career in Automotive Sales.
Interviews will be held on Monday, September 15th but no later than Tuesday, September 16th between the times of 10:00am and 6pm. During the interview, additional information will be provided including details on earning up to $75,000 in your first year.
“PLEASE REPLY BACK USING THE EMAIL ADDRESS PROVIDED”.
INSTEAD PLEASE REPLY DIRECTLY VIA EMAIL TO firstname.lastname@example.org
The subject line should read: BOB BELL FORD
In your email please confirm which day you are interviewing, the dealership you are interviewing with and your contact information.” (note: sent at 12:36am)
“I’m an IT recruiter at agency name removed, the nation’s premier IT resourcing agency. Our expertise in the industry allows us to match major Media, Finance, Retail, and Healthcare companies with top technology talent, and we want you!
There is immediate need for your expertise. One of our clients has an open position, and I think you could be a great fit!
Please review the job description below, and let me know what you think. Is this a role that you are interested in hearing more about?
If so, send me your most up to date resume in Word format!
Title: Program Analyst / Data Scientist“
“I’m emailing you regarding a position in our Aflac office in Fairfax, VA. Your resume was selected because it includes words or phrases that indicate you have the qualifications for which we are looking. I am seeking self-starters, positive thinkers, and goal-oriented people who can define and implement a business plan to achieve top-level production.
I would like to invite you to our Open House so that I may meet you to see if this could be the right fit for you. I would love to find someone that wishes to be in a management position at some point in time. The person I am hiring will be responsible for making personal business visits to owners of companies in order to improve their existing benefit plans.
We are a Fortune 125 company, a worldwide leader in its field and one of America’s greatest corporate success stories. Aflac offers high financial potential, a stock bonus plan, awards and incentive trips, and strong team support. Training consists of continual education from Aflac University, formal classroom product-knowledge training, and practical field training.
If you are interested in attending an Open House and learning more about us, please use the hyperlink below to set up a time for you to attend an Open House.
Click here to electronically schedule an Open House.”
“Subject Line: Confirming Receipt of Your Resume
Just a quick note that we recently noticed your resume on one of the job boards.
We’re keeping our eyes open for positions that may interest you – now or in the future.
In the mean time, we encourage you to follow-us on LinkedIn which is our main communications tool for:
. Posting our newest positions – consulting assignments and direct-hire with clients
. Industry news about emerging technologies, marketplace trends, industry best practices
. Project One sponsored events, ie: Executive Roundtables, Google+ hangouts, webcasts, open houses
. Quick polls and surveys to gauge what’s trending in the marketplace
. Networking opportunities for meeting & interacting with people that may assist you
“I came across your resume within our database at agency name removed today and your skill set appears to be a good fit for a Graphic Designer opening with one of our Teaming Partners in Arlington/Reston, VA. I have included the requirements below if you are interested please send me a Word resume and give me a call at your earliest convenience.
To keep abreast of what’s out there, follow us on LinkedIn”
“I just found your resume on careerbuilder.com and I was impressed with your professional experience. I would like to set up some time for you to come into the office to learn more about our company and the positions we offer.
Our job offerings may not be in the same market as your current experience, but if you are looking for a change – your skills may be a perfect match for our company.
A small group interview is a great way to learn more about the position, and to answer any questions you may have. If you would like to schedule one now, please do so using the link below.
If you would like to opt out of receiving emails about this position in the future click here.”
I did not know that signing up for a job board meant opting into someone’s spam, but I guess for this agency it does.
“My name is Megan, and I am a customer service representative with CareerBuilder. Based on your experience and qualifications, I thought you might be interested in this opportunity with Liberty Tax Service. Please click here or on the link below for more information.
Tax Representative – Liberty Tax School” (Message 2, Day 1)
“Based on your experience and qualifications, we thought you might be interested in this franchise opportunity with Liberty Tax. Please click here or on the link below for more information.
Tax Business Owner – Franchise Opportunity” (Message 1, Day 1)
“Please allow me to reiterate that I chose to contact you either because your resume had been posted to one of the internet job sites to which we subscribe, or you had previously submitted your resume to Axelon. I assumed that you are either looking for a new employment opportunity, or you are interested in investigating the current job market.
If you are not currently seeking employment, or if you would prefer I contact you at some later date, please indicate your date of availability so that I may honor your request. In any event, I respectfully recommend you continue to avail yourself to the employment options and job market information we provide with our e-mail notices.”
“This is name removed- Sr. Recruitment manager and I reviewed your resume on JOB BOARDS and was in touch with your sometime back & feel you would be a good match for this job and it will be of interest to you as well. Please send me your updated resume in MS Word format along with contact details, expected rate and the best time to speak with you. If you are already working with our organization then you can apply for this position only if your current contract is finishing.”
“I recently found your resume online and would like to learn more about your background. We are currently recruiting for the position of Agile developer (python, java other skills) and your qualifications appear to be a good match.
An Annapolis, MD fortune 1000 is seeking C++ OR JAVA OR Python AGILE Developer(s).
Position involves: web application development and mapping, using open-source software, and object-oriented programming.
To discuss this opportunity further, please send a word doc resume at your earliest convenience.”
“We found your resume and are currently seeking motivated professionals to work part time during weekends on both Saturday and Sunday from approximately 11-4:30 representing a technology product, at top a home improvement retailer. We are seeking professionals who are familiar with current technology and products, have a knack for customer service and brand advocacy, and are comfortable interacting directly with consumers.”
“My name is David B(removed), I’m an HR Coordinator for AFLAC. I came across your resume on Monster.com and wanted to schedule you for a time to interview with us. My District Coordinator, Elizabeth D(removed), is looking for quality professionals to help expand business in the Northern VA/MD area, and she would love for you to speak with us about the opportunities we can provide. I believe that your extensive recruiting experience could translate very well into our business. If you are interested please reply to this email address…” (not the first pitch from Aflac, do these people talk to each other or use a lead or candidate tracking system)
Day 2 Update:
“I came across your resume and I wanted to check with you if you would be interested in a contract opportunity in California with our direct clients.
The details are as follows:
Position Type: Contract
Duration: 6 Months to start with.
Location: San Mateo, CA”
Note: This just goes to show that developers are not the only people who get recruiter spam.
“We came across your resume and we have the following Technical Team Lead Angular/ Mongo opportunity. If you are interested, please send me a Word copy of your resume.
Job Title: Technical Team Lead Angular/ Mongo
Location: Kansas City, MO
Duration:6months Contract to perm
US Citizens and GCHolders only
Great opportunity for a hands on Team lead or Manager. Current Web application is Microsoft .NET, SQL Server…”
I can get you directly in-front of the decision makers, if you are confident in your ability to perform in that meeting. If you are ready for a change, let’s talk. Visit<snip> to request a demo of our Executive Talent Platform. Information and the CV you submit there will come directly to me and I will review your credentials against the positions I have available and share the information with you through email or a phone call. Looking forward to helping you secure your next leadership position.”
21 Years in Private Equity/ Venture Capital”
Note: The above note from Wes is an example of the use of Careebuilder for purely spamming job seekers. This is an example of one of the worst things that happens on job boards.
“I came across your impressive sales experience and wanted to touch base because Liberty Mutual has an opening for an Experienced Sales Representative in the Rockville area. Our sales reps are responsible for achieving sales goals by cultivating relationships and building a book of business with prospective policyholders and local businesses.”
Note: The above message included an unsubscribe link. I am not sure where the confusion regarding the CAN Spam Act begins and ends with people like this.
My name is Hafeeza and I’m an IT recruiter at <company name removed>. Our records show that you are an experienced IT professional with experience in ______________. This experience is relevant to one of my current openings.
The opening requires ______________ in addition to the above skills. It is located in Alpharetta, GA.
Direct Client Requirement
- 10+ years development experience.
- 7+ years core server side java programming experience.
- Strong knowledge of Object Oriented Programming and common design patterns.
- Experience designing and developing apis/web services, CXF, SOAP, JAXB Bindings, JSON, RestFul Services.
- Experience developing in a highly transactional, multi-threaded application.
- Able to understand logical and physical data models, and develop SQL queries.
- Ability to analyze, solve problems and work with the team to identify and fix the root cause of the problems (be it programmatic or performance).
- Have worked in an Agile environment such as Scrum or Kanban with experience in a Test-Driven Development environment
- Working experience with source control management tools such as SVN and Git.
- Comfortable developing in a Linux/Unix environment.
. Knowledge in _______ is a plus.
If you are qualified, available, interested, planning to make a change, or know of a friend who might have the required qualifications and interest, please send me your resume and contact info ASAP, even if we have spoken recently about a different position. If you do respond via e-mail please include a daytime phone number so I can reach you. In considering candidates, time is of the essence, so please respond ASAP. Thank you.
Hafeeza <name removed>
APN Consulting Inc
Note: Please allow me to reiterate that I chose to contact you either because your resume had been posted to one of the internet job sites to which we subscribe, or you had previously submitted your resume to ………………. I assumed that you are either looking for a new employment opportunity, or you are interested in investigating the current job market.
If you are not currently seeking employment, or if you would prefer I contact you at some later date, please indicate your date of availability so that I may honor your request. In any event, I respectfully recommend you continue to avail yourself to the employment options and job market information we provide with our e-mail notices.
<company name removed>
Hafeeza <name removed>
Business Development Executive”
Note: the last one is quite possibly the best one yet. Was this one from a zombie recruiter?
And all of this was AFTER having to go through fake ITT and Devry Technical Institute signup forms to get the resume in place on Monster.com. It is almost as if signing up for a job board is like failing an IQ test.