I have to say, I have been a bit bogged down and late at returning calls, being pulled into too many directions lately, which is why my writing has slowed. Even though I have not been following up the way I would like with my candidates who are in process with me, I am still making an effort to be personal and detailed and if necessary apologetic. Yet, from job seekers, those passive and active alike, I am unimpressed by many.

Just in the last 2 weeks I have seen some atrocious responses both on the phone and via email regarding job postings. People, how many times do we have to tell you, write down the jobs you are responding to so that when I call you THE NEXT DAY or after the weekend, you know who the heck I am or can at least pretend!

Here are the email responses that I have seen from sales professionals in the 65-100k range responding to a direct email that has an extremely detailed job description with salary, benefits, industry and expectations in the 350+ word job posting. I point this out only because I know that there are a lot of scam and BS job postings and emails that get sent out, which is why I TOOK MY TIME to be as detailed as possible. So in return here is what I got (and these were people with good resumes):

  • I’m very interested in the attached information. Please let me know the next step.
  • I’ll talk to you!!
  • Hello–  I am interested in this position.
  • when is a good time
Please let me clarify that all 4 of the above were in response to very long, detailed emails that included my name and not ONE of these candidates addressed me with my name. They read what they wanted to and most likely responded from their phones. THEY did not sign their names or include their phone numbers which means that I had to go back to CareerBuilder to look them up… well guess what YOU MOVE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST THAT WAY! Oh yeah and this is to assume that your email address comes over with your name or that I am going to search you by your email address.
Let me also say that the one fragmented sentence response is RIDICULOUS! Get a standard cover letter and copy and paste it and put my name in it at least! We know you are using it to send to all of your employers, that is ok, it makes us feel better.
We are looking for you to appear a bit interested, share some brief, but specific statements of why YOU would be good in X POSITION IN X TYPE OF INDUSTRY, or what ever it is you are responding to. If this is the type of follow up you have, seriously you are raising concerns as potential employees and I haven’t even spoken with you yet.
So I am not going to dig back through Careerbuilder to find you again, yes I most likely saved you in a folder or put you on my work list, but still, your lack of investment in the process makes me think you are flighty. A recruiter can be working on anywhere from 10-50 different jobs in all types of areas and requirements, move yourself to the top by selling yourself on the fact that you want the job. A recruiter doesn’t want to sell you on a job, they want to talk to you about your experience first, understand your expectations and experiences and then talk about the opportunity if it fits.
Do you know why they do this? So that you can’t tailor your answer to what you think they want to hear. It isn’t because they hold the key to some secret box with all of the jobs in the world, they just don’t have the time to dig through the fluff to get to what you are really after.
Even if you have 3 interviews this week and the job they are presenting is #3 on the list, if it is a job  you would like to hear more about then put your best foot forward if not, you don’t have a shot.


Views: 3991

Comment by Sandra McCartt on November 1, 2011 at 2:02pm

Perhaps  another problem being exacerbated by people being told that mobile is the way to go.  The other little detail that is driving me nuts is sending an email to someone, getting one of these cryptic messages back but they have their email set so it does not include the original message.  How do you even know a few days later what you responded to, does  everybody live in a "me" world where they think they are the only person on the planet with whom others communicate.

Comment by Danielle Powers on November 1, 2011 at 2:27pm

Or when they respond with a Yes, I would be interested but don't sign their name, include their resume or any of the other information we have requested!




Comment by Sandra McCartt on November 1, 2011 at 2:39pm

And their email address is meathead@gmail.com  Why job seekers cannot figure out that for a job search they should have an email address that is their name so at least their correspondence can be found quickly.  If it's a common name try johnSmithAtlanta.  Searchable by name and location  and please it's so simple to save your resume as JohSmithresume instead of "myresume"  Why they can't think from the other side of the desk is just weird.

Comment by Cindy Houston Hazen on November 2, 2011 at 10:34am

AMEN to every point you made!! Every one of us in the recruiting field deal with these same issues every day. Thank you for taking the time to detail this so maybe a few job seekers will take your advice and increase their chances of being interviewed for a position. Like you, I am amazed when a supposedly professional responds in such unprofessional and lazy ways.

Comment by Darryl Dioso on November 2, 2011 at 10:35am

Amen! Can't stand when I call someone on a role and the reply is a simple "Yeah?" or "Who are you again?" Lovely. Is this the way I am assume you'll be replying to your future sales prospects for our client? #goodbye

Comment by Melanie Benwell on November 2, 2011 at 12:04pm

I have seen the EXACT same thing. So frustrating!

Comment by Melanie Benwell on November 2, 2011 at 12:09pm

However, it does help to separate the wheat from the chaff. These lazy job seekers make our jobs easier, by disqualifying themselves so early in the process. 


Comment by Brian Christopher on November 2, 2011 at 1:13pm

I am happy when canididates act like this. It save me more time up front then at the end when they do not take the offer.....

Comment by Evan Mignogna on November 2, 2011 at 2:01pm

Very frustrating, often I pause in disbelief as to what their thought process was, if any before I ask the question, can you be more specific - whether by email or phone.  Then I get to the point of being amused, that someone could really be that clueless, yet still be a "perfect fit" (as they always say at a minimum) and sharp enough to qualify for this detailed and challenging position description, without saying why.  Reminds me of when you're driving down the road, and you just can't believe how many bad drivers there are out there.  Many of the things that bad drivers do, they do cluelessly while thinking they are making life easier for everyone or doing a favor, out of politeness or expediency or safety or whatever.  "Oh, I'll yield to you even though I have right of way", LOL, to be polite and mess up the flow of things for everyone, for example.  I like the people who understand the rules of the road (career search dynamics), and actually have an intuitive and intelligent understanding of the underlying physics and throughput of vehicles crowding the lanes of life together.  Okay, maybe I'm reaching a little, but I actually thought of this while commuting to the office today, after thinking of the last conversation I had on a candidate call just like this.  Thanks for the post!

Comment by Tony Palm on November 2, 2011 at 2:08pm

Hmmm, got whine?


While I understand your frustration, imagine how it feels to the average candidate. He/she applies to several jobs, is diligent in understanding the req so spends time reviewing and re-writing the resume to reflect same, hits send in our ATS, only to sit by the phone forever wondering why . . .


About a month ago I responded to a unique job posting that had so much repartee and downright fun in the description I felt obliged to respond in kind. My cover letter was well crafted, took some time to write, and reflected the cavalier nature of the job description. If you’d care to see the original JD and my response, I’ll happily do so in private, I wouldn’t wish to ‘out’ this particular organization. Send a request to tony@tonypalm.com.


Of course my point is, we all fall short of the mark sometimes; some more often than others. However, Melanie’s comment about easily separating the wheat from the chaff does make a good point.


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