Some recruiters can be so dumb

published: Fri, 15-Jul-2005   |   updated: Thu, 27-Oct-2005
Helmsley Castle, N. Yorks

Possibly once a week I get an email from someone I've never heard of that starts something like this: "Here it is requirement details for Software Architect/Sr. Developer,If you are the right match for this requirement, Please forward the updated resume ASAP."

Yes, you guessed it, that was the exact first sentence from one of these emails. It just reeks of professionalism, don't you think? It makes you want to read on, breathless in anticipation, no? So, let's do it.

"J2EE application development (demonstrated ability to utilize third-party developed J2EE components required (5-7 years)"

Now this recruiter didn't just buy a million addresses from a spammer and is sending this out to everyone of those emails. Oh no, he harvested my name from Monster or Dice or somewhere like my web site, where there's a copy of my résumé. It's a pretty well-proofed document by now, I'd say. Every time I change it (and it's not that often) I spend ages getting the right flow of words, I spell-check, I grammar-proof. And nowhere on it does it mention J2EE. Nowhere. Why? Well, probably because I've never used J2EE. I don't even have a manual on J2EE with which I prop open some door or use on my chair when someone short comes to visit. So I don't even come close to 5-7 years.

Pressing on: "Prefer experience with SAP integration, Tibco product suite, and FileNet P8." Wow. I haven't a friggin' clue what Tibco is. "FileNet P8" sounds groovy but again completely unknown. And they're not in my résumé either. I just checked.

"Microsoft .NET familiarity a plus ..." Oh goody, something I can relate to! And it's in my résumé!

"... (but not required)" Bugger.

And that was one of the good ones. The recruitment email I received prior to that one started off with "Dear Jeffrey, It was nice talking to this afternoon here is the requirement." and went rapidly downhill from there. Me, I like talking to the afternoon too, but I have to nip into one of the conference rooms first and shut the door.

A couple of months ago, I got this email. It was almost too good to pass up. "I want to let you know of C# .NET Developer available in Colorodo Springs, CO." Cool. In Colorodo Springs as well, though I'm not sure where it is. I don't actually need such a developer right now, but if I do I'll be sure to let them know. Oh but wait, it goes on: "This is 6 months contract position with option to hire." Oh, it's a position they're looking to fill. With me. Ooh, I'm so excited. Let's check out the details.

"Candidates should have a strong working experience in developing 3-Tiered, Window`s forms-based applications in C# using SQL as a backend. The candidate should have experience in high traffic, transaction based application development with strong debugging and memory management skills. Should have worked on screens that enter/update data in large databases as well as reporting screens that fetch data from large databases. He/She should know and understand how to deal with set oriented relational tables, should have experience working with MS SQL Server 2000. The candidate should have good communication skills, and be able to trouble-shoot existing code as well as a competent developer. Familiarity with AMPL or linear programming is a plus."

Holy cow, some strong shit here. Must be a senior type position don't you think? "3-Tiered" (bloody 'ell, capital T 'n' all), "high-traffic", "transaction based", "set oriented relational tables", phew, the sweat is starting to stand out on my brow. Linear programming as well: I'd have to dust off my algorithm books a bit for this one.

Then came the kicker: "Payrate : $30/hr". How much? Let's see, for working a 2000-hour year (and that's pretty rough: 40 hours a week for 50 weeks, no vacation or sick time), you'd be on an equivalent $60K a year. And you'd have to pay your own medical insurance, etc. That's just so ... attractive.

One final one. This one really starts off well: "I saw your resume online and would like to speak with you about a great opportunity that has just become available. Based on your qualifications, it appears this may be an exceptional match to your background and to what you are seeking in a new opportunity." Fab, he's read my résumé. What is this position that's so well-suited, nay, "exceptionally" suited to me? Preen, preen.

"Blahblah Inc has an excellent opportunity available for junior to mid-level C# .NET developers in the North Denver area." Junior to mid-level? He reads my résumé and thinks "junior to mid-level"? Bugger this, I'm off to get a beer.