Dear Recruiter: Don’t Do This

Dear Recruiter,

My name is Jessica Howell, and I have applied for the role of [Insert Any Job Title Here] on multiple occasions over the last six months. In fact, I’ve seen this role posted every three weeks since December 2008.

It’s really starting to piss me off, actually.


Great guest post on Cheezhead from a freelancer looking for full-time work about the things recruiters do wrong.

Just on the other side of this screen, there’s someone who has responsibilities to fulfill and goals to meet. A person who probably stayed up really, really late for the uninterrupted time to craft a cover letter and resume specifically based on the job posting that you created.

A person who, if you do call to talk with them, may be caught off-guard. Of course they have their cell phone on—they can’t possibly miss your call—but they must continue about their daily lives. And if you think your job posting is the only one that they’ve applied to in the last 30 days, you’re sorely mistaken. I’ve offended more than one recruiter who has called me. .. When I’ve been forced to ask, “I’m sorry, who are you and where did you say that you are calling from?” or “Where did you say you came across my resume?”, I can immediately feel the chill in the air.

This hits home—even the most organized person is not going to have their paperwork/computer/e-mail in front of her at all times. Assume that jobseekers—even, nay especially, the ones pounding the pavement 8 hours a day—have other things to do and are doing them. Treat them like humans, not numbers, otherwise, who knows the damage you could do?

I have more than one friend who has changed his or her buying decisions based on experiences with companies while they were job-hunting. So, just think about that. Think about your non-response to our inquiries and repeated re-posting of one job description, and how that could affect you, or your client’s, brand image. Because there are some of us who are taking note. And while we may be down and out right now, we won’t be for long.