Let me just take a minute to talk about a little pet peeve of mine. Now, when I'm looking for a new job, I normally update my resume on the major job sites (Monster, CareerBuilder and HotJobs). Almost unfailingly, the next day I'll get 15-20 calls from "recruiting companies" or "placement services", which are nice names for corporate headhunting services. The services themselves can be a great help because they have access to job listings you won't find anywhere else, but sometimes the representatives leave bad impressions. I'll file these in three categories:
The Mysterious Hit-And-Run – This is the person who calls, leaves a voicemail (because, especially at work, I have a policy of not answering my cell phone if I don't recognize the number) with only their name, company, contact number, and that the have "a job I think you'd be interested in" or "a job that might be a good fit for you". When I have called them back, I've found that almost a quarter of the time, they really don't have a job they are looking to fill, but just want to get you working with their company (I actually went in for an interview with a recruiter once, only to find there wasn't a job opening at the time…boy, that one did not sit well). The rest of the time, they seem reluctant to give details about the job. In my opinion, if you're looking to get details on my experience, I expect job details as well. Let me decide if it's a good fit for what I want. By the way, I've gotten an increasing number of these via e-mail as well, with the shortest maybe being an e-mail entitled "Job Opportunity" with only "Please call me." and the recruiter's e-mail signature in the e-mail body. I didn't call him back.
The Geographically Impaired – So I take the time on the career sites to list that I'm not interested in relocating, and what does that get me? Only 3-4 e-mails a week from people who are offering contract work (all under a year in length) in cities I counldn't commute to if I had a private jet. These people never get a response from me because they're illiterate or lazy, and I'm not really interested in working with them.
The Reacher – This is the person who focuses all their attention on something you did once for a class or internship but haven't worked with for years. For example, I've worked very basically with ASP .NET, enough that I can read the code and follow it, but not well enough to do any serious development with it. However, I still regularly get inquiries about jobs with it because I list it as like the 12th programming language on my resume. So either they're just looking for a warm body to fill a spot, or there's a major communication issue between the cilent and the recruiter. These e-mails usually find the same treatment as spam. DELETE.
Maybe I'm just a detail oriented person, but I like it when I can actually get some information up front to decide if an opportunity is even worth looking into. I'm sure I'm not the only one!
But all that said, I have had the pleasure or working with a few excellent recruiters who have provided the details that I wanted, and did so happily.
So, did I leave any group out? Have you had any experiences one way or another?