Recruiting - The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

I just started subscribing to Microsoft's Job Blog - I figured it might have some info related to CareerCup (my own site related to interviewing, with lots of technical interview questions).

The most recent post gives a Top 10 No-No's when you contact a recruiter. The basic points are:

  1. Do your homework. Call with relevant specific questions.
  2. Customize your letter. Address it to me.
  3. Don't treat your recruiter like they are stupid. They are your advocate, if you want them to be.
  4. Know when to back off.
  5. Don't lie.
  6. Don't make excuses like "I'm sick."

Good advice. From an engineer's perspective, let me give some advice to recruiters (yes, you'll notice the high degree of overlap):

  1. Call your relevant positions. If I'm a Software Engineer at Google who already turned down a development position at Microsoft, I'm probably not interested in your testing contractor development position in Everett. Sorry.
  2. Customize your letters to me. And please spell my name right.
  3. Tell me how you got my resume. Did you find it on my blog? On another website? A recommendation from a professor? The more specific you can be, the less I think it's spam.
  4. Know when to back off. Yes, I'm speaking to you, Friendly Microsoft Recruiter. I really don't need to be contacted every month. You're hiring! I get it! :-)
  5. Call for a specific position - at least if you want to increase your chances of being interested. I'd have to be pretty desperate for a job to be excited to hear about a "development" position at some unnamed company - and is that really the person you want?
  6. Don't call me for a position I already have. Ok ok, this only happened once, but it was still pretty funny:
    Recruiter: "Hi Gayle, would you be interested in a Software Engineering position at Google? We have offices in Mountain View, New York, Seattle, ..."
    Me: "um, I work for Google."
    Recruiter: "What do you mean?"
    Me: "I mean... I'm sitting here, as we speak, at my desk, in Seattle, at Google."
    Recruiter: "Oh."

  7. If you leave a voicemail, leave your name, number and company. Speak slowly and clearly. I recently had someone leave two voicemails and each time I couldn't hear the phone number. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have called back anyway... but still. My point remains. The same person also claimed to have sent me an email. She probably didn't spell my email address correctly.

Sigh... the fact is that this happens to the same reason that spam happens. Responses are low. Email is cheap. Personalization is expensive. What can you do?