Recruiters… Please read the following…

19 Aug

Since this is my new home for my professional face, I figured I’d share my rules for recruiters here.

They won’t be popular – just so you know right up front.  You can find them also posted on my website under "Recruiters" so it’s easy to find.  I came up with this because of the avalanche of job requests that happen whenever I post a resume on line.  Seems to help weed out a lot of the cold calls.

So without any further adieu, my Recruiter Rant…

When I was younger, I was often rude to people who wasted my time with inquiries for jobs I clearly was not going to be interested in.
I am now older.  I am still rude to people who waste my time, so don’t waste my time.

If you are a recruiter.. And you have  not read my resume you are wasting your time and mine.

I will know if you have it and have read it.  I will know because I will ask you questions – and you will not know the answer and I will more than likely be rude to you.

So before you contact me – some rules.

Rule #1 – Read my resume.
If you don’t have time to read my resume you obviously don’t have time to represent me to your client.  If you haven’t got my resume – tell me "Hey our firm just sends us up a summary – can I get a copy from you?".  I’ll send it over – you can read it.  It’s really easy.

Rule #2 – DO NOT Call Me with No Actual Job to Offer Me Just to See If I’m Available.
Please … I know me … and… I will be Polite the FIRST time it happens… if it happens again – Our Conversation Will Not End Well. Trust me on this one thing I implore you!
Your company doesn’t let me cold call them hitting them up for jobs because it wastes your time and keeps you from doing things they consider to be important. 
I have the same policy. 

Rule #3 – No Means No.
The walls of my office at home are lined with the heads of recruiters who thought that when I said, "No" what I really meant was "I’d like to spend another half hour on the phone with you.".

Rules #4 – 10… or something like that…
Let’s just cut to the chase…  A list of things you can be sure… I will not find acceptable:

  • Take a pay cut.
    If what you’re offering me is less than what I just made.  Why on earth would I take the job?

  • Move to Ohio, Texas, Washington D.C., or any place that is hazardous or requires me to wear a bullet-proof vest.  I just moved out to the Pacific Northwest.  It was bloodly well expensive I’m not doing that to two teenage kids again, and especially for places that are either too hot, too poluted, too well known for urban crime  or have nothing to offer my family I can’t find here.
  • Accept a 3 month job.
    (Exception to this is if there is more money involved than any sane person would refuse.) Three month jobs don’t help me or the employer.  To justify taking it I have to charge an outrageous fee to them and it’s not worth it to me profesionally.  If the client really really really needs help and can afford it I MIGHT consider it.  But it would be really rare for me to do that.

  • Work for a start up whose checks don’t clear the bank.
    I don’t care who their Angel is, or where they got funding. Unstable is unstable. My bank doesn’t take that kind of a risk – why should I?

    If you want me to work for a start up – then I get paid to accept that risk.  It’s going to be bloody expensive because I’ve actually come to work at startups with the doors locked, a sign on the door from the bank and all of us standing around going, "Has anyone seen the boss?". 
    Big risks – Big rewards that’s how it works.  If you’re looking for someone to do free work "until things take off", you’re talking to the wrong guy.  1 out of 5 startups succeed – which means I have a 4 out of 5 chance that I’m working for a company that’s got more issues than a comic book, and more drama than a day time soap opera.

  • Listen to you after I’ve hung up on you … twice.

    I have very limited flexibility on that last one.
    That being said I am somewhat flexible on most things.

    So If you can’t match it in money – then wow me with how much I’ll enjoy the job, as long as you respect me enough to know what I do, what I’ve done (read the resume) and have an idea of how I can be used (a job offer in mind that I would fit for) – We will get along great and I’ll listen to any reasonable offer presented.

    My salary requirements will depend on the position your offering, the package your offering (benefits, etc), and where the job is.  As a rule I keep within the national average.  

      Just in case no one knows what the national average is I’m posting them below – as you can see, a Senior PM Software IT job is around 122,000 a year top end.  I’m charging no where near that, but higher than a begining PM position of 88,000 a year.

      My rate currently is around $98,000 per year.  For those without a calculator that averages out to: $51 per hour.   Depending on the job I am flexible. (For example because this last project involved working on something very cool and something that helped children all over the planet I took a significant pay cut.  That, btw, is not very common for me but it wasn’t a particularly common job.)

      Here are some sample salaries lest you think I’m making any of this up.


      For those who might think I picked less than median numbers for this here are results from a few more websites: : $80,000 – $111,000nat_pm_jobs2 : $117,000 – $171,000  (All PM Positions, that includes Medical and DOD jobs – which pay more since there’s hazards and legal issues. No one I know uses’s numbers – they’re laughable.’s report for my particular field, in this particular area is between $103,000 and $144,000 – which is still obscenely high.) 

      Currently as of this week – there are over 110,000 such positions I am aware of for PMs or people with my skill sets.  Approximately 70 of those this week – are within my geo-centric region. 

      Please do not try to tell me the market is drying up or that it’s booming.  It’s pretty much normal for the current trends. I keep track of PM Positions and keep my resume current on all major job sites and have done so for years. 

      I wouldn’t be much of a PM if I didn’t know the specifics of my own job now would I?

      Q: Am I available? 
      As long as I’m looking – yes.  I’m always available for the right price.  For the right price – everyone is available.  I will not work for start-ups or anyone who expects me to accept "sweat equity", or "possible future" stock options for payment.  It’s nothing personal, I’ve just had bad experiences.

      Here’s a rule… if my bank doesn’t consider it money – neither do I.

      Q: Can you offer me a better Job?

      A: I dunno – what have you got up your sleeve?

      Here are some criteria for job offers that always hit home with me:

      1) Job involves saving the planet from impending doom.

      2) My boss’s name will be "Mr. Wonka".

      3) Obscene amounts of money …  always good.

      4) I get a cool super suit costume, high tech toys or a vehicle that flies or converts into a giant robot.
        (Please see #1 on this list.)

      5) Really REALLY good health care insurance. 
           (Please see my biography for list of possible uses for health care insurance.)


Posted by on August 19, 2008 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “Recruiters… Please read the following…

  1. Joshua Nelson

    September 24, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    LOL good tips

  2. r a jakobson

    September 24, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    You would be surprised how many comments I’ve gotten from recruiters on this. And most of them positive. 🙂


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