How to Defend Yourself Against Recruiter Carpet Bombing

by Michael Scepaniak on July 17, 2012 in entrepreneurship, software development

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Do you get bombarded by recruiters? I’ll estimate that, on average, I receive between two and four emails and one or two voicemails a day from technical recruiters.

Now, I’m loathe to complain or whine about this. After all, there are people in the world who would love to be courted with a seemingly endless stream of job opportunities. But, seeing as how I’m really not open to relocating (or even commuting very far) from my home north of Baltimore (Maryland, USA), being constantly queried for my interest in geographically-distant positions located in Minneapolis, Little Rock, Boston, etc. can become tiresome.

It’s hard for me to be rude and unresponsive, though. And I’m hesitant to snuff-out my email address and go underground, unreachable for that once-every-200th-message truly compelling opportunity. So, these are the steps I’ve taken to minimize the distraction.

Recruiter-Specific Voicemail Greeting

I only have one phone number, which I put prominently on my resume. I used to get voicemails from recruiters, which I only felt it polite to respond back to with a “no thank you”. But, man, was that time-consuming.

These days, I use my voicemail greeting to redirect recruiters from the get-go:

Hi. You’ve reached Mike Scepaniak at [my phone number]. If this is a recruiter, do not leave a voicemail. Instead, please send me an email. Everyone else, please leave a message! Thank you. Bye.

Amazingly (and sadly) enough, I still have recruiters leaving me voicemails. The nice thing about this voicemail greeting, though, is that I can feel completely justified in deleting their voicemails with extreme prejudice.

Recruiter-Specific Email Address

I have an email address that I reserve specifically for job opportunities. It’s the email address I put on my resume and use on LinkedIn. Because of this, I can load it up with a blanket auto-responder:

Please forgive this automated reply. I’m not trying to be rude.

If you are a recruiter, thank you for contacting me. The latest version of my resume can be found on my website – http://milestoneinc.com/ As of right now, I am only interested in pursuing contract opportunities located near my home (i.e., in [neighborhoods/areas near where I live]) that are paying at least $N/hr. (In reality, that number is higher, but I don’t feel comfortable being more specific in an automated response). I am also open to more distantly-located opportunities if they allow for some sort of flexible hours and/or telecommuting. I am in no way interested in relocating.

If you would like to make note of this in your records, that would be great. If you find these parameters too picky or ridiculous to spend your time on, please disregard this email. It is not my intent or desire to waste anyone’s time. If your email is well-targeted and fits within the parameters I’ve described, I’ll get back to you. I take a look at every email I receive. Thank you for your consideration. I appreciate it.

Mike…..

http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelscepaniak
http://milestoneinc.com/

Because my job-opp-specific email address feeds into my primary email account, I see all of these incoming emails, but I’m free to ignore the vast majority of them (because, again, they are for positions located in Minneapolis, Little Rock, Boston, etc.).

LinkedIn Canned Responses

LinkedIn has proven to be a little annoying for me. I find the recruiter inMails to be only marginally better targeted than the recruiter emails I’ve historically received. Worse, I can’t auto-respond to them. But, I’ve sped up the reply process as best I can by preparing a GMail canned response (similar to my auto-responder above) that I can copy and paste into my inMail replies to recruiters.

By combining these three strategies, I’m able to fend off the poorest of the poorly-targeting recruiters out there, while still allowing me to keep an eye out for those all-too-rare quality job pitches. What steps do you take to deal with your own personal flood of recruiter messages?

Mike
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