Mornin’ Cup: Those Spaminous Recruiters!

Resume “spamming”, or blasting your resume out to thousands of recruiters , is a practice that most good recruiters recommend against. For good reason, too. It smacks of “desperation” and is viewed most commonly as spam. But lately, some recruiters have been utilizing some very similar (and questionable) tactics as well.

I received an email in my inbox today that started out something like this:

I came across your name as I was doing research for a client of mine who is looking to hire. Based on a review of your resume, I believe you would be a good fit for a possible career opportunity and have listed below the job description for your review. Please contact me by sending me your current resume in Word format and a telephone number where I can reach you at your earliest convenience.

Sounds great, right? Until you read a little further and see this:

Job title: Entry-level Java Developer

Now, I am all about not looking a gift horse in the mouth. If there is an opportunity out there that may be of interest to me, or someone in my professional network, then clearly I’d like to have visibility into it. But clearly this fellow has not actually read my resume. If he had, he would have realized that this job opening, as it exciting as it sounds, is not something that is in line with my current career goals and background. It is pretty evident that some recruiters are simply searching their databases for keywords (e.g. “java”) and blasting their spaminous letters of inquiry out to anyone who comes up as a match.

Which line on the candidate’s resume would make a better candidate for a Java developer?

1) Directed staff of 75+ developers in a Java/Oracle environment


2) Over 8 years of experience with Java and Oracle.

If this were an isolated incident, it would be easy to dismiss. But I’m currently getting dozens of these each week. I suppose their thinking is that casting as wide of a net as possible is a good strategy. Historically, I’ve only seen this type of inquiry from contingency-based recruiters with mostly line-level roles, although lately, I’m getting some from certain people proclaiming to be on the retained/executive side of the business (which I highly doubt).

Irrespective of this, as is the case with the recruiter’s time, the candidate’s time is valuable as well, and recruiters should keep this in mind. Most do, in fact. Most recruiters are good, decent, honest folks, who really are trying to make good fits. However, it appears that a fringe minority is doing a reasonably adept job at tainting the profession.



  1. Pingback: PicoBusiness

  2. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

    Scott’s comments are very true. Here is what to watch for…

    The Good
    Recruiters who are sending list of Job Opportunities that either fit your need or the needs of professionals at your level. This allows you to see what is out there and potentially allows you to assist a friend or colleague.

    The Bad
    Recruiters that are misleading you into believing that they have an opportunity for you – when they don’t and they don’t even know who you are.

    The Ugly
    The recruiters that use SPAM for opportunities that don’t exist, and who’s only goal is to collect your contact info and resume.

    You should have several good recruiters in your tool belt and leverage them often. There is no substitute for quality.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *