Jason Punyon

Things That, Were I to Unfortunately Wake Up Tomorrow as a Recruiter, I Would Never Do

I would never send e-mails that make potential candidates for a position think I’m not effective at finding potential candidates for a position. Giving candidates that impression just makes them think I stink at everything else too.

Subject: Barbara Nelson in Search of Javascript Expertise

Do you mean the Barbara Nelson?

Hello from Barbara!

What a great salutation! Not. Save that one for your next family newsletter.

I saw your profile either on github or on stackoverflow

Really? WOW! It sounds like you did a lot of research on me and moreover you’re the kind of go-getter who keeps the relevant information she needs at her fingertips at all times.

I am looking for several strong JavaScript Object-Oriented Engineers (not “just” web developers). These three openings have been especially challenging to fill…

Well alright let me click through and see what these jobs are about. Oh…no company names? The third one is really a C++ job? And you say you’re having trouble filling these positions?

Some JavaScript opportunities I am helping to fill are at solid funded start-ups, some are at start-ups already acquired by a well-known global company with solid benefits. We can make your relocation to the beautiful Bay Area happen if there’s a good fit.

That’s good I guess…I’m not really that interested in moving to the Bay Area.

Those who are interested in a brief discussion on the phone: please send a resume or an online profile that reflects your experience, a good time to talk, and a good phone number, and we’ll schedule a quick call.

Those who sent this e-mail should learn how to address the recipient directly and singularly instead of giving the impression that this is just another useless e-mail blast from a contingency recruiter.

If you never want to hear about career opportunities from me again, just let me know; reply and say so.

By the way you almost whited that out I’d almost think you didn’t want me to actually do that.

I love referrals.

I love how I almost don’t even get the feeling you’re trying to get me to do your job for you.



So let’s look an e-mail with a similar goal.

Subject: Facebook Engineering

Do you mean the Facebook? Let’s not be unfair to poor Barbara. Her subject line is much harder to get right than this one.

I hope all is well. I had the pleasure of stumbling upon your information online and saw that you have been working on some pretty neat stuff with Stack Overflow and various companies (it wasn’t disclosed on your resume) plus you have an awesome academic background from SUNY Geneseo to complement it.

This is much better than what Barbara had to say about me. Minimally Jeremy has read my public Careers 2.0 profile and noted my current position and where I went to school. He also called out the fact that I don’t list the companies I’ve worked at before on my profile (mainly so I can write about my experiences there when I want to without anyone getting bent out of shape). This e-mail is about me. It’s not a cattle call.

I am currently helping grow our engineering team in the NYC office and would love to chat with you about what you’ve been up to and perhaps put us on your radar; if nothing else we can have a friendly conversation. Let me know what works for you and we can schedule a time at your convenience. If this isn’t the right time, I completely understand and we can stay in touch based on your schedule – no rush. I look forward to hearing from you.

Great tone. Sounds like a human. He tells me what he’s after while being accomodating and not pushy. He makes me believe that if I respond, he’s going to respond back. Jeremy could’ve broken some of this down into paragraphs to make it less WALLOFTEXT but other than that it was a decent recruiting e-mail.