i hate recruiters who can't spell either

My resume is on dice.com. It has been for years. Whenever I make any little change to it, I get LOTS of Emails and phone calls of people that are interested in my skills.

When I updated my resume last winter to include PriceGrabber, I fought off headhunters for the next 4 months. My wife will attest to the fact that not only was I getting half a dozen job requests in my Inbox every day, 5 or 6 days a week, we’d also get 2-3 Email notices from Vonage every week that some headhunter had left a voice message at home.

Today, I updated my resume after writing this article, and had two phone calls within the next hour and one Email. Now, I ranted a little while back about how headhunters need to learn to actually read the resumes that get sent to them by DICE or whoever, to make sure the person is a good match before contacting them, and not relying on imperfect search technology alone. I threatened to start exposing them for not doing their due diligence to at least READ my resume before contacting me.

Well, time to turn up the heat on these guys … Take my resume for example. Very clearly, right under my name, address, and other contact information, I write in simple English that I am not at all interested, in the least tiny bit, in relocating for work. In fact, I go so far as to list the areas where I would like to work. Employers browsing dice would see this just before they get to my resume:

(missing graphic about relocation)

And then my resume starts with this:

(missing graphic about why I don’t want to relocate)

As my previous rant stated, if headhunters actually READ the resumes, then they’d know that I’m simply not going to move for a new job. Now, granted, if they tried to entice me away to my dream job utilizing all of my skills with some ridiculous sum of money, moving expenses, hiring bonus, stock options, etc., then yeah sure maybe I’d consider moving, but let’s face it, it’s not 2000, that era has long since ended. But when some joker Emails me who clearly hasn’t even read my resume, that’s way worse.

Worse still is an attempt at an apology and not double-checking the Email that his Microsoft Outlook spell-checker has just butchered for him. At least, that’s my guess as to what happened.

Worse beyond that: trying to find Email addresses on their web site to inform someone in management that this guy just sent a very disgusting word in a response, but having those Email addresses bounce.

The proof is in the pudding, as they say:

Dear Ian Douglas,

I am looking for a ASP.NET consultant for a Web application Support role in GA. If you are available and having the matching skills - please email me back with your updated resume and contact information ASAP.

Location: Roswell, GA.
Duration: 8-9 months
Local candidates with strong communication skills to Atlanta are preferred.
Skills: Web application support exp, ASP, JavaScript, VBScript, SQL Server, DTS Packages, Visual Basic, NET, Crystal Reports 10.

Ankur Singh
Sales Manager | Econosoft Inc.| Phone: 408-324-0436 x350 | Toll Free: 1-800-566-4604 x350 | Fax: 775-923-8767 | Email: ankur@econosoftinc.com | Web: www.econosoftinc.com

You’ll notice that the job is in Georgia. At the time I got this message, I was living in California. I’m not a pro yet on US geography, but I do know that California and Georgia don’t touch the same ocean. Plus one of my favorite clients of all time lives in Georgia, so I happen to know where the state is, and it’s not exactly a daily-commute kind of distance from where I lived in L.A. County.

The Email was asking for “local” candidates. I’m pretty sure that “local to Atlanta” doesn’t mean “local within 2200 miles”.

Also, you’ll notice the job requirements. The only thing that would have matched from my resume at DICE is JavaScript. Apparently knowing JavaScript is enough to flag you for being an ASP.NET expert for this company to find you a job.

My reponse:


My resume shows zero experience with ASP.NET, and a disclaimer that I’m not willing to relocate. I’m a little surprised that you’ve contacted me for an opportunity like this. Perhaps your resume filtering needs to be fine-tuned a little.


His repsonse:

Sure - i guess so, anyways sorry for the incontinence caused.

I had to read it a second and third time to see and recognize his word choice. Wanting to be sure, I checked out dictionary.com:

“The inability to control excretory functions. - Lack of restraint in sexual relations; immoderation. - inability of the body to control the evacuative functions - involuntary urination or defecation”

Yeah, that’s what I thought it meant. It’s not often I get an email from a recruiter that makes me want to crap my pants …

Now … I know there are medical reasons behind incontinence, but unless he was suggesting that his failure to read my resume before sending me an Email was due to his inability to control digital excretory functions, then this guy probably just insulted me or something. I mean, I’m getting old (I’m 32 as I write this) but not not quite old enough yet to require adult-sized Huggies.

Or maybe he just didn’t know how to spell “inconvenience” and MS Outlook’s spell checker chose a poor replacement word. His Email headers did include this:

X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook IMO, Build 9.0.2416 (9.0.2910.0)

So I went to their web site thinking I’ll find some other Email addresses to enlighten them as to his poor communication skills, and it’s a horrible frame layout that tries to mask the fact that their web site is being called from a direct IP address on port 85 (?), and every single graphic link is broken.

I BCC’d my final response to Ankur to three addresses found on the site:

I don’t want to sound mean, but ‘incontinence’ is hardly an appropriate word to use. In fact, it borders on being offensive (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/incontinence). I’m sure that you meant “inconvenience”, but you should be more careful when sending messages. I also tried to check your web site in case you had any other jobs that were applicable to my experience, and every single graphic is missing on your site. Also, the frame structure you use makes it impossible to bookmark anything on your site.

Please don’t contact me again, I’m not at all interested in doing business with your company.


A few seconds later, my Email client beeped. I figured it was Ankur writing back to apologize. Instead I saw a bounce message that the accounts@ and operations@ Email addresses bounced back, neither account existed.

Gee, makes you wanna hurry and sign up with them, doesn’t it? /rant off

FOLLOW-UP, 10pm August 1st (same day) After submitting this article, I went to DICE and updated my resume there a little more since I hadn’t written in that I am now an independent contractor for hire, and who I’ve done projects for, current placement, that sort of thing. I updated the opening paragraph to say this:

I will be happy to fully explain the reasons to any prospective employer who requests more information, but at this time I am not able to relocate my family to any other location for work. I will be happy to consider any permanent or contract work between Anaheim and Downey, and will consider work placement for businesses outside of that region on the condition that the job is full-time telecommute with little to no expectation to travel to the office. Outside of the Los Angeles area, I will only consider contract work or permanent placement for positions that are 100% telecommute with nearly zero expectation to travel.

Within an HOUR of submitting that change, my cell phone rings. 909-area code, so within LA or San Bernardino Counties.

Me: “Hello?”
Her: “Ian Douglas, please.”
Me: “Speaking.”
Her: “Hi, my name is (I forget) from (I forget), and I found your resume online, and was wondering if you had a moment to talk?”
Me: “Sure, give me just a moment” (to get to an area where my cell phone gets better reception)
Her: (not waiting a moment for me to get to an area with better reception, grr) “We’ve got a really great opportunity for someone to do some Windows development and .NET work and possibly some ASP and PHP work, would you be interested?”
Me: (trying not to laugh considering this article I just wrote) “Where’s it located?”
Her: “Burbank…”

Why I didn’t just hang up then, I don’t know. Maybe because she was the first recruiter to call in a long time that pronounced my first name correctly. I think being Canadian and the “be nice to the world” thing they breed into us (along with a passion for hockey and maple syrup) kicked in, and I took a few minutes to explain that Burbank is way too freaking far to be considered a reasonable commute, since my commute just to Westwood took me 90 minutes each direction when working at PriceGrabber. She thanks me for my time and that was it.

I get home from work about 6:30. Phone rings at 6:37 and I take the call. 480 area code: Arizona. Perhaps not as well-versed about geographic layout in L.A. …

Me: “Hello?”
Her: “Hi, is this Eye-Ann Douglas?”
Me: “Yes.” (not correcting her like I usually would)
Her: “Hi, my name is Jennifer from (I forget). I found your resume online, and we’ve got an opportunity here that we think you’d really be interested in.”
Me: “Where’s it located?”
Her: “Burbank…”

/em smacks his head against the desk

What do I have to do, make a google map for my resume and put markers down saying “if your job is located here, here, here or here, please contact me, otherwise, don’t waste either of our time” ???