Some Recruiters Are Twits

My experience with recruiters at staffing companies has never been sterling. When I was looking to move from technical writing to software testing, I interviewed with a recruiter and explained how easy it would be to make the move, how I logged more defects as a technical writer than all but one of the QA staff at my then current employer, and whatnot. He understood, thanked me for interviewing, and then via e-mail presented me with a list of technical writing jobs. Because that’s where the company could make the money from me most effectively right away. They weren’t really interested in my growth in other areas or trying to place me in a QA position because there was no money in it for them.

But one exchange I recently had with a recruiter was particularly disingenuous.

I received an e-mail at the public-facing e-mail address from my consulting company:


I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.


PS: Here is the link:

It is free to join and takes less than 60 seconds to sign up.

This is an exclusive invitation from <Recruiter> to Brian. For security reasons, please do not forward this invitation.

© 2007, LinkedIn Corporation

<Recruiter>? I’d never heard of <Recruiter> before. Gauging from the fact that he was using my public e-mail address and not my personal address, I guessed he had not really heard of me, either.

I looked through the referrer logs for the corporate Web site, and he had in fact clicked through the link to my Web site on my LinkedIn profile and read every page on the site.

So I responded:

Good day, <Recruiter>.

Thanks for reviewing my profile on LinkedIn and my company’s Web site, but to maintain the integrity of the LinkedIn network, I’d prefer not to join your network as we have no direct business contact or experience together.


He said:

You are correct, however I would like to make an introduction and hopefully in the future we would be able to work together. Regardless of connecting via LinkedIn, I would love to set up a time to talk and maybe we would be able to help each other out in some way. Hope you had a great 4th and I look forward to speaking with you soon. Thank you Brian,

And then he sent me another e-mail, including a list of jobs he was looking to fill:

I was told you have done some interesting work in the world of software test. I tried to get ahold of you today via phone but unfortunately had no luck. I want to share some great positions ( Software Test Analyst, Software Test Manager ) with you in hopes that you could share them with your network. You never know who might be open to a career upgrade. Please remember I only work with the best of the best (and was told that you were one). I’d like to talk further to establish some credibility and to earn your trust. Please call me on my mobile number and I’ll call you back. <Recruiter phone number>.
These are strategic positions with strong technical impact.

Please keep me in your network as well. Everyone wants to know a great recruiter! 🙂

How testy are you anyway? (Software test analyst)
Our client, a St. Louis based company with an especially complex development environment, is seeking strong software test talent to assist in creating a more process oriented and robust Quality Assurance and Test environment.

. . . .

How testy are you anyway? (Take something good and make it better through Test Management!!)
Our client, a St. Louis based company with an especially complex development environment, is seeking strong software test talent to assist in creating a more process oriented and robust Quality Assurance and Test environment. They are looking for a Test Manager to shape the test environment. This person will have the full support of upper management in creating a great test group.

Well, that’s odd: he says he tried to reach me via phone and could not. And here I was, sitting at my desk all day, and no phone call. Could it be possible that the fellow stretched the truth, and by “stretched,” I mean made it all up? I was interested in having him call me to pin down that he hadn’t actually talked to anyone and the “good things” he heard were my single, solitary recommendation on LinkedIn. I responded:

Good day, <Recruiter>.

You can reach me at <phone number>.


I mean, it’s not rocket science; the phone number is on the corporate Web site.

Recruiter responds:

Great. Things have been a whirlwind of activity here today. Could you shoot me a copy of your resume so I can take a look while I am in meetings today and I will call you just as soon as I get a chance, thanks,

So I sent him my resume, which kind of, I don’t know, looks like the information on my LinkedIn profile, with the single word Attached.

Two weeks elapse. I send him a little note because I’m still curious and eager to get him to call me so I can challenge him about how he got my name:

Good day, <Recruiter>.

Did you receive my resume as requested?


To which he responds:

I did, I apologize, I got caught up in a few things. The test position has been placed on hold, and I will be happy to talk to you about the Test Manager, however you may be too senior for this position, but lets talk. Please let me know a good time that will work for you or just give me a call at your earliest convenience. Thanks,

Too senior? Brother, working with the best of the best and QA people who do “interesting” things, and you bother me with a bogus LinkedIn invitation and then discover, to your surprise, that my resume matches my LinkedIn profile, and that I’m probably not interested in entry-level or junior-level testing positions.

And he never did call, figuring that I was wasting his time. I was, but he started it.

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