Dear recruiters, 10 things.

Okay recruiter type people, as you have all clearly become aware, I am on the job hunt. Thank you all for your phone calls and emails, they are genuinely appreciated and making the job hunt much easier. However, please allow me to provide some tips before you call/email me, as a few of you seem to make a few mistakes in your assumptions when choosing to contact me. There are good recruiters, and there are bad recruiters. Sadly, I’d say the split is about fifty:fifty. Please be in the right fifty, most of this is just common sense.

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  1. I am a front-end developer working mainly with HTML, CSS and Javascript. I have a great deal of experience working with Angular and Node and plenty of experience in testing and using version control systems such as SVN, TFS and, my particular favourite, GIT. Unlike many front-end developers, I actually have real experience working with User Experience practices, including user research and analysis as well as developing low and mid level wireframe prototypes based on analysis of user testing. I have also trained as a scrum master. All of this is visible on my resume and well advertised.
  2. My resume will also show you that I have experience working with ASP.NET, C# and Java. At no point though does it say that I am a back-end developer. I am a front-end developer. I am not a back-end developer. I am not a sys-admin. I am not a Java developer. I am not a .NET developer. I have abundant experience in working with PHP, but I am not a PHP developer. I am a front-end developer. I have a splendid understanding of relational database management, and I have experience with several non-relational database systems. I am not a database manager; I am a front-end developer.
  3. I have worked previously with miiCard, Sopra Steria, and I am currently working for NCR. Please do not call with jobs at the companies listed above. If I wish to go work for them, I am already well placed to contact them directly. Please, definitely, do not call me and ask if I have heard of any of them. You should be able to ascertain that I have heard of them due to the fact that I have worked for them.
  4. I am married and happily settled in Dalgety Bay, Scotland. Please do not offer me jobs in London. London is not in Scotland. I have no desire to relocate my family to another country. Please also understand that London is not commutable from Scotland. While I have worked with clients in London and regularly flown down there to meet them, unless you are offering a job that is willing to pay for these flights every week, London is not commutable. London is four hundred and forty miles from where I live, in an entirely different country to the one I live, it is not commutable. I am looking for work in and around Edinburgh or Dunfermline. I may be open to travelling to Glasgow or Dundee if working from home was a regular option.
  5. Please ensure the job you are recruiting for has not already been filled when you call me.
  6. Please be able to speak English well. I don’t mind non-native English speakers calling me, but I need to be able to understand what you are saying and be sure that you have understood me and what it is I am looking for, luckily this is a very rare problem.
  7. Please make sure the job you are sending me to interview for is actually what you say it is. Telling me that the job is a front-end developer when you know that’s a stretch at best is not fair on me, or the company. When I realise what has happened, two minutes into the interview, I will not walk out of the meeting feeling embarrassed, I will ensure that I don’t burn any of my bridges with said company, by burning yours instead. I will tell them, “I’m sorry, John told me this was for a front-end developer role, but I see that he was just trying to get his foot in the door. I will no longer use John, and I recommend you avoid him too.” And believe me, when people ask me if I know a good recruiter, I will not recommend John.
  8. Do not edit my resume before sending it to potential employers. When they quote phrases from my resume that I didn’t put in there, I have to defend them. If they are outright lies about my skillset, it places me in an incredibly awkward situation. I have written and designed my resume the way I want to sell myself; it will remain intact. I appreciate you don’t want my phone number and email on there as you wish all communication to be done through you. Therefore you will get a PDF resume that is how I want potential employers to see it, and it will not have contact details on it.
  9. Do not send my resume to companies or positions I have not given you permission to do so for. If I’m not interested in a job, don’t apply for it anyway just in case. Definitely, do not apply for a job on my behalf before you’ve ever even contacted me. Don’t call up and tell me some company has offered me an interview because you sent them my resume. You had no right, and frankly, I may already be in negotiations with the company in question, you’re just making me look bad, especially if I could have told you that I wasn’t going to be a good fit in the first place. When I’m told by an interviewer “I see you applied for the database management position too,” things get very awkward.
  10. Don’t assume I’d like to change field. I am a front-end developer. Many of you recognise this, but call anyway, just in case. I know what I’m good at, and I’m offering what I’m good at. If I were interested in changing to back-end developer, I’d be selling myself as such. But I’m not, if I’m advertising that I am a skilled front-end web developer with good understanding of user experience practices, assume that’s the type of job I’m after.

In place of a conclusion, let me just say this. I’ve been writing this post for twenty minutes, and in that time, I received two calls. One offered me a C# developer position in London. The other offered me a software analysis job in Livingston.

This article was originally posted on my LinkedIn profile.  About ten minutes ago.