Responding to recruiter inquiries – in 30 seconds or less

man standing at design board looking at his mobile phone

Recruiters seem to have a skill for pinging me when I can’t afford to be interrupted

About four years ago, I realized that every time I talked to recruiters, I basically had to repeat certain key details to each one of them.

Over and over and over.


I’ve been on and off the job market since 1987 (yikes!), and in that time, I’ve talked to hundreds of different recruiters. Some of them I’ve talked to on several occasions, some of them I’ve only chatted with once. Some of them specialized in positions that fit for me (contracts in front-end web development). And some of them weren’t in my “wheelhouse” — handling high-end managerial / executive positions.

A lot of them were trying to fill jobs that were a terrible fit for me. Either they weren’t in my salary range, or they were located in about the worst place you could ask to commute to. Or the contracts were too short — I’m sure someone would be interested in a 3-week contract in downtown Boston, but it wasn’t me. And I had to spend a lot of time setting the record straight.

The problem was, even if it did turn out that they had positions that were a good fit for me, it was taking forever to find that out. It took waaaay too long to find out the exact details of the position. And it took way too long for me to give them all my personal / professional details in the course of a conversation.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a spare 20 minutes just lying around — often in the middle of my busiest time of day. And often, the timing for the calls was terrible.

So, I decided to fix the situation. I developed a system that identified exactly the questions that I was being asked, each and every time I talked to a recruiter. I crafted a message that had all my pertinent details included, and I dropped that into the autoresponder of a special email address I created specifically for my job search. That way, whenever someone contacted me, I could just have them email me at that address, and they’d automatically get my details.

It worked like a charm. And, in fact, it connected me with the job opportunity I have now — which is one of the best fits I’ve found in over 10 years (although I did really enjoy working with my prior coworkers, who might be reading this).

The beauty part is how much time this messaging approach saves me. Seriously. Now that I have my mobile app, I can respond to recruiters in less than 30 seconds.

I don’t have to call them back to tell them I’m not interested in making a change. I don’t have to talk to them directly to tell them their copy of my resume is out of date. I don’t have to explain that the location they’re pitching me is outside my desired radius. And I know that each and every one of them will be getting the right information, because I’m delivering it directly to their in-box — often as a response to their initial inquiry.

I’ve responded to a bunch of recruiters, lately, and (I just checked) my responses are all up-to-date. They all have my current details, they all have my availability info (or lack thereof), and they have my most updated contact info, including my LinkedIn profile and a link to my resume.

It didn’t interrupt my day, it didn’t take up precious time that I need for other things, and the info they have is 100% correct. Because I gave it to them.

Problem solved.

Big problem solved.