Monday, June 18, 2007

Was it something I said to the headhunter?

Sometimes I wonder if the laments about the lack of talent in the advertising and marketing worlds are accurate.

Not long ago, I discovered one of several e-mails from a recruiter hidden away in my web-based e-mail inbox. They had been there a while because they weren't flowing into my "new mail" display. Oops.

If you look at their website, they're a BIG talent recruiter. Possibly true, so I e-mailed back on the most recent query with a polite response.

I wasn't rabid about the position, but I thought I'd at least express interest to make contact, make nice, get the ol' foot in the door with the headhunters just in case they're sitting on my dream job, don't know you?

Best laid plans.

"Hi, how do you do, can you tell me more about the position...," sez I.

Then they start mildly insulting me:

this position has some requirements that you have
not yet had experience in.... Please stay tuned for a
more jr. position that will allow you to
continue to build on the career path you have
already embarked on.


Now--the creative syntax aside--to their credit they'd picked up on a copywriting-oriented resume, one that didn't focus as much on the web side of my day job slash. And I know the intent was not to insult, but I sent back an e-mail to the effect that I've been in the workforce a few years now, and I'm not really interested in a "junior" position.

They caved and sent back a job description that pretty much could be my resume. BA degree, writing, at least 5 years job experience...

Competent in the usual suspects HTML, Javascript, Flash, web forums, blogs ;-) etc. etc.

You know and I know the company was throwing everything but the kitchen sink in there. Bottom line - one web monkey to run the show.

I couldn't say yes to Vignette, but I'm familiar with site management software in general. I'm confident I could figure it out.

I couldn't say yes to Cold Fusion either, but again, with a gun to my head and a manual... If the monkey can write and run web software, the monkey can be trained to operate other machinery and create web forms accordingly. Sometimes the reverse is not always true.

Put 'er in there
The catch: the company was basically involved in an enterprise slightly more boring than, well, everything. Hence the need for a recruiter, methinks.

I e-mailed back.

"Thank you, but the position watching paint dry (a paraphrase) does not appear challenging. I do have the skillset mentioned in the description, however. Perhaps you were looking at a copywriting-focused resume. Please blah, blah blah ."

That's the last I've heard from them, and prior to that several e-mails had circulated into my box, so I'm thinking assertive was one thing not in the qualification mix.

Looking for talent? Maybe talent's not absent. Maybe talent just made your headhunter mad.


Anonymous said...

You have great timing. I was just mulling over reasons that I am too chicken to send queries...rejection tops the list. Your post makes me realize that there are times when rejection is a good thing.

Erik Donald France said...


Clifford said...

I'm watching paint dry as I write this. Unfortunately, I have a lot of experience at it, so people read my resume, their eyes glaze over, and then they say, yeah, he's our man.

Interesting, what a concept!

Oh yeah, right after I accepted my current gig, a former client wanted to hire me to write some video scripts for a project I'd worked on for them in the past. Now that would have been interesting (they are a medical firm with a techno-based product), but I had to pass because they needed a quick turnaround, and I was already comitted...ah, such is life. Back to the paint -- I think I just saw a drip move...

Anonymous said...

This one made me smile. I've experienced the same and similar so many times down the years. You have to remember, those who can't, recruit. Period. Why go into recruitment if you have a skillset that can bring you money elsewhere?

miller580 said...

Your post is the reason I gave up my cube and title of web monkey.

The agency I worked for was schitzo. One day I would be told not to write code, "that's why we have programmers," The next day I'd be asked to fix the code..."and by the way can you write some copy for this banner campaign...we need it tomorrow." When tomorrow came, I'd be asked why I was writing copy when there are copywriters on staff to do that--"and by the way this design's not your fault, your not a designer...take it down stairs and have them fix it, ok?" After the designer moved a line and chose a different "family friendly" photo, the design was "perfect."

When the client was pleased, the AE made sure the client knew how hard the programmer, the copywriter, and the designer worked to make it all happen.

Oh, how I miss those days.

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