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Seven Deadly Types of Job Recruiters

Collect them all!

Over the course of six months in my pursuit of a new job, I have talked to recruiters on a daily basis. I have communicated with or have been contacted by at least 100 recruiters. While there are a few good ones out there, I've found that the majority of them are just plain odd. I have put the most notorious oddballs into categories to help you decide which type you are dealing with. Unfortunately, I speak from personal experience and I have crossed paths with all of these types. If the recruiter you're dealing with exhibits any of the characteristics!

1. The Broken English Speaking Recruiter


  • Leaves unintelligible messages on your machine in broken or heavily accented English.
  • Sends e-mails to you that read something to the effect of "Send please resume to my convenience regarding job employment of excellence!"
  • Cannot pronounce your very common American name when calling for you.
  • If you get this recruiter:

    Have some fun. Pretend you don't speak English either.

    If you are this recruiter:

    Come on! You can barely speak English, you can't pronounce my name and you can't leave an intelligible message on my machine. I know you're trying to work but so am I! Do you really think I am going to agree to let you represent me?

    2. The Short Attention Span Recruiter


  • Sends you an e-mail that doesn't contain any information about the job only that it looks like "a fit".
  • Draws a complete blank about which job she called you for when you return her call.
  • Does not introduce himself in his first e-mail to you.
  • Calls you by three different names in your first conversation.
  • Sends you leads on a job that has nothing to do with your qualifications.
  • Leaves a message for you about a job on your machine. Redials your number and leaves a similar message about the same exact job but addresses you by someone else's name.
  • If you get this recruiter:

    Don't bother replying to his e-mails or phone calls. When he calls back say, "Who are you and what did you want again?"

    If you are this recruiter:

    Dude, drink some Red Bull, pinch yourself hard or do some jumping jacks?just pay attention for crying out loud! We're not that desperate.

    3. The Pushy Job Salesman Recruiter


  • Tries to talk you into a job that has a commute of over an hour.
  • Tries to talk you into a lower paying job because it is "such a great opportunity for you".
  • Sends you short, bossy e-mails (usually in all caps) telling you (not asking you) to call him "ASAP".
  • Calls you before 8 A.M.
  • Tries to convinces you that the salary you are looking for is available for the position he has to offer if you work 50 hours a week because "the overtime pay will put you right about where you want to be".
  • Treats you as if you are desperate and wasting his time.
  • When he addresses you he shortens your name to what people used to call you when you were 10.
  • If you get this recruiter:

    Chin up! Put your foot down and don't let him talk you into anything that isn't right for you. When addressing him, add "bo", "o-rino" or "ster" to the end of his name (as in "Jimbo", "Jim-o-rino" or "Jimster").

    If you are this recruiter:

    Somewhere there are a few Buick dealerships that desperately need you.

    4. The Distracted Recruiter


  • Interrupts both you and herself to yell at her kids or her dogs in the background without excusing herself or asking you to hold on.
  • Asks you to call his cell phone and proceeds to talk business with you while he is eating, driving or standing in line at Burger King.
  • Sends you e-mails with cryptic or vague subject lines such as "Question about 9955", "Looking?", or "QQ re u frm John Smith".
  • Continually loses her train of thought when discussing an "open position" with you.
  • Asks you what type of job you are looking for and then asks you again ten minutes later as if she never asked you in the first place.
  • Calls you in the morning when you told her several times that the best time to reach you was "after 3".
  • If you get this recruiter:

    Interrupt her to scream "No?wire?hangers!" at your imaginary children or dogs and then say sweetly, "I'm sorry, they just never listen". Forget it. You'll have better luck with your 3 year old son as your recruiter.

    If you are this recruiter:

    Never mind. You probably aren't still reading this by now anyway.

    5. The Stalker


  • Calls 10 times a day and does not leave a message, but hangs up 30 seconds into the answering machine message.
  • E-mails you or leaves a message asking for an explanation as to why you won't call him back.
  • E-mails you after you have turned down a position several times to inform you that is still open.
  • Adds you to his weekly e-mail distribution list.
  • Calls you every day since he first contacted you "just to touch base".
  • Says things like "I am really getting sick of you ignoring my calls".
  • If you get this recruiter:

    Yikes. Tread lightly. Don't answer the phone. If you have to, lie and tell him you are no longer in the market because you are moving or have taken another job. If that doesn't do the trick, work it into the conversation that you carry a firearm with you at all times.

    If you are this recruiter:

    For the record, the author of this article is a huge burly easily aggravated man who lives in Nova Scotia and carves whalebones for a living.

    6. The Unscrupulous Recruiter


  • Asks for the numbers of your friends and co-workers so that he can recruit them too.
  • Tells you a contract is for eight weeks when it is for four.
  • E-mails you a blank organization chart template and asks you to fill in the names of your managers and their managers.
  • Says he can get you the rate or salary you are looking for but when it comes time to sign on, backs down and swears he told you he "might possibly be able to".
  • If you get this recruiter:

    Give him an inch and you've given him a mile. Be tight lipped. If you want to have some fun, with all the seriousness you can muster, send him his organization chart back with God at the top, your mother second and you third.

    If you are this recruiter:

    Hey slime ball?Richard Nixon called. He wants his M.O. back.

    7. The Ridiculously Overbearing Recruiter


  • Insists that you to drive over an hour away to her office just so she can "meet you and say 'Hi'".
  • Excitedly calls you "honey" and talks to you as if you've been friends all your lives.
  • Passes the phone around to all her recruiting coworkers (whom you've never met) so that they each can congratulate you on your new job.
  • Calls you every day for the first week on your new job to "chat about how things are going".
  • Updates your resume "to make it better" without your permission before she sends it out.
  • If you get this recruiter:

    Be a mirror. Be just as overbearing and call her "honey" right back. When she calls you each day say "Wow! This is really weird, honey, I was just picking up the phone to call YOU!" Scan in her business card, touch it up to "make it better" and send it back to her.

    If you are this recruiter:

    Take a bath, a deep breath, a bottle of chill pills and calm the heck down. Seriously.

    Alotta Candor is a staff writer and commentator for, the "lighter" side of the working world. She is proud to be a liberated ex-corporate office worker.

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