Although I know I’m incredibly fickle when it comes to who I’ll work with when it comes to recruiting, the fact of the matter is that I value honest effort over the type to throw bodies at the wall. The shotgun approach is just lazy and rarely pans out. Here’s my attempt at creating a rubric for my minimum barrier to responding.

Please understand that I am a privileged person. I know that. My reactions based on this rubric will be skewed toward my particular context.

This is coming from someone who:

  • lives in a well-off area
  • can decline offers due to savings to fall back on
  • works in the software engineering industry with an in-demand language
  • does not have outside obligations, requiring a rigid work-life balance
  • has a reasonably up-to-date portfolio of work publicly available
  • speaks english as a first language
  • is a white male living in the United States

Scoring rubric

Points Description
- 7 Emailed personal address
- 4 Use exceedingly old resume (>1 year old, if newer one is published)
- 6 Content is overly wordy (not easy to skim)
- 8 Content is overly generalized to be part of a mass email
- 8 Salutations are generalized for a mass email, e.g., “applicant” or “developer” (exception: blank “Hey,\n” or jumping straight to the body of the email is perfectly acceptable)
- 50 Mass email is sent using the TO or CC field
- 10 Mass email is sent using the BCC field
- 6 Name of the hiring company is excluded
- 8 Location of the position is excluded
- 5 No mention of if contract-to-hire, contract, or direct-hire
- 50 Require me to fill out onboarding paperwork before position is filled by me
+ [10 to 30] Personalization of the email content to my personal situation (based on degree of personalization)
- 30 Unsubscribe link was followed and does not seem to do anything
- 30 No unsubscribe link and signs of a mass email
- 15n Disregard for direct instructions, e.g., “Not interested” or “Do not contact me again” (where n is the number of times it occurs)
+ [0 to 99] Exactness of fit of the job description to my skills
+ [0 to 30] Signs of remediation for prior score subtractions
+ 40 Worked with this recruiter on prior occasion, resulting in at least 1 interview
+ 10 Worked with this recruiting firm on prior occasion, with at least 1 submission

Reaction (if available for hire)

Total score Response
>80 Tailor resume for position, immediately send a response that I’m interested and actively updating my resume for this position
40 to 79 Respond to email within 2 hours with more specifically pertinent resume from archive
20 to 39 Respond to email within 24 hours with more specifically pertinent resume from archive
10 to 19 Respond to email within 36 hours with general resume
0 to 9 Respond to email within 3 days, asking questions about the position
-19 to 0 Ignore email
-80 to -20 (Probation) Monitor future email from that recruiting firm for future quality problems
Below -80 Filter future email from the recruiting firm to black hole

Reaction (if unavailable)

Total score Response
>80 Respond within 24 hours with info that it is a good match but bad timing. Add to contacts as preferred recruiter. Refer out to colleague
40 to 79 Respond to email within 36 hours with most up-to-date resume for their records, add to contacts as preferred recruiter
20 to 39 Respond to email within 1 week with canned “I’m not looking right now…” response
-19 to 19 Ignore email
-80 to -20 (Probation) Monitor future email from that recruiting firm for future quality problems
Below -80 Filter future email from the recruiting firm to black hole