Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Adventures In Recruiting: The Non-Cover Letter And The Non-Résumé

I recently had a good laugh.  A person – I didn’t initially know if it was a man or a woman – sent me a direct email with a long introduction telling me how wonderful and successful he or she was. It was filled with platitudes but I could tell nothing about the sender.  Here is the email in its entirety.

      Searching for a Management position has been elusive.[No wonder. Look how he has gone about it.] 
            1.   I am currently employed at a great company, and am a top producer.  This company, however, has   a "no look" policy...They don't want their employees actively looking elsewhere. [Does any company?]
            2.   The job boards have been somewhat useless.  The majority of the responses I get are from MLM companies. [What is MLM?] 
3.   I am looking for a place where I can grow in a company that is a leader in it's [sic] field.
            4.   The company that I am currently with is looking to centralize within the next two years out of their HQ...and I don't plan on moving to where their headquarters is...at least not for this job.

     I am an excellent leader within my company, and I would like to help lead job to greatness.

     I PROMISE to impress your clients with my drive, determination and my skills.     

There was a link to the résumé. The only problem was that when I looked at it, there was also nothing.  No name, no address, no cell and no company names. All were marked “Confidential.”  There were more platitudes about achievements.

There were no titles either.  In fact, everything was written in such a manner as to obscure what he/she did and where it was done.  There were dates, but little other information other than to say things like, “Extremely successful in building relations” and other generic language – “Increased revenues.”  After reading this non-résumé, I had no idea even what business he/she was in.  Then I looked at his email address, it was equally funny: yournextsalesleader@gmail.com {changed to protect the guilty).  Well, then I knew she/he was in sales, but still no idea what kind of sales.

I emailed to say that I had never seen such a solicitation.  He emailed me back, this time with his real email and said, “There are very good reasons for not providing my name or [specific background/résumé].  I totally understand that this is unconventional…there are many ways to skin the [sic] cat.  My goal is to generate interest and not to send a [complete résumé] until I know who you are.”  At least from his personal email I could figure out it was a he not a she.  He still did not send a resume or tell me what he did.

He went on to explain that he was being secretive because he didn’t want his current employer to find out that he was looking.  Fear of being found out is very common and very fair. However, then one should not do a mass email blast. I had a good laugh because being so completely and totally anonymous is absurd.

Hmmm.  I wonder if anyone seriously responded to him. I imagine not.  I am sure his search is still elusive.


  1. Thanks for the laugh, Paul!

  2. MLM means Multi-Level Marketing -- like Amway. I'll come in on this one with a somewhat contrarian view.

    I have no problem with his doing a mass email and still protecting his anonymity, up to a point. Using his sales skills and tools is smart.

    On the other hand, his content is ludicrous. What kind of salesman wastes so much time on his own problems and then differentiates his "product" so generically? A bad salesman, the kind that makes good fish for MLM schemes.

    My feedback to this anonymous person would be to try to put his best sales ability into this or to cease and desist. If he's a talker and not a writer, he should get a direct copywriter to freelance for him. There's so much wrong with his email campaign that could be made right, but now I am back to working on the paying clients ;-)

    1. :-} Thanks for telling me what MLM is - never heard the term before.

  3. Paul, here is more detail about MLM companies and why he may not be such a fan: "Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant's "downline", and can provide multiple levels of compensation. Other terms used for MLM include pyramid selling, network marketing, and referral marketing. According to the US FTC, some companies that use multi-level marketing exploit members of their networks and constitute illegal pyramid schemes."

    1. Thanks, Charles. I have never been a fan of pyramids in any form. But I was totally amused by this letter. It sure was a lot of wasted effort.

  4. Makes for an interesting story indeed -- one for your yet to be published book. While many of us probably were left scratching our head on his lack of detail, he managed to pique your curiosity with his solicitation. So while unconventional it proved an effective attention getter.

    1. You are right, David-Anthony, he did pique my interest, but not because he was a good candidate, but because what he did was idiotic. I would never have seen him because he proved that he would not be a good marketing or advertising executive; he could not think through his actions.


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