Yes, I’m 24

Every once in a while, I’ll put my resume up on just to see what types of offers come my way.  I’m beginning to think I might be a masochistPerhaps the thing that peeves me the most is when recruiters/headhunters call me and kind of nonchalantly ask my graduation year.

Yes, I’m 24.  But I’ve been doing web work since I was 18.  At 20, I was better than a lot of the guys I’ve worked with in the last few years who’ve been doing development “professionally” for 5+ years (I use that term loosely).  At 22, my knowledge of XML, ASP, and SQL were strong enough that a sizeable engineering company would hire me as a consultant to do the work that their internal developers couldn’t do.

“So when exactly did you graduate?”.  I despise this question.  It’s a ludicrous question to ask, of course.  I’ve been doing the same type of work (and getting paid) since I was in college.  So what’s the difference between the for-money work I did the day before I graduated and all the work I’ve done since I’ve graduated?  Nothing.  Not only that, in fact, the work that I did for my high level computer science classes?  Leaps and bounds above the typical work that most developers do in their careers.

What annoys me even more is that most of these recruiters have no idea about the technologies they’re dealing with in their requirements.  I constantly have to explain that DTS is not much more than T-SQL + VBScript, how VB.Net and C# are pretty much identical, and JavaScript is not the same thing as Java.  Not only that, many don’t seem to be able to read.  I get calls, not automated emails, about positions in California.  I could swear that I wrote it clearly in my resume (the HTML version posted on dice) that I’m only interested in positions in metro NY area and NJ.

Oy.  It makes the whole exprience so frustrating.

I had enough of it today when Renee called and started asking me to doctor my resume.  I’ve never hung up on any recruiter (I’ve been hung up on a few times).  I just couldn’t handle it any more.

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3 Responses

  1. Mike Brewster says:


    It’s unfortunate that you’ve had so many dealings with less than stellar recruiters because it seems to have colored your view of all of us. I can certainly understand your frustration with recruiters asking you the exact year of graduation since requisitions are driven by number of years of experience – not the number of years since one graduated from school. I also would find it frustrating if I was contacted about jobs outside of my stated geographic preference (and, ironically -even as a recruiter myself I get these calls from other recruiters all the time in response to my resume.) One thing I would like to comment on is your assertion that the recruiters contacting you don’t necessarily understand the technology for which they are recruiting. I have to agree that’s true, but try to understand that we deal with literally hundreds of varying platforms, applications, languages, databases, hardware, and other miscellaneous technologies on any given day. It’s been several years since I was in IT myself (and even then, I was more on the business side) so I know I’m a bit rusty. I do my best to keep up with the ever-evolving IT field and to research unknown technologies before I pick up the phone to start recruiting, but there are limits to how much time I can devote to that. Don’t forget, we have to keep up with employment legislation, recruiting trends, salary ranges, market conditions, and other information related to our primary job in addition to keeping up with the technology side of things. I know it must be frustrating to have to explain the differences between Java and JavaScript (heck, even I know that one) but try to be patient with the folks who at least take the time to care enough about what you do to want to learn. Good luck in all your endeavors – Mike

  2. Chuck says:

    Hey Mike.

    Thanks for commenting…it’s good to hear from the other side once in a while as well.

    Yah, I have to say, it’s not *all* recruiters. But seriously, the majority of the recruiters these days just drive me batty. The thing is it seems like it’s become a trade of volume instead of targeted searches. My resume on Dice clearly reads "Please send email, I’m on client site…" and yet, throughout the day, I’ll still get bombarded with calls while on the client site. I think you’ll get a similar feel on many of the job posting forums like craigslist.

    While I agree with your view that as recruiters, you need to have at least a "feel" for the technology, but not a deep understanding (since it takes a tremendous amount of effort to stay up to date and knowledgeable), what baffles me is how most recruiters can’t pull a techie over and ask him to put a potential recruit through their paces. It also irks me to see job postings with super generic and uninformative info on the position; it’s like people aren’t even trying (I never bother with these at all). But perhaps the worst is when I get the mass emails; it’s bad enough that it’s spam, but come on, at least make sure that the grammar and spelling are correct.

    Rarely, once in a while, I’ll hook up with guys/gals that actually know what they’re doing. People that are really trying to find the right fit for the client and for the contractor because these people know that this is the key to long term success. Many others out there are just trying to make a quick buck from the commission and that just bothers me since it’s a waste of time for everyone involved. Actually, the first recruiter that ever contacted me is a fellow that I still keep in touch with (his band

  3. Stan says:

    ha! one side of the table hides its incompetance behind the wall of positional ignorance toward the clearly visible experience and drive of the other side of the table. Not uncommon situation is discribed here. Unfortunate but inevitable…