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James Serra's Blog

James is currently a Senior Business Intelligence Architect/Developer and has over 20 years of IT experience. James started his career as a software developer, then became a DBA 12 years ago, and for the last five years he has been working extensively with Business Intelligence using the SQL Server BI stack (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS). James has been at times a permanent employee, consultant, contractor, and owner of his own business. All these experiences along with continuous learning has helped James to develop many successful data warehouse and BI projects. James has earned the MCITP Business Developer 2008, MCITP Database Administrator 2008, and MCITP Database Developer 2008, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. His blog is at .

Want to recruit me? Please follow these rules

I get 15-30 calls/emails a week from recruiters (not counting the dozens of auto-generated emails I get).  Being a contractor I’m always trying to build relationships with recruiters so when my contract nears an end, I have plenty of job opportunities to choose from.  I’ve talked with hundreds of recruiters and have come up with a list of rules that I wish all recruiters would follow to help prevent wasting both of our time:

  • Don’t call first.  Send me an email.  Talking takes way longer than emailing, plus I can quickly read the email to see if it’s something I might be interested in.  If so, then we can talk
  • When you do email, send a description of the job, and indicate the pay rate and job location, start date and contract length.  If that info is not included my email back to you will ask for that info
  • Don’t ask me if I know anyone who would be interested in the job.  Just consider it implied.  Your referral fees are almost always so low it’s usually not worth bothering my colleagues
  • Read my resume…don’t send me job descriptions for jobs I don’t want.  If you are not going to put in the time to read my resume before you contact me, you are not a recruiter I want to work with
  • Don’t ask if I am a US citizen.  I am, so if you are looking for H1 visa candidates so you can pay a lower rate, look elsewhere
  • Learn at least a little about the technology so I don’t have to explain it all.  At least know the basics
  • Don’t send me full-time exempt positions.  I am only interested in contract positions
  • Don’t call my home phone.  I wish I could figure out how some of you get that number
  • Don’t call outside of 9-5 CST on weekdays, and never on weekends.  If I want to talk during those times we will setup an appointment
  • Don’t ask for references until I at least have an interview lined up
  • Don’t ask me to come to your office so you can meet me.  Offer to buy me lunch at a place close to me
  • Don’t ask for my resume unless you have an actual position you are recruiting for
  • Don’t tell me your staffing company is “different” and you treat consultants like “family”.  I have a family.  I just want you to find a job for me
  • I am open to travel as long as my expenses are paid.  But I can be just as efficient, and likely even more so, working remotely and saving you all that expense money


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