I love the recruiting industry. It’s full of passionate, brilliant people who get that companies succeed or fail based on their people. They’re committed to helping with that, which is important.

Unfortunately, it’s also an industry where scammier elements can come in and prey on people in a job search – people who are more vulnerable, as quite often they’re feeling desperate/ confused/ unhappy/ generally madly stressed out.  This bothers me.  A lot.

I have a passive search for a great role going – I’m juggling contract work for clients, writing a novel (yeah, I know – that one’s random, but a publisher at one of the big houses in NYC thinks it has legs, so I’m going for it), and helping a recruiting product technology company through its start-up phase.  All really cool, but I’m still open to “amazing full time, interesting (to me) opportunity”.

Since I was doing this, I decided to give myself an education – and find out what happens when a candidate does something like posting on Monster. In the past 24 hours? 3 offers to sell life insurance.  A sudden surge in ads for “male-enhancement” pills (side note: isn’t it considered kicking someone when they’re down, if you start hinting to unemployed men that they’re lacking somewhere personal?).

Oh: and e-mails like this one. Which started this rant (I changed one or two things, like the name of the agency  – the typos and random bolding/ punctuation are all them though):

Dear Martin Burns

Good morning, this is raavi from XYZ Sytems Inc , a staffing company.
While doing a job search I came across your resume at Monster.com
We have a contract Job opening for Employment/Staffing Specialist Consultant @ Cambridge, MA with one of our client ( A Fortune 50 Biotech Company).
Please go through the job requirement given below and if interested reply us back with your comfort level and the information requested

Requested Information:
1. Your expected salary on Hourly basis for this job ( Not the present salary)
2. Name (First Name: Middle Name: Last Name:)
3. Availability to start the project
4. Availability to Interviews
5. Contact info, Phone , cell and Email ID
6. Updated resume in word format

Job Title: Employment/Staffing Specialist Consultant

Top notch, seasoned performer with excellent recruiting skills in a variety of categories
Bachelor.s degree and 10 or more years. Master.s and 8 or more years.

Skills: Skills – Top-notch recruiting skills
Team Player
Attention to detail

Education: Bachelor.s degree and 10 or more years. Master.s and 8 or more years.

Please Note:
You received this email because some of the keywords in your resume matched the Job we are looking for in Monster
We regret if this is not an intended mail for you and we sincerely request you to ignore this mail.

We really appreciate your response ASAP.

PS: please ignore this email if the requirement does not fit your profile. XYZ Systems is a staffing agency specially focused in life sciences and Bio tech areas. At any point of time we do have at least 50 requirements in these areas. Though this requirement does not fit into your profile we suggest you to send your updated resume along with the title you are looking for, we will match any of the existing requirements and contact you.

Really? This works? Wait. Right. Nigerian inheritance schemes. E-mails from (insert bank you’ve never heard of here) that your account has been compromised.  P. T. Barnum had it right.