Ten days ago I started a simple experiment: To Respond to Every Email.
So far, outside of a couple missed responses by me, I think the experiment is working well. Here are a couple of early observations:
- It’s hard to tell a real person from a scam. I’ve had a few instances were I thought the e-mail was a scam, I replied and it turned out the writer probably should have rethought how he wrote it.
- Recruiters don’t give up. If there is an area where I probably haven’t followed my rules, it’s with recruiters. After a few bounces back and forth, I have to give up. Mainly because they aren’t going to give up until they get my resume/interest. It’s a shame, because there are great recruiters out there but the ones in my inbox clearly aren’t hearing my message. I’m also curious since so few people probably respond to the e-mails, once someone responds, the responder has to be interested.
- You are inherently funny. The number of e-mails this blog post generated far numbered the number I probably responded to. Some of the best were: “You don’t need to respond.” “Hello?” “I’m going to try to do the opposite and not respond to any e-mails for a month.”
- The most common question has been, how much time does it take? I go through my inbox every morning for about 5 minutes. At this point, I don’t need templates or other tools. 90% of the responses are “No thank you” but there have been a few interesting conversations generated by the experiment.
I still have about 20 days left. I’m already feeling like this is something I can maintain long term.