Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Manage Email Traffic With Gmail Filters

My clients ask me to put job ads for them. They expect to receive CVs of interested candidates in their email boxes. So I write the email address of my client in the job ad so that interested candidates can send their CVs to that email box at once.

The problem with this is that I do not get to track how many CVs my client has received as a result of the job ad I had put for him. I get no idea about the results of the job ad. Each time I have to ask my clients about the results, and even then I do not get a full picture still.

I later thought of putting my own email address in the job ad instead of the email address of my client. Now CVs will all come to me first. But given the large number of CVs that each job ad I send creates, manually forwarding each CV that arrives to each client would be a tedious job, not to mention error prone.

Now gmail's filter feature comes to the rescue. First of all, I have set up an auto forward to forward all email coming to my cv @ email to go to my gmail account. From there, I have set up a filter for each job ad I post. The each filter forwards all incoming email that was sent to cv @ to the appropriate client depending on a numeric code that candidates write in the subject line. Each job ad has a different numeric code and in the job ad I instruct candidates to write it in the subject line of the email that contains their CV.

The only problem with this system is that some candidates do not follow the instructions I have given in the job ad and do not write the job ad code in the subject line of their email when sending their CV to me. Of course in this case the automatic forwarding of the filter does not work and I have to manually forward their email to the correct client. Yet again the percentage of those whom do not follow my clear instructions in the job ad is small. Moreover, usually such candidates either do not possess the ability to read, understand and follows instructions or are not interested enough in the job ad to read it carefully. In both cases such candidates are not really a desirable type of candidates to be selected for the job, so missing their CVs is not a big loss, actually it is a gain, for it saves my client from going through bad CVs.

Other than that, the system has worked great automatically forwarding the incoming candidate CVs to the appropriate client and keeping a copy in my inbox for later review or just to count the number of CVs that have been sent as a result of each job ad.