M&Ms bowl

Whenever I get a random call or e-mail from a recruiter, I tend to think about Van Halen and brown M&Ms. Here’s the Snopes page for those of you who aren’t familiar with the connection between the two.


  • Van Halen’s concert contract contains a clause that requires a bowl of M&Ms in the backstage area with the brown ones removed.
  • Turns out there’s a reason for that clause (unlike some celebrities’ riders): it’s an easy way to detect if the promoters have read and followed the terms. When dealing with tonnes of expensive equipment, failing to follow just a single part of the contract can lead to life threatening situations.

I have my own brown M&Ms clauses that let me check if a recruiter is worth my time.

The first is pretty obvious. I haven’t uploaded my profile or resume at any job hunting site so that should mean that I’m not looking for work. Thus, I ignore any recruiter who simply assumes that I’m looking for a job.

The second one is somewhat trickier, but it’s still pretty easy to see. The hint is there on top of my CV: a link to my website. There’s a wealth of information there and it, along with my CV, give you enough info to see if I’m a good match to your position opening.

There’s also a couple of lines there (and a couple of clicks away) that will make me bluntly ignore you if you blatantly ignore them.

I don’t care about your high compensation package, your career path, or your laid back environment; if you can’t answer that single request, I have no use for your company and your company has no use for me.

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