Why don’t I reply to your recruitment emails?

This post is about a (I hope) small portion of recruiters. If you have never sent an email like this, congratulations, I think you can consider yourself as a professional recruiter. If you did, might be you can changed the way you communicate with candidates to be more effective? I don’t want to burn any bridge here – I have high respects for recruiters, who are working hard to connect companies with potential employees, making the world a better place.

Most of the recruiters I’ve had chances to work with are great specialists and it’s been a pleasure working with them, even that I have to turn down all of the offers because I don’t want to change jobs now (While I’m not seeking for new job at the moment – have I ever mentioned that I have a great team at Episerver? – I think it’s not harmful to build up a network, just in case). However, there were times I feel annoyed when I receive a recruitment email. Initially, I would kindly reply to that email, saying I’m not interested in the positions. Later, I simply delete those emails. And I even marked some as spams.

It should not have to come to that end.


You sent me a job that not related to my expertise

This can sometimes be a honest mistake. If my profile says nothing about Java or Android, or even mobile development, but you still send me an email about position as Android developer, how should I react? Of course, developers are supposed to be flexible and highly adaptive to the changes of technologies, but can I become proficient in new field in one night? Software industry is huge now, and even a generalist can work in a limited set of skills. When you sent me a job which has nothing to do with my expertise, it can also be a sign that you didn’t read my profile at all. And even worse, you might be clueless about programming – all programmers appear to be the same – aka if I call myself “developer”, I can fit in any job with “programmer” in the title. Why should I bother replying to you?

You sent me a list of jobs

If there is anything worse than sending me a job which is not related to my expertise, is sending me a list of jobs. Please, I’m not a graduate, fresh out of college, desperate for a job, any job. Even if I do, I should be searching through the job listing pages. Whenever I receive such email (fortunately, it’s quite uncommon), I feel like you are throwing a fishnet, hoping to catch something. How sad! Truth is, developers (myself included) usually consider themselves to be smart beings who stay ahead of trends. If they ever need a job, they will not wait for someone to send them a list of highly irrelevant jobs.

You asked me to forward the job

It’s totally fine if after I kindly turned down the offer, you ask if I happen to know a friend who might be fit to a job. It’s totally not fine if you ask me to do that in your first email. I don’t want to be rude, but why would I want to help you, after you seem to not even care enough to send me a proper email about the job?

This might not be true for everyone, but developers, deep inside, have high pride of themselves, or even a bit self-centered. They want to be recognized, they want to be in-need. To start a successful cooperation,  two sides must show respects to each other. For candidate, it is to kindly reply that if they are not interested in the job. For recruiters, it’s to make sure the job is a fit for the candidate, and that he or she, is highly targeted (You might ask why the “respect” for each side seems to be unfair for the recruiters. Because researching, filtering and contacting candidates is the main job of the recruiters. And as a job, recruiters should do it well).

Don’t be sending fishing net, waiting to catch some. If you are to catch big fishes, focus.

And be a professional recruiter!

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