How do you answer recruiters, that send you job proposals you're not interested in?


I receive 8-10 job proposals a day via email. And I just don't know how to react to it. Half of the letters are with not even relevant. How to stop it?

Isaac Weber's photo

If you are actively looking for a job they will come! That is just inevitable. In my experience most recruiters are not gonna get you the job of your dreams. Don't rule them out though! Who knows maybe 1 of 100 recruiters that contact you actually have a potentially solid job. If the recruiters are reaching out to me via email about some position that is irrelevant to me then I completely ignore them. They are used to this. They are email blasting everyone with even the slightest experience to fit a job description. So don't feel bad about ghosting them. Now if they straight up call you then be respectful and hear them out. I have found that most recruiters don't just call you out of the blue, but it does happen occasionally. hope this helps!

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Mark Smith's photo

Actually, I found some Gmail filters that work (on Github) BUT ALSO a tool like I've described on Upcoming on Product Hunt->

Isaac Weber's photo

haha I wonder how recruiters would feel talking to a bot

Mark's photo

I think if you get 10 emails a day, you should remove yourself from some websites... Or you're just amazingly talented. I get like 1-2 a week, mostly through LinkedIn.

In general, I read the messages. Most of the time, it's not an amazing offer, so I send a short message refusing, usually within a week.

I'm much less patient with phone calls. I don't know the etiquette about it, but I find it very annoying to be called at work by recruiters without any invitation from my part. And if they're that desperate, the offer's not going to be good anyway, so I block their number.

Some recruiters ask if I would know anyone who'd be interested. I'm not sure if that ever works, it doesn't for me. If someone I like is looking for that kind of position, I would have already wanted to help them. I'm not going to do it for a recruiter. Besides, I can literally get thousands of euros if they join the company I work at; why would I send them to a recruiter for free?

Steven Ventimiglia's photo

If they get my email through a network like LinkedIn, I mark them as spam. Plain and simple. I never, ever reply to email conversations I didn't initiate. With experience in email marketing, I've learned that unsolicited emails usually want you to reply to see if that email is valid territory for more spam. This is why they aren't relative to the work you do half the time. Your name and email was simply on a list. Just like the classic "unsubscribe" link - all that does is let them know that you'll chomp at the bait. I have enough to worry about, so enjoy the accommodations from Spamhaus, because I don't archive or delete... I mark everything as spam that I didn't ask for.

I understand the sales mentality of having to grab leads from wherever you can get them. But, I'll never accept any messages or requests on LinkedIn to connect from people I'm not interested in. Don't come to me, I'll come to you.

The Hashnode Newsletter has been whitelisted, btw. ;)

Jake's photo

If it's totally obvious that they didn't even look at my profile, I usually ignore them. Or I reply to several of them in batches every other month.

Most of the time, I am replying with "Is this work that I can do remotely from my current location?" even when it's explicitly stated in my profile "remote work only".

When I do reply, I try to be kind and courteous because you never know where that person might be down the road. They could some day be sitting across the table interviewing you.

There's a difference between recruiters looking for candidates for another company, and ones that are from within companies. I tend to pay more attention to the internal recruiters and respond to them right away. External recruiters are often times just looking for warm bodies to send for interviews (regardless of how unqualified they are for the position) because they get paid per interview, not per hire.

There is a feature within LinkedIn to turn off recruiters from contacting you. From what I can tell, internal recruiters can still find you because I have been contacted by them while having this feature turned off. When I have this feature turned on, I get several messages a week, sometimes in a day and end up annoyed more than anything!

The question I have been wondering a lot lately, is how someone can be a technical recruiter with no technical background?

Jos Fabre's photo

You're have a luxury problem ;-) I answer every mail. They've taken the time to write to you. Even if they copy/paste and just selected you with the help of some quick-skill-selection-tool, that's worth at least a personal reply.

The best thing you can do to lessen the flood is to be clear about your goals and things you want. If you want to develop for art installations only, tell them, and put it on your resumé.

If you're getting 10 proposals a day, that's probably a Linkedin or job site thing. Be selective with the skills you select and put a clear goal on your profile page. It helps.

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Jos Fabre's photo

I would never want a bot to answer for me.

There are indeed people that keep sending you mails. Just reply and tell them that you don't want mails anymore. If they keep sending you mail, block / report them. And, is it really that annoying? Delete it, forget it!

Sebastian Herrmann's photo

It's a great idea to properly setup your profile to avoid the majority of unrelated contacts. I however disagree with this point:

They've taken the time to write to you. Even if they copy/paste and just selected you with the help of some quick-skill-selection-tool, that's worth at least a personal reply.

I stopped replying to recruiters a long time ago and I'm happy about the time I saved. Most of them (95% in my case) really just spam the job platforms with their generic messages and they don't deserve more attention from me than it takes to delete their message from my inbox. That's a personal decision, of course.

j's photo

I usually decline respectfully and tell them why or when I would be interested. This usually results in a decline to 1 phone call every 8 months.

Mark Smith's photo

Okay! Seems right. But reading all these recruiting emails takes time. You are super patient. :)

j's photo

Mark Smith well, i didn't say I reply instantly but usually I always reply. To me it's about manners I'm raised like that, but maybe it's because I worked in a lot of different jobs so I tend to think about their perspective.

But that's just me, maybe the are used to it like Isaac Weber mentions. It doesn't matter to me, I will try to always answer a question and even most of the time it's just a 'thank you for considering me, I'm currently busy.' or 'I am not doing XYZ' .... oh ... but I use a specific email for almost every service so .... I always know where they find me and usually I put a 'currently not looking'-sign out there :) .... And the 2-3 recruiters who still write I answer ...