8 things I hate in recruitment letters [add yours, it's kind of research]

whokilledkevin profile image kevin_kevin ・1 min read

I am still making kind of research of the relations between recruiters and candidates. Here are 8 things that make me sick in recruitment letters.

And what bothers you in the emails with job proposals?


  1. My name is not {first name}.
  2. I am not willing to answer the letter that has "urgent" in the topic. That's not only unpolite, but also weird. Like I'd write them back: URGENT RELEASE PLEASE HELP FIND DEVELOPERS.
  3. Recruiters worry about me and my health (not true at all). That's why they all start their letters with "I hope you are doing well". Why they disappear when I am really sick and need some lemon? :D
  4. "Opportunities" everywhere. Almost all of them are unique.
  5. I am not a rockstar.
  6. Not a ninja.
  7. No, not even a jedi.
  8. And more important: Java and JavaScript ARE NOT THE SAME THING.

Remember my review of the tool called Reply.id? Still use it and my personal bot. Still works pretty well for me (and it's free, not like Chatfuel that I used before).


Editor guide
aspittel profile image
Ali Spittel

I really dislike people sending them multiple times in a row. I had someone reach out three times in a week recently with no response and escalating levels of rudeness.

I dislike being reached out to with junior positions, as someone whose title has "lead" in it right now.

Contract positions seem unethical to me usually unless it's part-time work.

rhymes profile image

Contract positions seem unethical to me usually unless it's part-time work.

Hi Ali. Can I ask you to elaborate? What do you mean?

aspittel profile image
Ali Spittel

Hey, for sure. I think it's awesome for people who are interested in contract roles, but I've also seen companies essentially treat contractors like full time employees, but just don't give them benefits or pay them for vacation time and that's what I think of whenever recruiters approach me with positions like that.

Thread Thread
rhymes profile image

Ah yes! Yes, yes, that happens a lot here.

I taught you meant it was unethical to be a contractor, that's why I didn't get it.


Thread Thread
aspittel profile image
Ali Spittel

Oh not at all! For sure!

david_j_eddy profile image
David J Eddy

The number one biggest issue I think it that of technical recruiters not having a technical background. It would be like letting a bus driver operate your next airliner. I understand why it would be hard to find someone with a technical background to fulfil a recruitment role; but maybe that's the problem. Technical recruitment, IMO, is an unneeded role.

If I want a role with a organization I seek them out. IF they want me I am not hard to find.

whokilledkevin profile image
kevin_kevin Author

But everyone should do their job. :( I don't think that technical recruiters are just useless. But they definately should have more knowledge about tech stack of your company. And try to learn more (with your help also). They are good for screening just soft skills and basic adequacy.

Otherwise, the employer brand suffers from someone's foolishness. And developers suffer from spam.

jaredgeddy profile image

I'd say my biggest complaint is that they don't bother to look at my actual skill set. All to often I get posts that are clearly for a back-end web developer or even worse, a software developer.(I'm a front-end web developer for reference) I get that it's a numbers game and they're emailing hundreds if not thousands of developers. It's just spam though if it's an opportunity for a job I don't do.

hwolfe71 profile image
Herb Wolfe

This, 1000 times! As someone looking for entry level work, this irritates me to no end.

eljayadobe profile image

I'm not in the market these days. Back in the days of yore when I was amenable to a new position, there was one thing that irked me more than anything else.

My biggest thing I hate in recruitment letters is when I get one that looks intriguing from a company I'm interested in, and I get all excited about the opportunity...

...then I read that I would have to relocate.

So I contact the HR recruiter, and indeed, required to relocate. So I graciously decline.

Subsequently, about once a year, I get another email for same-or-similar position from said company. Still with the requirement to relocate. From the same HR recruiter.


devhead profile image

I dislike when the recruiter gets their creep on.

Hit me up on LinkedIn with a message? That's cool, though I'm not likely to reply unless you have a compelling reason for me to do so, based on what my history has been.

If that's followed up by a friend request on LinkedIn, nope, sorry we're done here. In what world would it make sense for me, the currently employed candidate, to accept a public friend request from a recruiter? I like my job, I don't know you, and this could make people think I feel the opposite. just no.

I've had that followed up with an email to my personal work email (they guessed the format; not that hard). My jaw dropped, it's like you were smart enough to guess the email address but ignorant or uncaring enough to respect my current employment...get bent.

Sometimes they can get my number, which is listed in a few discrete places. They'll give me a call up like we're old buddies. This one time, they had me going for a few minutes thinking we worked together; until they generalized something and I caught on. I said please hold, and got in my car and took an hour drive with my phone on and the radio jamming. I think they lasted 15 minutes before giving up.

So where does it go from there? Am I going to be blocked from walking into my office because the recruiter is there waiting for me? will they be at my house when i get home?

It boils down to respect, some recruiters just have none and are trying to make their quota. The few that I have worked with, when looking for my previous position, we're great. They were informed about the position, the qualifications, my experience, and did not try to use pressure to force me to make decisions.

cjbrooks12 profile image
Casey Brooks

It feels impersonal when job descriptions or experience requirements list off every programming language/framework under the sun. If you're reaching out to me, I want to know that you have identified something specific about me that your company wants, not just someone to be a code monkey.

lysofdev profile image
Esteban Hernández

"I've got a Senior Development position for you"

jfrankcarr profile image
Frank Carr

While I'm not looking right now, here are some from my job search earlier this year:

  1. Sending out emails that don't match the skill set of the recipient. For example, sending a DBA emails about front end dev jobs.

  2. Asking for advanced degrees when it obviously isn't necessary for the job (this means this is a low paying contract job specifically for a H1B contractor).

  3. Asking about visa status (another H1B contract job tell).

  4. Asking for private information like passport or social security numbers up front (no, just no).

  5. Buzzword bingo recruiting ("Java ninja", "TDD Rockstar", etc)

  6. Asking for unlikely combos of experience, such as someone who is an expert in Oracle, embedded systems and web front ends.

  7. Asking for unrealistic experience, such as someone who has 5+ years experience in a framework or technology that was released less than 5 years ago.

The worst though are recruiters who do send you well targeted emails that you respond to but they ignore you and keep sending you more job listings.

mte90 profile image
Daniele Scasciafratte

When they say: I saw you github profile so you are probably interested in angular or drupal.
But I never developed with that technologies.
I hate a lot because seems that they try to see that they are not n00b in tech but show how much they are

whokilledkevin profile image
mte90 profile image
Daniele Scasciafratte

and this happen quite often

sergio profile image
deleteme deleteme

On the flipside I feel so blessed that we literally have people offering us jobs left and right. Count your blessings and don't be rude to these people who are just trying to make a living.

lkopacz profile image
Lindsey Kopacz

I can't stand when recruiters assume that my non-answer is because I am very busy or must not have seen it. It's very passive aggressive and entitled when they title it "I assume you've been busy since I haven't heard back from you."

Can you not? Thanks.

bgadrian profile image
Adrian B.G.

Any sense of urgency is a red flag for me. Last time I saw the word "ASAP" in the message I asked why is that, he never replied :))

For more info you have to contact "X". This is another big issue, if you cannot answer basic questions why do you bother me? You are a bot (human or not) :/

Not mentioning onsite or relocation bonus (or lack of). This means that is only natural for them for employees all around the world to just move to a new country with their families, for their company.

Not reading my profile - I stopped responding to these, if the message is irrelevant to me.

Most of the times there are just bots anyway, or they do not care and treat us like sheeps that just play nice for money :(

quii profile image
Chris James

The whole recruitment industry is so bad I cant even.

Not even half the emails I get even contain a salary ballpark so why on earth am I going to waste my time with it.

It's almost worse when they do something like

Offering "£40k to £80k"

WTF. What am I supposed to do with that information?

sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo

"Frankly, this is the best opportunity I've seen in the last ten years." Of course, it is...

txai profile image

"Hey, I have this great opportunity that I think makes sense to you..." and then... NO DETAILS about the employer, the role, nothing. C'mon, my time is precious, don't expect me to contact you only to find, after 15 min of conversation, that I don't like the job. That really piss me off

whokilledkevin profile image
kevin_kevin Author

Yeah, painful!

spences10 profile image
Scott Spence

Hey @whokilledkevin , thanks for this!

I followed you off of the back of your bot post the other day and yes the single most annoying thing is recruiters complete inability to READ.

Second to that is "I hope you're well" or some other platitude.

You have prompted me to write up my experiences with recruiters as I turned my last job hunt into a dev project like yourself.

Mine was different to yours wherein I could tell if a recruiter had bothered to read the very extensive FAQ I made.

Literally every question they could want answered was in there along with the “oh, well, we need to talk to you to gauge if you’re a mutant or not”

This helped me cut through the vast majority of the panic diallers that called the first number that matched one of their keywords.

Time is precious, I know that, it’s their job to find these people, make sure they are calling the right person before picking up the phone.

jwesorick profile image
Jake Wesorick

This one lady who keeps messaging me "Do you want to love your job like Kayne loves Kayne?"

aspittel profile image
Ali Spittel

omg, I might actually respond to that one tbh...

nmrshll profile image
Nicolas Marshall

Would definitely have answered this one, if just because it gave me a good laugh !

itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

Right now, since I have a LinkedIn Premium trial, my biggest grievance is the recruiters who start it off like we're bffs and have been in contact for ages.

This is a message from someone I never had contact with, who sent it via InMail:

checking in
Dear Kayla,

Hello, how are you today? Hope all is well. I wanted to reach out to you to see how things are going these days, and if you might consider looking or at least hearing about another opportunity.

I actually have a really good opportunity that you appear to be a great fit for, and I wanted to try and share it with you briefly.

Might you be able to contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss this in greater detail?

I would be more than happy to give you the name of the company, website, job description, salary, etc.……

I look forward to hearing from you. Enjoy your day!

Best regards,

This just has scammy spam written all over it with how terribly generic it is. There are a lot of words but no information.

jsrn profile image

"I see you were in the same room as a Java developer, once, six years ago. How would you like to head up a team of 40 Java developers?"

Flattering, I think? But, err... no thank you.

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

"I have a role that looks like a perfect fit for you..."

Based on what? Not based on my CV or my LinkedIn profile, that's for sure.

Your database is broke, mate.

rhymes profile image

They all look for higly trained medieval japanese spies to work for the best company in the whole world.