Re: Making a Connection
EDIT: The recruiter in question sent a reply, and their response can be seen at the bottom.
All over GitHub, I see profiles with emails marked with warnings telling job recruiters to leave them alone. For a long time, I never fully understood this; recruiters were annoying, but not to the point where I felt the need to publicly ward them off.
Then I got a real gem (available at the bottom, if you’re unfamiliar with this sort of email), and I just had to fire back. Straw, camel’s back, you know the story. This is my reply:
I appreciate you “reaching out” to me, but I’m afraid I must decline your invitation. I take issue with a number of parts of your request, to each of which I will respond to individually:
Re: Working with thought leaders
My friends and I are acquainted with plenty of thought leaders — and even more “thought leaders.” Thanks for offering to introduce us, though. I’ve been looking for a good thought leader to follow lately, and it’s just so hard to pick one.
Re: Not believing that something is “not my job”
For mental health reasons, I actually have to remind myself that some things are “not my job.” If I don’t, it’s easy for me to become overwhelmed as well as take responsibility for things I can’t or shouldn’t. Separation and delegation of tasks are actually key to team success.
Unless you tell me what you’re disrupting, all you’ve shown me is that you know a buzzword.
Re: Not using the words “it can’t be done” in a sentence
So, if there’s a requested feature that is literally impossible to do with current hardware, software, or within the terms of licenses we’ve agreed to, should I just say “okay?” Why don’t you want me to notify you of limitations and how to work with them?
Okay, fair enough, I’d be working for thought leaders. At least you let me know that you’re running a thought autocracy before I got in too deep.
Re: Working out problems over foosball games
I suck at foosball and, like many others, have trouble splitting my attention between active table games and conversation. Does that disqualify me from working for you?
Re: Your product
You are not in a “technology starved industry.” The purpose of your application, at least as displayed on your website, is unclear and unfocused. Sure you have a slick design, but without a stronger mission or focus and clearer marketing copy, your product will fail. Plus, your Google Play store description is an astounding 10 words long, which doesn’t exactly help either.
This is assuming I’m looking at the right app, of course. You didn’t actually send me a link to anything but your recruiting firm website.
Re: Looking for a “Rock Star”
Have fun interviewing brogrammers.
Re: Your generic recruiting letter that looks like every other one I get
Since I don’t widely publish this email address, I’m guessing you pulled my email out of the package.json from one of the Node.js modules I published recently. It would have been nice if you actually told me that’s how you found it, but I’m pretty sure you didn’t have time since you were busy sending this to hundreds of other people with “very impressive” profiles.
I might be convinced you actually took a personal interest in me if you actually mentioned any of my projects or work in the email. Don’t get me wrong, I’m flattered that I met your loose and/or automated criteria for recruitment, but a little attention might have been a nice self-esteem booster, if nothing else.
Does this email actually affect me in any way? Not particularly. Any other time, I might have just deleted your email and moved on. Maybe there was something special here, a near-perfect storm of recruitment letter tropes. Maybe I’m just tired of receiving things like this, and this is my way of dealing with it. Either way, I felt this letter merited a response.
Just probably not the one you wanted.
Re: contacting me
Please don’t do it again.
Rock Star Social Front End Developer Ninja Extraordinaire
Appendix: The Original Message
Note: In the interest of privacy, I have not included any identifiable information from the email for the recruiter, recruiting firm, and company I received this email from. I have also not included the job posting (which I referenced) because it was posted publicly online, and could easily be linked to my correspondent’s identity.
Subject: Making A Connection
I ran across your profile today — very impressive ! As a well-connected and talented professional, I wanted to reach out. I’ve just begun a search for a Front End Developer and wonder if you can help me spread the word. Our _____ startup , _____, is fully funded and will be ready to launch this fall. The concept is disruptive and will absolutely change a technology starved industry. Can you share this information around with your friends to see if someone is ready for a fun startup without insane hours?
They are looking for someone who would be willing to relocate to _____.
(job posting link was here)
Thanks in advance for your help!
(contact info was here)
Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn!
“Create a moment that matters”
Appendix B: The reply
I do appreciate the time you took to get back to me and I completely understand that you guys are over getting recruitment letters from a lot of different places. I do want you to know that I do take my job seriously and strive every day to make a difference in people’s lives, you can see that on my LinkedIn page.
I don’t work for your typical recruiting firm, I actually partner with small companies here in the _____ area and help them grow. I also volunteer a lot of my time to vets that are coming out of the military and help them get on their way and find a good job that will help support them and their families. I spend many hours a week at colleges helping students get ready to join the working world.
I do try and do a lot of good- I just wanted you to know that a lot of recruiters are in the business for the money- I am in it to take a difference.
I do hope you have a wonderful week.