High Tech Tales: Expert Advice From the Email Elite

Welcome to Club Inbox: There is no guest list tonight

Maisha L. Cannon 💻
Published in
5 min readJul 29, 2017


Good luck getting past the LinkedIn profile bouncers. Coming soon to a technical role near you.

TL;DR Sourcers get no love in the club…Club Inbox, that is.

My recruiting career began decades ago in my hometown of Los Angeles, aka the City of Angels, aka South Central Los Scandalous.

As early as my college days, working in the Human Resources & Recruiting fields connected me to my community in unique and rewarding ways.

Whether for career advice, a resume rewrite, or a network introduction, people were always quick to reach out for guidance — family, friends, friends of friends, strangers, colleagues — you name it.

The intrinsic rewards that came with helping people get one step closer to their dream career fueled me to give back as often as required. Their simple “thank you’s” made me feel a wonderful sense of purpose.

Each one reach one.

Ah, how times have changed.

Four years ago, I relocated 400 miles from Southern to Northern California.

After an exciting seven-hour road trip, I arrived in my new home, a city much like my hometown.

Considering I was in the same state, I wasn’t expecting much of a difference in the work I was doing or the environment I’d be living and working in.

A few things stood out:

But the most striking difference was something I noticed after my first few months as a technical sourcer.

Apparently, software engineers had strong feelings towards recruiters (and by default, sourcers). Specifically, it seemed engineers were not as excited about hearing from recruiters about job opportunities.


Very quickly, I went from feeling like a neighborhood hero to a certified zero.

Candidates used to be excited to see me coming. Those were the days. || Source: Google Images

Suddenly, working in the recruitment field felt like being a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman in a world of hardwood floors.

Before transitioning to Silicon Valley, I had never seen so many “Recruiter Backoff” caveats on the profile pages of a platform built on social networking and interaction.

Granted, I can remember a few “No Recruiters Please” requests on occasion.

But in the Bay, it seemed the ‘do not disturb’ deterrents had reached peak level realness.

And so, I thought I’d share a collection of warnings I couldn’t help but heed (and save) from software engineering profiles spotted on LinkedIn.

Boop! || Source: Giphy

Welcome to Club Inbox. Good luck getting in, my friends.

As seen on LinkedIn

2Recruiters and agencies: please read profile before you reach me and include this code in email (li7zah5Erx) along with company name you are representing.

If you are interested in contacting me, please include the word “shibboleth” in the first sentence (so I know you actually read my profile).

As a note, if you are a recruiter, I will probably ignore your message unless you show you’ve actually read my profile.

Note to Recruiters: Please read my profile before contacting me with job offers. Inquire what I am doing, how am I compensated, and ask yourself why I would want to leave.

Recruiters: Include the magic words “Sim Sim Salabim” to indicate you actually took some time read my profile. It’s a lot to ask, I know.

A quick note: If you want me to read your message, put the phrase “can you really solve a rubik’s cube?” in your message. This proves that you’ve actually read my profile and aren’t just doing a keyword search-n-spam.

If you want to contact me please put the first 7 Fibonnaci numbers (starting from fib1) in the title of your email.

If you’re interested in soliciting me for a position, please include the phrase, “I like your hat” to indicate to me that you have actually read my profile.

If you are reaching out, please mention your favorite M&M kind, otherwise I’ll assume you haven’t even read this far in my profile.

If you are a recruiter, don’t bother. I’m serious — you are not the exception.

If you are a recruiter who has an ‘exciting opportunity’ for me, please include the word ‘Monkey’ in your email so I know you’ve actually read my profile.

NOTE TO RECRUITERS: If you would like to reach out to me, please include the phrase “The duck flies at midnight” in the first paragraph of your email so that I know you’ve actually read my profile.

Source: Google Images

And then there was this one of a kind, never-before-seen brain buster.

An entire Dear John letter to recruiters requiring a minimum score to be achieved before sending an email.

Oh, the math required to simply send an electronic message these days. It’s like the qualifying round of the email olympics.

Needless to say, as an English major, I immediately gave up hope on contacting this person.

Thankfully, my hiring manager was eager to do the computation and the company I was recruiting for at the time was in the acceptable 100–130 range. Whoo hooo!

What it must feel like to be an engineer in demand…

Well it’s back to sourcing I go…but first, let me brush up on my discrete mathematics and practice reciting The Canterbury Tales.

You never know what you’ll have to do to get past the bouncers at Club Inbox.

Even Lil’ Dicky had a hard time getting in! #savethatmoney

For You: What hoops have you been asked to jump through to send an electronic message in these mean internet streets? Is this specific to tech in the valley or do dentists and accountants in the Midwest have Inbox bouncers, too? Enlighten me!

© Maisha L. Cannon and Career View, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Maisha L. Cannon with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at maishacannon.com.