Dear recruiter

Dear recruiter. Don’t take it personal, but I’m not interested in the role you’re trying to recruit.

I receive lots of messages from recruiters. I get offered to participate in events so that companies can offer me new jobs.

I tend to reply something like:

Hi , Thank you for your message. However, at the moment I’m not interested in new opportunities. Kind regards, GonzaloI feel this kind of message does not explain the ultimate reason behind my reply. And it doesn’t provide feedback about what I perceive it doesn’t work.

So I have decided to write it down.

A model for people actively looking…#

Recruiters usually match CVs against role descriptions, ticking keywords. That model works:

  1. If I don’t have a job right now.
  2. If I do have a job but I want/need to change (I’m not happy, I’m in the process of being fired or made redundant, I want to relocate, or I feel my current job is a nightmare)
  3. If I’m starting my career and I’m just jumping from job to job to gain some experience. It is a model based on people demanding a job. There is a pool of people looking for a job and a company (or a recruiter on its behalf) approaching that pool of people and filtering.

For some companies, keywords can be a proxy of how quickly employees will land on the job (I’ll leave for another post my thoughts on that).

So you, recruiters, just match job descriptions and CVs. And from the big pool of people get a smaller pool of people, from which the company does the selection. If I pass all through the selection processes, I will get offered the job. Yes, THE job.

… is not a model for everyone#

However that’s a model based on what the company needs and based on a big pool of people demanding a job.

What happens when the pool of people with the relevant keywords that demand a new job is not big enough?

Your model does not work.

Of course, you could change your model or you could increase the pool. But you usually try to increase the pool. And that’s when I start receiving messages.

Please don’t do that. For a number of reasons:

  1. I’m not a ninja <java|scala|ruby> developer. I’m not. I’m good at learning. I’m good at thinking outside the box. But, as a pure developer, I’m mediocre.
  2. I don’t care about job descriptions. Startup culture is not a ping-pong table. Agile is not daily stand-ups. Collaborative team or very attractive salaries means nothing. Job descriptions won’t tell me if I would be happy landing on that job. I would need to invest time knowing the company and my role (yeah, selection process is not a one-way filter)
  3. I don´t have time for this. Your job is to recruit people. My job is to provide value to my company. A 15 minutes screening call seems not an issue. But in fact they are if they are wasted in the typical questions. Moreover when the number of contacts increases. And, by the way, yes, they are screening calls even if you say it’s to provide more info.
  4. I trust very few recruiters. I’ve seen too many things I don’t like. Yes. There are very good recruiters, and I have trust on the ones I’ve worked with in the past.

What to do then?#

I don’t want to change my job. But if you want to work with me…

Build a relationship.Please, start taking the time to understand what I can offer (and no, it is not any of the technologies I have used). Ask me what I want for the future (in terms of role, team, company, salary), and when. Contact from time to time to see how is life. And don’t ask me for my CV. I’m on LinkedIn and Stackoverflow.


Yeah, it is a bit crazy many people are unemployed or underemployed, yet I’ve got a good job, good team, promising company and good conditions. And I still get offered (or contacted to offer) new opportunities.

I understand if you don’t want, or can’t, invest the time to build a relationship. I’m not a ninja. I don’t do gigs or talks. I’m very low value.

But I‘m not interested in the job you’re recruiting.

First published here