Form letter response for engineering recruiters

Like every other breathing engineer in the Bay Area, I get a lot of cold emails from random recruiters. While I haven’t yet replied to one of those messages with the below, I sure am tempted at times. Feel free to modify this template for your own purposes!

Corollary: if you are a recruiter, and you find that your reach-out emails would tick some of these checkboxes, maybe it’s time to reconsider your script.


Thank you for your note. I am not interested for the following reason(s):

[ ] You do not include the specific name of the company you represent, which a) leads me to believe you are just canvassing and b) limits my ability to filter based on companies I don’t care for

[ ] You do not call out the specific skills I have that make me a “perfect fit”

[ ] You refer to skills or interests a) substantially in my past and/or b) clearly not part of my current role or expertise

[ ] If your CEO/CTO/VP Eng/Director of ____________ thought my background sounded good, he/she should have emailed me personally


[ ] I will not send you any leads because I am already personally recruiting all the good people I know

[ ] Your request that we start with a “quick call” shows a clear disregard for the work style of engineers

[ ] You appear to have misspelled my name despite having my email address to use as starting point

6 thoughts on “Form letter response for engineering recruiters

  1. David T. Macknet

    There’s got to be something to be said towards the “global contingency staffing companies” recruiting for US positions, and why they thought it would be a great idea to put that right out there, as if it’s somehow a selling point. I mean, when’s the last time anybody looked around and thought, “hey, yeah, let me work for a temp company … in India!”

  2. eksith

    I’m totally gonna use this now. Thanks! 😀

    Incidentally, I’m starting to think some companies have used some form of primitive AI (a la Twitter bot or something similar) to create and shotgun emails in every direction even remotely interesting. I wouldn’t surprise me at all if some of these recruiter emails are from reengineered spambots.

  3. Engineer

    Why do recruiters want to keep you constantly on the phone answering inane questions, often questions that are answered by the resume they had you send them first thing?

    I don’t understand this. One call to make the situation real in your mind might be reasonable, but a series of calls? Pass the resume along, let the hiring manager call me all he wants, but don’t waste my time.

  4. Darren

    Saw your post on Linkedin, I am the President of a NorCal based IT Staffing company that has been in business for 35 years. We were just discussing this very thing today. I like to think we have great recruiters that don’t do some of these things, and our success with engineers speaks for itself, but your idea of letting these types of recruiters know what frustrates you is outstanding. You should let them know, I don’t like being treated that way either. In my experience, this is not typically the recruiters fault, it is the management’s fault as most companies in our space are only concerned with numbers and volume, without understanding that building relationships with potential candidates is a better way to drive success. Good stuff.


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