Sergio Pereira's blog


Sergio Pereira's blog

Why You Shouldn't Be Mean to Recruiters

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Why You Shouldn't Be Mean to Recruiters

It's a great rule to be always nice to recruiters, even when they reach out to you when you don't want them. Here's why.

Sergio Pereira's photo
Sergio Pereira
·Nov 30, 2022·

3 min read

Table of contents

  • In a Nutshell:
  • 1. You’re Open To Interviewing
  • 2. You Aren’t Open To Interviewing
  • Had a Sudden Layoff?
  • Had Issues in My Company and Want to Secretly Look for a New Job?
  • A Colleague Got a Job Earning 2X More, I Suspect I’m Being Underpaid?

“Hi {first_name},

This Javascript job seems related to your experience with Java.

Have a look”

Recruiters make us laugh:

  • Most aren’t tech savvy and mix tech stacks

  • Sometimes their mass automations fail

Yet, don’t ignore them. They are your career insurance!

In a Nutshell:

  • Recruiters come to you when you don’t want them.

  • Be kind and don’t burn bridges.

  • Write their contact details.

  • Reach out when you need them.

  • They become your sales force to find a new job when you need it!

I received a job offer recently, which sparked this article.

I’m sure most people in tech have received such clunky messages from recruiters at some point.

Most people either ignore or send an angry reply.

Please don’t use emotions.

This is about your career and personal brand.

Let me put a couple scenarios for you:

  1. You decided to leave your job. Actively looking for a new one and totally consider interviewing for a new company.

  2. You are employed and happy with your job. Won’t consider interviewing.

For each of them, you might take a different approach.

I recommend you create a spreadsheet called “Recruiters” in your Google Drive. With 3 columns: Name, Email, and Linkedin URL.

Then, connect each of them to the following situations:

1. You’re Open To Interviewing

Amazing, right on time!

That’s an easy one. Simply ask for more info about the tech stack, compensation & company culture.

If it interests you, then you should take their interview and move forward.

Regardless, add the recruiter to your spreadsheet!

2. You Aren’t Open To Interviewing

Just add the recruiter’s contacts to your “Recruiters” spreadsheet.

Either reply with a kind message like “I’m not interested at this time”, or ignore.

Don’t be mean. Don’t burn bridges!

Now imagine some really bad scenarios that could happen to you:

  • You’re laid off tomorrow out of the blue

  • Your company is acquired and the culture changes

  • Important colleagues leave and you’re suddenly overworked

  • Your manager gives you an unfairly negative review


Now, imagine if, in such a bad situation, you have a spreadsheet with all Recruiters who have ever reached out to you.

The below image shows mine, in Notion. I have only the most relevant recruiters, agencies, etc.

A total of 38 people I can leverage as distribution during rough times.

Had a Sudden Layoff?

I immediately update my CV, and craft a custom paragraph with an intro and what role I’m looking for. And boom, send it to all these recruiters.

They have a financial incentive to find me a role, so they are now my sales force. I’ll have interviews within days.

Had Issues in My Company and Want to Secretly Look for a New Job?

I message these recruiters and ask for confidentiality. They send me companies and roles that I can review on my own time.

A Colleague Got a Job Earning 2X More, I Suspect I’m Being Underpaid?

I message 2–3 of these recruiters to ask what the ballpark compensation is being offered for my skill set & experience.

I must have developed a relationship with them previously. Again, don’t burn bridges!

At a time when we hear layoffs left and right, it’s more important than ever to be prepared.

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