I get a lot of e-mails from recruiters, so I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. I used to reply to all of them, thanking them, and politely declining. Now there’s too many, so I’ve stopped replying to the “bad ones”. Here’s how you get your e-mail in the “bad” list:

1. Don’t address me by name, showing that perhaps you’ve read my resume, website, etc… or have done any homework on me at all. Instead, start your e-mail with something like: “Dear Consultant,”, “Dear,”, “Dear ,”, or just skip any salutation entirely.

2. Misspell most words. Ignore the rules of grammar. I know many recruiters are not native English speakers, but still, use your spell checker, have someone proof read your initial contact email template. Blatant misspellings do not convey a feeling of professionalism.

3. Forget trying to spell at all, just go ahead and use text messaging abbreviations as if you were a 13 year old girl on a cell phone. Use words like “plz”, “thx”, “u”, and “plz snd ur res asap thx u”.

4. Play with the formatting! Bold random words through out your email. Use lots of colors and odd font sizes. Make it hurt the eyes and make it hard to read.

5. Contact me about jobs that aren’t what I do. I don’t know .NET, ASP, C++, Web Design, etc…. Read my resume.

6. Send job info with an hourly rate that’s about 1/4 of the standard market rate.

7. Don’t provide any information about the job at all. “Looking for Java dev. Send resume.”

8. Make sure 5 other people from your office e-mail me about the same job on the same day.

9. Email me, then call me, then leave VM, then email me again, then call again. Obviously I couldn’t possibly be busy.

10. Be demanding. I’m not looking for work, you’re looking for me. So go ahead and say things like “Fill this in ASAP and send it back to me ASAP! This job will go fast!”

Some real world examples (I’ve deleted much worse ones, but these examples are from a few emails I have kept:

Dear Professional ,
Wishes for the Day,
We need consultant for Java tech lead/ programmer

MUST be willing to work Overtime (min 50 to 60 hours a week billing for another 2plus years.)

Hi first name,
Java requirements in NJ FULL TIME

Most of the matching submission we done receive client Interview please make sure submit us relavent profiles only.

Details Must send :-


Read this in the Czech language (translated by Alex Polak from autip.com

Read this in Brazilian Portuguese (translated by Artur Weber)