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I'm sure this isn't universal (though I don't think I'm the only one), but my experience with recruiters has been a series of cold emails for jobs that aren't even close to my areas of expertise in areas nowhere near where I'm located. They usually incorporate some form of "if this isn't a good opportunity for you, can you please forward it to someone else" with no attempt to actually get to know me or what I'm looking for. That type of stuff is borderline spam, regardless of market demand.



The forward it to someone else is probably what comes off as most offensive if you haven't developed any rapport with the recruiter. I get tons of referrals now from past candidates, but I almost never ask for referrals. I'd rather be the one not asking for them, which differentiates me from most other firms out there.

If they didn't ask you to forward, would you freely respond with what you in fact are looking for, or would the recruiter specifically have to ask that? I usually phrase my intros by saying if the opportunity I presented isn't something you are interested in, I'd like to learn about what types of things would interest you so I can let you know about only those opportunities if they happen to come across my desk. Response varies, even with that added line.


When I get a cold email, especially if the email doesn't show any particular knowledge about who I am or what I do, I almost always want to know how the person emailing me came across my email and decided to email me. It's fine if I get an email about an opportunity isn't a fit for me, but I would like to know who or what gave the impression that it was so I can correct it.

The forward request is a little grating, but I used to reply to recruiters asking how they came across me, regardless of whether they included that line. Virtually none of them replied back. Lately, I've just been junking any recruiter email without replying back if it's clear they don't know anything, or they know the bare minimum, about me.

If a recruiter emailed me, opened the email up with an explanation of how they came across me and why they thought I'd be interested, I'd be much more inclined to respond with more information about what I'm looking for even if the offer in their initial email is not even close or if they asked me to forward the email to someone else.


This is good to hear. I usually provide some context, like if you have experience with a certain framework or in a specific niche perhaps - whatever caught my eye. Sounds like that info is useful in cases where it was a false positive. Thanks for the insight, and glad it validates my thought process.




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