Last year I wrote a bit about my frustation with tech recruiters . Around September 2020 I started looking for new jobs again (as my team at Zeppelin was falling apart), so I changed my status to "Open for Work" again.

While I quickly found a new position, but still had quite a share of weird and annoying requests again.

I've been employed again for nearly a year now, and yet the stream of LinkedIn messages and requests seems to never run dry.

Here's my best-of from the last 1.5 years:

Running split tests on candidates

Doing Split or A/B tests is common in the industry to test out the effectiveness of different campaigns or features. I'm not surprised this is done also by recruiters for their messages, but sending just marginally different messages to the very same person just minutes apart? 🤨

Split Testing

This message is awful also for many other aspects:

  • There's multiple sentences like "rough informations about this position here:" and "What you'll do:" without any content following.

  • There's just too much buzzword bingo going on. Every company claims to do agile or having the latest tech. And in reality, you'll be tasked to migrate ancient PHP apps to Kubernetes anyways.

I've actuall replied with some feedback, I assume that guy won't ever see a reply from a Senior dev on a message like that.

Going extra to reach out - and then fail again

This guy took the time to find out my work email, and messaged me here. Apart from the fact that this is extremly unprofessional, he lost any chances already in the first line:

Yes, that's my name

Don't be too creative

Sometimes I receive messages that just leave me completely confused.

This guy talks about me having a great track-record already in this team (??) and he's trying to reach out again, even though we never interacted before (???).

Yes, that's my name

DevOps - Emotions Engineer

A recruiter sent me a connection request mentioning this quite creative job title.

After searching for more, I found the full advert:

Answer Me 3

Who doesn't want to work with the most hyped tech that is Jenkins? 🤣

Recruiter money well spent


I agree, my experience in building a Minecraft plugin half a decade ago really makes me a great match as Java Backend Engineer! 🤩

More Java

I feel more like a Rockstar Full-Stack engineer anyways, and they even offer gracious 2 days of remote working!

The cloud filter

A while ago, I added a small Emoji to my LinkedIn first name, which also fits my job quite well - doing things in the cloud:

LinkedIn Profile Name

Additionally, it acts as quite effective spam filter to find out if someone took the time to write you a personal message (or at least spot this and correct their template), or just spammed you with a mass mailing tool:

The name's Michael, Cloud Michael

A trend lately seems to be to add a casual opener after the greeting - which actually reverses the effect as you instantly know it's just canned templates.

I can understand why recruiters use these tools - but low quality messaging won't increase their reply rates. And most stuff I receive this way isn't interesting anyways. 🤷‍♂️

Just answer my questions

History before the screenshots: A recruiter messaged me with a somewhat decent introduction, and asked me to reply for the job description. I didn't find it interesting, but found something that fit my profile on their website, so I asked him about it (Remote possible + company description). Instead of replying, he referred me to his colleague - and it appears without telling him anything.

Let's begin:

Answer Me 1

Just two minutes later, it appears they finally synced up a bit. Unfortunately not about the most important info: The position I'm interested in.

Answer Me 2

I assume I wasn't explicit enough with "I want more details before a call":

Answer Me 3

At this point, I just gave up. Recruiters are salesmen, and it's not my job to do theirs.

I'm not a freelancer

At least not according to my LinkedIn profile: I've worked full-time all of my career.

But it appears some desperate recruiters didn't get that notice:

I also like how their name is twice at the end - is nobody proof-reading anything nowadays?

I'd understand if Junior recruiters do this mistake, but even "Senior" ones? Also, 40% on-site during a peak time of of Covid in Germany is concerning. Oh, did I mention she messaged me twice for different jobs?