Dear Recruitment Consultants

I regularly get contacted by recruitment consultants. Even though I'm very happy in my job right now (Hi Boss!) I usually don't mind being contacted.

However, after having just had a particularly disturbing encounter with a recruiter, I thought it might be worth stating these rules up front. These are personal to me - but I expect they apply pretty broadly to most people.

  1. Don't email my work address.
  2. Tell me who your client is up front.
  3. Don't lie to me.
  4. Don't alter my CV.
  5. Don't "connect" on LinkedIn.
  6. Spell my name correctly.

Let's take them in order.


Don't email me at work. You don't know if my boss monitors my email. You don't know if I'm in the middle of a presentation - where having an Outlook Pop-up of "New Role For You" could be a career limiting move.

This is just basic manners. I don't know a single reputable recruiter who would contact a prospective client at work.

Oh, and ringing my work number and telling the receptionist that you've got a job for me? Not smart.

Don't bother contacting me through my LinkedIn profile. If you can't find my phone number and email address, I don't want you representing me. I'm not going to add you as a contact until after you get me a job - although I'll happily introduce you to other suitable candidates if I can.


I've pissed off a lot of recruiters by asking this simple question. I have my reasons.

To start with, there are certain companies I don't want to work for. In addition, I can't craft a CV or application unless I know who it is going to.

I've no desire to work hard on an application only to find out the role is for a company which tests cosmetic cigarettes on kittens.

Second, and more prosaically, I need to know where it is in order that I can see if I want to commute there.

Essentially, after a lot of effort, I don't want to find that you want me to work on the outskirts of Wapping for the News of the World.

Very occasionally, I let the recruiter play the "I can't tell you - but I'll give you a clue" game. That's where they don't break client confidentiality - but say "A large religious organisation whose nearest Tube station is Goodge Street." That way I don't waste anyone's time by applying to the Scientologists.

Don't Lie

Don't tell me you have a killer job at NASA when you don't. Because, regardless of the company, I'll check it out myself to see if the job really exists - or if you just want to put more clients on your books.

Don't say that they're looking for senior position when they want a junior.

Don't say they're willing to pay top-dollar. Give me the salary bands and let me discuss that with the company.

Don't say they're happy for me to serve a 3 month notice period - when they need someone to start ASAP.

Annoyingly, I've had all of the above happen to me.


I wouldn't claim my CV is a work of art - but I've spent some time perfecting it. It's designed to get me through the door and in to an interview - and it works.

I'm always happy to take advice about what sort of parts to emphasise but I'm not going to drastically change it.

If you really want me to take off my phone number and email address, I won't. Any competent company will Google me to find it.

Do not, under any circumstances, alter what I put on there. If I go to an interview am asked about something which I didn't include on my original CV, I will not be best pleased.

I now, as a rule, only provide PDF CVs. That way, there's less chance of a recruiter altering my work.


If I haven't worked with you - I'm not going to connect with you. If nothing else, it sends off a big red flag to my co-workers that I'm planning on moving.

If you try to connect to me on LinkedIn, it tells me two things about you.

  1. You're too cheap to buy InMail. You don't need to send me a bogus request - you can pay to email me.
  2. You couldn't be bothered to do an Internet search for my email address.

In either case, the answer is the same; "no"!


Bonus! Suggested by Mat Stace.

I get this so often. My name is "Terence". Get the right number of Es and Rs, please. Note: the letter A should be conspicuous in its absence.


I'm always happy to hear from recruiters - as long as they're happy to follow the above rules.

If I can't take the job you're offering, I'll be happy to recommend someone else.

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