Should tech recruiters know how to read a URL?

highcenburg profile image Vicente G. Reyes ・1 min read

I recently found an ad on facebook that needed freelance developers on their team. The ad said to send a resume in a pdf file or a link to a resume.

I sent this: https://my-name-with-the-resume-word.s3.amazonaws.com/august.pdf but the Hiring Manager still asked for a pdf file or a link to my resume.

My reply was "The link I sent is a link to a pdf file. What’s wrong with you?" I hope I didn't sound rude tho.

What do you think? Should hiring managers know how to read a url?


This is the first 2 emails we've exchanged. You be the judge.


Editor guide

You are correct about one thing: People in the modern world should be able to understand the concept of links. Hiring managers should absolutely know what to do with a link.

That being said, I'm sorry, but your response was rude. A polite reaction would be along the lines of "I'm sorry, did you encounter any problem downloading my resume from the link I gave you? would you like me to send you the file instead?"


Hey, nothing to be sorry about. Couple of reasons why my reply was rude:

  1. I encounter recruiters on our freelance community who hire developers daily but doesn't know the tech stack of their client.
  2. I sent the link of my resume on the onset of my email. This instance is already the third time he/she asked for the link of my resume.
  3. I don't play the nice guy when I look for work. It make me looks desperate when I be nice to recruiters.
  4. Those recruiters cut more than what they can have on their plate from the salary of the developers they hire. The reason they do that is because "they are able to look for clients while developers don't know how" or in lay-mans term "that's how we earn money".
  1. A recruiter that doesn't know what tech stack to look for is just bad at his job. As in any other field, there are good ones and bad ones.

  2. Seems like that particular person isn't the sharpest tool in the shade, or perhaps was simply having a bad day.

  3. I don't know how it is where you work, but where I work playing the nice guy can really pay off, whenever you can pool that off. I've made my fair share of mistakes in that area, but I've learned that when you are nice to others, you're more likely to get their nice side.

  4. Yes, that's how they make their money, and there's nothing wrong with it. Not everyone can do everything, you know. One of the reasons why I don't freelance is because I don't want to run around looking for clients. I'm simply not very good at it. I rather having my boss do that, and simply get paid for what I do best. The question about how big their byte is - that's usually negotiable.

I've experienced being used when I was nice, hence the decision to leave the nice guy behind me and learning from that mistake. But of course, it would always depend on the situation.

Now on a more discussion-centric conversation wherein personal experiences, characters and attitudes are set aside and instead are focused on the idea, I think on this situation, I did what's best, said what I felt and was good that I was frank.

There are far more important things to do rather than saying "I'm sorry, did you encounter any problem downloading my resume from the link I gave you? would you like me to send you the file instead?". That would make the hiring manager think that he/she can control the situation which I don't want to happen.

In that case, I think you probably could have stopped with "The link I sent is a link to a pdf file."

Saying "What's wrong with you?" is a pretty mean, inflammatory thing to say. I wouldn't hire someone who said that to another person, ever.

The recruiter is still a person. There's nothing "wrong with them".

I think I should've asked "are you ok" instead of "whats wrong with you" πŸ˜„

ok minus one client hahahahaha

I'm both a student of Software Development and a Tech Recruiter here in London. Whether you're freelance or perm doesn't matter, if you have a terrible attitude and you're rude, why would I put you forward to anything?

You are representing me, as the person to provide the right talent for the job. Believe it or not we don't all take huge bonuses, so I'm definitely not going to risk my reputation with someone who's attitude stinks, and I would expect other recruiters have the same outlook.

I'll leave this here to rest my case


If I would be on your place, I would send pdf file second time, as it was requested. What is wrong with this? It is not very hard. This is not a question of literacy, it is a question of basics of communication


No, this is both a question of literacy and basic communication.

This is the first messsage we both sent each other. You be the judge.


First of all, you need to think from their shoes as well:

  1. You url may be not accessible, so they ask you to send a file instead of it
  2. This is auto response
  3. Opening a link from an unknown sender is not a good idea


In the post you said that they asked you to send either pdf or either link. But in the conversation, that you provided, they ask you to send pdf with no other option. I don't want to continue with this - I am not sure that problem really existed


I'll see if I can find the ad on Facebook.

I'd have to agree. It's also very possible that the person writing the post and the person viewing the resumes are entirely different people and its also possible that the first message is automated and the bot didn't see an attachment.

Generally, I prefer to use the right package for the right medium. aka:

  • Send attachments in pdf form in emails.
  • Use links on personal portfolio/social profiles. Maybe even in the signature of your email if you want.

Opening a file from an unknown sender is equally bad. I like it when people just accpgt a good job exchange or LinkedIn profile.


This is a typical "talking to strangers" problem. Yes, there are people in organizations who are not as technically minded as us (nerds, geeks, IT folks). You don't know where they're coming from, and may have been perceived as rude. Although if you said it to me, I would not think so.

I often measure a recruiter/hiring manager's tech expertise. How? An easy way might be to say "I can send you my resume any way you'd like, in pdf form, word doc, google drive or cloud link, even text!" I have had people ask specifically for text resumes in the past!

You have the tools to provide any one of those, and when you do you know immediately where they stand.

I might suggest another small hack. Put purposeful typos on your resume to track changes. In other words, like old timey cartographers making map traps, maybe one word at the end is misspelled or something non-critical is one letter/digit/symbol off. I even used to put very light grayed "serial numbers" on my resumes. Track them even further. This helps if someone gets your resume and you don't know how it arrived to them.


Agreed that they aren't as nerdy/geeky/IT Literate as we are. But if I were an owner of a company/agency/studio/house that hires, I'd be looking for a hiring manager that at least knows the basics of how things are on the IT world.

And, I have links to my LinkedIn, GitHub, Twitter and Website on my email signature. He/She could've spent at least a minute to check those links to see if I were qualified.

Now, I'd love to see how you track those changes on your resume with this:

Put purposeful typos on your resume to track changes. In other words, like old timey cartographers making map traps, maybe one word at the end is misspelled or something non-critical is one letter/digit/symbol off. I even used to put very light grayed "serial numbers" on my resumes. Track them even further. This helps if someone gets your resume and you don't know how it arrived to them.

A quick example. My last resume has a 1 instead of a zero somewhere. I even told the hiring manager. He said "that's ok". One of my other ones has "aide customers in..." where aid is misspelled. More often than not people overlook these small changes. Of course you need to keep track of them. :)

I get it! I have that on the link! It's already September, so my resume "version" should be for september but the link instead ended at august.pdf πŸ˜„

Thank you!

It's a very programmatic way of tracking changes... think in terms of a git diff. If the last handful of recruiters could check your resume into git and look at the diffs, they'd see the progress of changes.

But if they have difficulty with a link, are they really gonna collaborate and perform diffs on your resume?

Exactly! Awesome analogy, Fred!


After several years working in the enterprise environment and in an industry where there is a constant shortage of skilled workers, I have gained a lot of experience with recruiters.

These people sprout from the ground and the next day they no longer exist or are with another agency. I understand that their job is not always easy and can be a lot of work. Unfortunately, most experiences are just like the one you describe: the recruiters don't take time for the answers or just scan them and go on.

But I have already had some very pleasant contacts. You say to them that you are not interested in the next half year and they will get back to you exactly half a year later. They also had a technical understanding, took their time late in the evening (sacrificed their free time) and contact you every now and then just to be up to date and to get an opinion from "experts" about certain trends.

To answer your question: YES, this should be a basic requirement and no reputable agency would hire / keep such a person if he acted so stupidly.


I agree with

the recruiters don't take time for the answers or just scan them and go on.

Considering that my email signature includes my LinkedIn, GitHub, Twitter & Portfolio, where the link of my resume is linked, it's such a moronic thing to not at least spend 1 minute on each to see wether the applicant is qualified or not.


Having all those social links in your signature disqualifies the recruiter even more in my eyes as he either missed to scroll that far or to check them out a second.


Sounds like you were rude and shouldn't expect everyone to have your experience. You should be able to keep that comment to yourself if that's how you truly felt. Also this is a freelance gig you found through a FB ad so I'm not quite sure how "technical" you should assume anyone to be.


The person was a recruiter from a freelance group. They should at least be a little technical. And besides, the link was my name with the word resume on it and ended with a .pdf. The fact that she was asking for a resume in pdf, which was clearly stated on the s3 link I sent, was enough information that I sent what she needed.


Imo a hiring manager is not the same as a technical recruiter. And if the company that you're interviewing at makes them the same thing then there's a problem. Also have you looked at a "technical" recruiter application? I doubt there are any that say anything about being as technical as a developer. If they have experience with development why would they be a recruiter? Their job is to find the people whose keywords match their company's keywords and check to see if you have a pulse.

I understand that. The person hiring, whether a hiring manager or a technical recruiter, should at least know a thing or two about tech.


I would be wary of any such link sent to me. A PDF attached to an email would be virus checked by our enterprise email system; your link would rely on my local virus protection, shifting the risk to me personally for downloading from a link sent by someone I don't know.

In addition, some companies limit access to bucket services like s3 and Dropbox. In some cases, to prevent random downloads, in others to prevent users taking corporate documents off their machine.

Even without the response, I think you were in the wrong.


Not an excuse but there could be proxies within an enterprise that would block your PDF url. Or some other security policies that warn not to open any external links and IT support recommends asking for files instead. Who knows.

I think you could've handled the situation better. Better luck next time! πŸ‘Œ


I am not going to follow some creepy link to a file somewhere on the internet posted in an unsolicited email.
A PDF attachment in the email would have gone through our corporate email virus scanner.

That's my take on it.

In the other hand. I have experienced recruiters and HR that would not understand that you posted a link to your resume in PDF form.


Everyone should. Everyone. Phishing is a very real attack and everybody needs to know how to protect themselves.


I absolutely hate when you send your resume - with all of your info in it - and they still send you to a screen to fill it in. IMO it's the hiring manager's fault :)


I agree! Also when you add your resume to job boards and hiring managers still ask you to bring your resume. πŸ˜„