What's the best or worst recruitment line you have heard?

molly_struve profile image Molly Struve (she/her) ・1 min read

After reading yet another pesky, eye-rolling recruiter email, I started wondering, what kinds of emails others get. Share the best or worst lines you have ever received from a recruiter!


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For some reason, I only ever get messages about being a Java dev, but this one was my favorite:

Requirements for the role include;

tools for version control of code: Git (pronounced β€˜get’) and Bitbucket?
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And I got this email twice, months apart, same (internal) recruiter, both times with the note that it's pronounced get. It's not pronounced get.


Haha, was the ? really part of it?


Yep! I assume she took notes from the conversation with the hiring manager and then just copy and pasted it for months to anyone on LinkedIn that vaguely fit.

I feel like most job descriptions are a Franken-copy-paste of previous descriptions, new notes, etc.

Technically speaking, I was hired in a previous role to do "HMTL", according to the official job posting. πŸ’€


I've been in the oil field in tech for a while mainly in Industrial Software. I got a call for a job, the guy started with bashing my resume because my last title was Field Service Engineer. He said, "Where did you graduate from?", I said excuse me. He went on, "Well your resume says you were a Field Service Engineer, only engineers I know went to college". I said I don't know what to tell you that was the job title. So he pitched me the job description after that awkward exchange, and proceeded to say "you won't break my heart if you don't take the job". Same guy called me a few weeks later, I declined saying I had found another job. I was still looking though, but had a gut feeling not to take it. Worst phone call about a job ever.


Oooof that is horrible!


I've been annoyed enough to hang up on two recruiters. One asked me to "rate my ability" in C# on a scale from 1 to 10, and didn't like my pointing out that C# is huge, so without knowing what parts their team uses, there wasn't any reasonable answer. Another tried to sell me based on the game consoles they had in their basement, pointing out that "sometimes the developers will stay at the office all weekend."

Then, there was the hedge fund recruiter who didn't seem to understand the large body of water between my home and his office (meaning that they're not "just twenty minutes away") and started talking about how every candidate takes a personality test. I didn't hang up, but I kept increasing my salary requirements until I was out of his price range.

I also once got a job posting that said "candidate must be familiar with technologies." I may have replied to that talking up my exposure to inclined planes and wheels, and may not have gotten that particular job...


If you'd played your cards right, maybe they'd have thrown in a boat?


Recruiter: We value our employees and I would like to know which religion do you practice?

Me: I won't tell you that. I believe there are countries where that question is illegal.

Recruiter: Then go to work to those countries if you feel special. hang off.

I took a course on Tech Interviews, they said that when they ask you about your religion what they are trying to know if they can put you to work on weekends.


πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚


I can't work out if this is the best or the worst, definitely an eye-roller. I get a lot of emails from recruiters trying to get me to look at their candidates. I'm replacing the name to keep it anonymous.

Subject: Steve needs some help

Morning Yuan,

Dropping you an email as I'm hoping you can help Steve, who was described by his last company as "a natural born leader, highly organized and an extremely innovative and detailed developer”

Steve has been furloughed since June and instead of jumping ship there and then, like many people did, he showed real passion and commitment to his current company, in staying there until they made the difficult decision to make him redundant ☹


I fully expected the next line to ask me for a small monthly donation, anything I could spare, to help developers in need like Steve.


Sounds like Steve might be a Nigerian Prince πŸ˜‚


Ah Steve, the Nigerian web developer

He has a web app worth 8000000$ MILLION that was left unclaimed by the previous company, but needs your help to pay a small cloud transfer fee to transfer it out


Excellent Java opportunity for all the years of experience I have with JavaScript.


I mean isn't Java just simpler JavaScript?
Even the name is shorter... /s


Recruiter: oh? you're not European? You can't apply for this job!

Me (Juliana): I'm sorry I can't work on "improving" my citizenship.
Changing the city of birth is not something I can work to qualify for job openings.

It's something I'm dealing with since 2014. It's not about women in tech, more diversity, more women founders, etc... There's not really a space to live in Europe if you don't have the right passport.


The Worst

Any of the messages that:

  • require me to email back with my resume to get the job description
  • request my email...even though it is on every profile in addition to my website (via LinkedIn)
  • require me to relocate...even though my website explicitly states above the fold that I will not relocate
  • recommend me for any positions that I do not have anything to do with (e.g. manager for a medical office, senior java software engineer, any I.T. position)
  • request that I forward the message to anyone I know with the chance of getting some reward if the person is placed

The Best

The best recruiter I have ever interacted with was humble, energetic, and honest. There were no frills or faking in our interactions. If he didn't know something, he asked questions, including where to learn more. Everything was about getting me in the door. I got the job, and he's since received a promotion to a managerial position. πŸ‘


The best line I have ever seen was "Groupon, more like move on!". It is totally cheesy but the reason it is the best is that it actually worked and landed me at Kenna Security where I happily worked for move than 4 years.


omg I just checked LinkedIn and we were coworkers for a very brief moment in 2015 πŸ˜‚


Mmmmm good ole Groupon


The best one's I've had were direct and straight to the point. I got my current role via a third party recruiter and let me tell you, they are the first recruiter that's been upfront (literally in the first few lines of the email) about the salary range. The rest of the email then outlined the position in pretty good detail, where they same my info from etc. They even mentioned the company name which most recruiters don't, so I had more than enough details to know I was interested in at least having a convo.

I can think of a few others that were similarly upfront and went at least as far as an initial conversation.

One of the worst, that I did not even respond to mentioned something about it being a very long term contract (5-10) years which seems excessive.


Recruiter: I see your CV mentions a few languages. Do you know Perl?
Me: I've heard of it, that's all. Never done anything with it.
Recruiter: But you could pick it up easily, right? Let me tell you about the role...


On interviewing as a self-taught dev for a remote job from UpWork:

"You have no experience yet. We're looking for someone with at least 2 years of experience in building real world Django projects, not pet projects."


"You are a woman. How can you work with computers which is a place for men?"
More than 10 years ago, I had contacted a recruiter to send him my CV and over the phone, he asked me this.


WHOA, that would make me furious!


Actually, at first, I thought maybe he was right. I mean, I was about to start working and he was in the industry for years. Then, I got my revenge: trained myself a lot, eventually working as a developer for a long time now (with men AND women 'working with computers'), and promised myself to not let others tell me what I can or cannot do. I also promised to respond to this type of comments so to not let them affect me and potentially others.


This happened very recently not sure if this was the worst!

Phone conversation:

Me: (Briefly describing the roles and techstacks I've been using for the past couple of years in various companies) ... so that's me in a nutshell.

Recruiter: So can you tell me about what you are working on at your current company?

Me: Although I just told you about what I have been doing in my whole career, let me rephrase the last part for highlighting you. (Rephrasing the exact way I described my current role just a while ago) ... do you Β have a better understanding now?

Recruiter: Yes, yes, thank you. So can you tell me now how many projects did you work on and how was your involvement on those projects in your current company?

Me: (Starting to get annoyed at this point) Do you have my resume in front of you? It's updated which actually has all these answers to your questions unless you actually want me to show you my codes or tell you more in detail like what IDE I used to code.

Recruiter: Yes, I have your resume but it's a summary of your work. and..

Me: (Interfering the process and start talking) Did you go through my Linkedin profile? All the major projects I've ever worked in are listed there with detailed information you'd need to know. No offence to you but from here I think i'd like to talk to the hiring manager or someone who has a better understanding about the role you have listed. Thank you for your call, now I have some other matters in my hand to attend to. have a good day. (And then I hang up immediately)


What will you do if you have unlimited resources?


They ask that kind of question to test your ethics. Some people end up answering questionable things.


But honestly, when I google the question, there are all kind of reasoning and example. In the end, I could not understand what is the meaning of the question.

But maybe you could point out to a good reference I could read to?

I really liked this course about interviews, they teach you how to talk and what they really mean when they asked something: udemy.com/course/software-engineer...

In general, I believe that, that kind of question have a purposed to make you speak more so they can know more about you. This is completely my interpretation but I think it works like Rorschach test that psychologist use to know more about the personality of people. The images by its own doesn't mean anything is the subject under study that give them meaning. I believe it is the same thing with that kind question they want to know the real you.



"We would like to increase the number of female devs in our team" by BPCM


No thank you. Good bye.