I have recently improved the canned response I send to recruiter who send me unsolicited untargeted emails (in other words, spam). I use this as a canned response in gmail, and for the worse offenders, it becomes an automatic response.

Do you think I'm too harsh? Here's what I send.

As this politician would put it...


It's not that I don't like recruiters, I love you guys, but there's a difference between a genuine contact and spam. Here is some useful advice for successfully contacting developers like me from the Stack Overflow Careers blog. Don't make these newbie mistakes:

  1. Make sure there are no typos, errors and you did not spell my name wrong
  2. Maybe I already got an email about this job by someone else, don't recycle jobs no one wants
  3. You, or your company, keep on sending me emails even though I told you not to
  4. Your email shows that you have no idea about my expertise or the salary is offensively low
  5. You are playing keyword bingo: just putting in platform keywords to see if I answer. I don't.
  6. It's a blanket, impersonal form letter. Should you expect anything else than a blanket response?
  7. You are trying to get names of hiring managers or other programmers from me. Just don't. It makes me sad.
  8. You don't tell me the name of the company and the salary - you really need to put both, sorry.
  9. The job title or job description you sent do not make any sense. Forgot to do your research? ;-)
  10. You don't reference anything about me in particular, why are you contacting me?

I would kindly ask you to review the above points if you'd like to contact me further.


A software engineer & Stack Overflow alumnus in London. I write about software development, coding, architecture and team leadership. I also speak at conferences worldwide.

About me

Follow me on Twitter


No, I Don’t Want to Subscribe to Your Newsletter
The Bureau of Programming • Feb 25, 2017

No, I don’t want to subscribe to your newsletter. No, I don’t want to complete a short survey. And no, I don’t want to become a member.

Read more…