Good Recruiter through the eyes of a Software engineer

Suddenly I came to understanding that recruiters and developers don’t know each other. We like live in different worlds and speak different languages: sometimes on recruiting language words AngularJS, PHP and Java could mean the same. But believe me, they are not.

So this post is kind of compilation of hints and advices to let Recruiters know how you look like through the eyes of a Software engineer.

Know the person

Dear Recruiters, try to get at least a small piece of information about developer whom you are writing an email. I’m tired of cleaning up my inbox from tons of template-mails, they all the same:

Dear/Hello/Hi/Hey %Name%,

I looked threw your profile and think you would be great fit for...

%company information%


and ... lots of company logos, contact details, just images, awards and other stuff that in total could be bigger than the message itself.

It could be even more sad if styles of the main part and inserted lines(like name) are not the same, it just marks out that you got an email from a bot.

If you want to have any feedback you should respect receiver, in other words – you should deanonymize the mail template by adding more specific details: where you found CV, which part of it came into your eye… Try to use different sources of information.

Hint: if developer has github profile and open source pets – please have a look at them. For technical person github profile could say much more than detailed CV. If you not technical person just go to github projects and look at the most popular and recently updated. If you just mentioned that you’d reviewed github and found interesting some of “pets” – you will make pleasure for developer’s ego – and definitely get some extra points.

Company details

Probably you don’t know that we(developers) from day to day analyse shitload of information and we already got used to get only main idea from the big text, so we simply ignore words like “awesome“, “biggest“, “fantastic“, “successful” and a lot more. Now look at you message and remove all the words that do not bring any exact information. What do you see now? Nothing? It’s exactly how we see your message.

Want to provide some information about the company? Be more specific. Try to make your description different from other by pointing out characteristics.

Hint: Markup always helps. A good styled mail has more chances not to be thrown into junk.


Yes, you definitely don’t speak our language, but you need to learn at least the basics. If you don’t know some framework/library specific we could forgive you, but if you don’t now the different between Java and JavaScript – it’s already a FAIL. If you ask front-end developer to consider server side coding position it’s also not good.

Even don’t try to analyse developer resume or company position requirements by keywords, it could be very tricky. Try to get meaning of each technology and it’s value for developer/company. It could be that JavaScript developer has also some PHP experience, but it does not mean that he wants to apply for full PHP backend position.

Hint: Make a vocabulary with all technical words like for foreign language. With each new job spec and dev resume get new words and put it into your list. Also put a number near each word – the number how many times you faced with this word. Sort by this “popularity number” and try to understand at least the top.

Hint2: Have a technical friend/consultant who could help you to analyse the requirements and create good job spec.

Phone calls

Again the difference of our worlds: recruiters like to speak via phone and developers prefer online chats (skype, social network, email). For us it’s more convenient: we can get information, we can keep the dialog, if it’s interesting, without interrupting other activities.

In almost all the cases developers are not actively looking for a new job, it’s extremely inconvenient to discuss such kind of topics in the office space, it will definitely lead to unpleasant questions from management or colleagues side. But, dear recruiters, let be honest, you all are doing head-hunting and trying to convince that the next place will be much better than the current one. I will not continue, I think you already got the idea..

And one more thing for this scope. If you work not like single freelancer but like organisation and have common database where you put all the candidates with their phone numbers – synchronise the data! If developer found a job and for the nearest future doesn’t want you to bother him – let all your colleagues know about it. I have really bad experience when I shared my number to an agency and after I found a job they keep calling me(same agency just different recruiters). I was so angry after third time..

Hint: if you still can’t do you conversation via online chats, at least be more flexible in time range: provide options for after-office hours.

 Developers world

If you want to understand our world you should become a part of it. Participate in the life of community, attend IT meet-ups and speak to developers, just simple conversation without trying to promote your positions or yourself.

Or even better – you could lead this world by organising meet-ups, workshops, hackathons; being a sponsor for conferences or donating to some opensource projects. thefrontendlab could be a good example of recruitment agency that organises regular meet-ups for front-end/javascript community.

not a Hint but: I’m going to organise IT ping-pong tournament in Amsterdam, if you willing to sponsor, help with organisation or to host the event – please contact me.


P.S.: @Homam@Gerhard, don’t worry about recruiters, our company is the best! ;)